Britt Harless’s creations are proof that it’s possible to turn even the most devastating circumstances into something truly beautiful. Two years ago, Harless’s best friend passed away suddenly, leaving behind Harless’s two teenage goddaughters. Her father had a second stroke, and she became his main caregiver. Then, her 9-year old dog got cancer and died. She didn’t just feel sad, she felt helpless. When Harless was at her lowest, she would go outside and study the oak trees in her backyard. Nature was a balm to her soul as she studied the curves of the bare trees in the deepest Dallas winter.
“The ebbs and flows of branches knotting in different directions were so gorgeous. I started paying more attention to the natural patterns and textures all around me, and it turned my heart to more hopeful, positive thinking. Even when the trees were bare, they still represented strength, nurture, protection, and resilience. Their stoic, imperfect beauty was stunning. Inspired by their message of annual renewal, I started to sketch again, and once I started I couldn’t stop. I found my way back to a central creative passion that I had left behind years ago, and that led to BAHZ,” said Harless, who made the name from her initials. This new BAHZ collection sprouted from those sketches and is an artistic interpretation of both the oak trees in her yard and the driftwood branches Harless’s mother would collect when she was growing up.
The BAHZ debut collection is called “Winter Branches in Bastille,” a name that springs from Harless’s French roots, which her family brought with them when they were one of the first 100 European settlers in Texas. Bastille is a prison and site of revolution, and Harless wanted a collection name that reflected the way nature set her free. Each handcrafted piece is named for a street around the prison monument in Bastille. Jewelry is made with .925 sterling silver, bronze, or 14-karat gold plate. Prices range from $250 to $825, and the collection will be available for sale in upscale boutiques and select trunk shows after the Oct. 15 debut. For more information, visit www.bahz.us.
BAHZ will officially launch with a soiree on Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Suitsupply on 3700 McKinney Avenue in Dallas. Attendees are asked respond to firstname.lastname@example.org with their RSVP. The party will include a jewelry display throughout and an artistic model presentation beginning at 7 p.m., as well as live music by DJs Jennifer Miller and Paul Paredes. Guests can enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, giveaway goodies, and theatrical desserts by experiential instant-treat proprietor Frost 321.
photos provided by BAHZ/Britt Harless