Heather Fagan showcases the grandeur of nature with her unique line of handmade art & jewelry, Bettula. Having been inspired by a piece of birch wood that she found on her family’s property, Heather began what she calls a “curiosity project,” which would bloom into a full line of embellished jewelry and home decor. Keeping with her original muse, she even named her company after the latin word for birch, betula.
All Bettula pieces are hand-crafted from actual birch wood from the forests of Port Sanilac, located in Northern Michigan. Heather also utilizes bark from dead cherry, elm and ash trees. As a nature lover and aficionado of organic art, Heather says that she “listens” to the wood for her ever-evolving ideas, reminding of Michelangelo’s words: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
Formally trained in glass fabrication and stained glass, Heather started out crafting windows and jewelry, slowly developing her design aesthetic for color and natural textures. Upon her discovery of birch wood as an artistic medium, Heather established Bettula as a jewelry line in 2006. However, she discerned that not everyone is “into wearing a large cuff,” and in 2009 began creating vases, wall hangings, candle-holders and cups. Heather’s line now truly contains something for everyone, and with her sights set on even further expansion, she hopes to collaborate with fashion designers in the future.
Yet true to her roots in jewelrymaking, Heather’s favorite Bettula piece is a set of cuffs with actual mushrooms on them, because of the way they encapsulate earthy textures and her simple, “uncluttered” style. Despite her increasing popularity, Heather still prefers to keep her business small and contained, so that she can continue to manage the line that is clearly so dear to her heart.