Stacy Beukes is a Cape Town-based jewellery designer and manufacturer behind the brand A Ring To It. Her nostalgic designs are a favourite amongst locals and internationals. She specialises in the design and manufacture of handcrafted silver jewellery and incorporates semi-precious stones, and alternative materials such as wood, textiles and glass. Her childhood memories inform her signature pieces, igniting a sense of nostalgia within her clients.
For Beukes community plays a large role in shaping who you become. Her community gave her values and memories that will always be evident in her work, she says. Born in the Cape Flats, Beukes draws from a culture that developed while removed from the rest of South Africa. On the periphery of the city, the Cape Flats was an area designated for coloured and black people by the racially oppressive Apartheid regime. Now, the area is synonymous with crime, drugs and poverty. For Beukes, her craft is a way to uplift and celebrate the positive traditions that make this community unique.
Her latest range, “Sweets with the change” pays homage to the “corner shops” in her community, where children were sent to buy bread and they’d ask for “sweets with the change”. The corner shops had all kinds of candy, and you would get sweets according to the amount of money that was left, she explains. These are the joyful memories attached to this range that her clients love. Trips to the corner shops were an obvious joy for children back then and now she reinterprets the sweets into jewellery.
“You’re selling a story,” she says. “For so many years people have been looking at that story thinking that it’s not a story worth being told.”
Her next range, which will only be available from 2017, is called ‘uit gevat’ meaning “dressed up”. It’s the designer’s first men’s range. The inspiration comes from the memory of her grandfather and includes gentlemen pieces such as tie pins and cufflinks. Again,this range comes with nostalgia attached to it. The thought of running through your grandparents house and being engulfed by the scent of Old Spice deodorant on your grandfather, who will later lead you into the kitchen and give you sweets. This play on memory is what sets this jewellery brand apart.
Beukes has so far hired and trained two people from her community. She hopes her range encourages people to value themselves and their memories. It’s a narrative that carries through her designs and marketing campaigns. “I want people from my community to one day walk into my shop and see themselves on the wall,” she says.
“I want design to be accessible. I design with purpose of quality, concept and price.”
For most in South Africa, jewellery is a luxury. But Beukes believes that it can be more than that. Supporting other local businesses like suppliers and developing the skills of locals is what it’s all about.
Photography: Rizqah Dollie
Make Up: Nabeelah Karbary
Models: Jamie Lee Jansen and Mandy Alexander
Clothing: Lachet, and Selfi