This time on Behind the Best we’re taking a look at our Zee earrings - those mid-size chunky hoops we love just as much as you do. They’re just the right balance between being bold while still being light - perfect for wearing all day (and all night).
Are they one of our best jewellery pieces? Maybe, but how could you ever choose?
At Best, we believe in being inspired and motivated by positive emotions rather than negative ones, but before we go any further let’s just get one thing straight - we cannot stand earrings with butterflies. They’re the pits. It was our strong dislike (we didn’t say hate!) of butterflies that really pushed us to make the Zees happen.
Over and above the Butterfly Situation, there are two main things that really inspired Rebecca, the founder of Best Jewellery, when it came to these earrings. It may not surprise you to learn that these are both meaningful and practical - like all of our designs.
“I had a pair of gold hoops that were given to me by my mom (which had been passed down from my grandmother) that were a similar size and shape to the Zees. I loved them dearly but those butterflies on the back drove me mad! They were always falling off the pin and I could never wear them comfortably without feeling like I would lose one of them. They made me develop a massive dislike for the traditional butterfly and pin mechanism. On top of that, I’m a sucker for a late afternoon nap and you really can’t nap in earrings with pins because they dig into your ears. I wanted to get some new hoops made for myself that were exactly like my mom’s gold hoop earrings - but with a better clasp mechanism that involved one continuous hoop, like you see in the Zees. I wasn’t even thinking about selling them at the time.”
As Rebecca started researching South African manufacturers and meeting with them to try and get her dream hoops made, she realised there was a gap in the market. No South African jewellery manufacturers were able to create hollow tubed jewellery.
“I chatted to about 10 different manufacturers in South Africa and they all had the same response: We don’t have the machinery to manufacture hollow tubed jewellery like that. This made me realise there may be a gap in the market. My search continued across the globe and eventually settled on a factory in Jaipur, India who practice sustainable manufacturing methods and belong to the Responsible Jewellery Council. I then started to design other hoops (the Sidneys and Georgies) and realised there was a great opportunity to build a jewellery brand in South Africa that produced good quality hoops (hollow and without butterflies!) unlike the normal hoop earrings we’re used to.”
We believe you should look good whenever you want to. Without discomfort, pain or other things getting in your way. That’s why the Zees are not only butterfly free, but hollow too. You can put them on in the morning and take them off at night before you go to sleep. No drama and no fuss. Here’s Rebecca, letting us in on a little secret.
“Just like a mother shouldn’t name her favourite child, I shouldn’t really name my favourite piece from Best but the Zees really are it. They’re also our best selling style, which tells me I’m not the only one who feels this way. What I love so much about the Zee earrings is that they’re chunky while still being light and wearable. I even exercise in them sometimes - that’s how light they are! We have some customers who don’t go a day without wearing them, even during peak lockdown wearing loungewear on the couch - now that’s a true testament to their comfort and wearability. 100% nap approved!”
And that’s how well-loved jewellery, naps and butterflies combined to help us become the business we are today! We’d love to see how you wear your Zees. Whether you’re napping or not - put a pic on Instagram and tag us. Here’s to a butterfly free future for all of us!