Last summer, when we launched our new gypsy-set collection, it never occurred to us to call it anything but what it was - The Gypsy Collection. The name worked with the free spirit, female focused, bespoke, colorful designs of those flush set pieces and the response was thrilling. (Gypsy setting, by the way, is the jeweler term for flush mount or inset bezel settings). As months went on and newer customers and visitors found our site, I started to get some feedback here and there about using the term "Gypsy" and its use as a racial slur. One follower wrote on a Facebook post, "Love love love these beautiful jewels - but please consider not using the word g***y in your marketing as it’s considered a slur to a specific group of people. "
I admit that at first my thought was - ok, but that's not what we mean by the term so these people will come around if they love the jewelry. But it nagged me and I did a bit more digging into the origin of the term in the jewelry world. TLDR: it's a bit vague and more than slightly questionable. It was time to rebrand the collection and take the feedback as honest, constructive criticism.
But what to call it? I finally settled on "Belle Etoile" taken from the French term "a la belle etoile" or "under the stars" (fun fact - I have a degree in French Literature so I love anything French). So we renamed and rebranded and The Belle Etoile Collection is live again and ready to adorn your ears, hands and wrists this Spring and Summer.
I was wrong about the original name of our collection and working through this process, doing the appropriate research, and deciding to make this change has been the right path to building this fine jewelry business. Ultimately, I design pieces that I want our clients to wear and cherish for decades to come. The joy and glow that comes from owning a beautiful piece of jewelry has to be there the very first time you set eyes on the piece. I'm happy that now you can browse, shop and daydream about your collection without worrying about the implications behind a name.
Rachel Bowes, Founder, Carbon Neutral Fine Jewelry