Photography by Jamison Mosley
Fellow Arkansans – neighbors, colleagues and friends – are sharing a light of peace, kindness and generosity that makes The Natural State a little brighter. Inviting Arkansas and Methodist Family Health celebrate individuals who illuminate our community with goodness. Nominate someone today for a future feature that SHINES.
Stacey Bowers, the powHER behind Bang-Up Betty Jewelry & Gifts, encourages Arkansans to “stay creative, original and true to yourself.” This visionary entrepreneur follows the mantra herself, and certainly during the conception of her unusual, quirky and colorful gift and jewelry shop. What started on the floor of her apartment has evolved into a recognized brand throughout the state. The North Little Rock native remains dedicated to her thriving business, customers and hometown.
When Stacey was a high school student, she worked at Argenta Bead Company. This is when she discovered her love for jewelry-making and realized that there was a creative itch she needed to satisfy. She went on to study communications at college and landed a job in marketing and writing, but it wasn’t until her mid-twenties that Stacey found her way back to jewelry with Bang-Up Betty. “For several years I was making jewelry at night and working as a nonprofit marketing director during the day. When I decided to focus on the jewelry full-time… I was online to begin with, then I opened my Argenta storefront in August of 2021,” Stacey remembers. Her designs began with tongue-in-cheek stamped jewelry. Today, her collections also cast bronze and sterling silver pendants, cuffs and earrings. “I still stamp my heart out over here, especially creating custom pieces for clients, but making the cast bronze and silver jewelry has given me an outlet to dig deeper into my interests,” she admits.
Her curated-themed creations – from astrology to Greek mythology – continued, but her love for the Natural State inspired cause-related collections. “Being able to put my stamp, no pun intended, on my style of giving keeps me motivated to do more. It’s also really rewarding to be able to share a nonprofit’s story with people who may not have heard it,” she reveals. Most recently, Bang-Up Betty released a star-shaped SHINE necklace in honor of Methodist Family Health. “People come to our store, see our cause jewelry, and ask about the nonprofit behind the piece. We get a chance to share the light, so to speak.” Part of the proceeds from the SHINE necklace support Methodist Family Health, which offers a complete continuum of care of psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual issues beneficial to Arkansas children and their families who have experienced trauma.
“I love how supportive Central Arkansas is for creatives and nonprofits, and I love how eager so many nonprofits are to partner up with folks, like me, who might not be able to write them a $20,000 check.” In addition to Methodist Family Health – Stacey has made custom jewelry to benefit the Arkansas Foodbank, Thea Foundation and other Arkansas organizations.
“It’s been a fun ride,” Stacey reflects. She admits it can be scary presenting art to the world, but then “there’s a chance they’ll love your necklace enough to put it in Bust Magazine or feature it in a national jewelry publication.” Additionally, Bang-Up Betty has been recognized as Best Gift Shop in Arkansas, is available at the Clinton Presidential Library Gift Shop and was official merchandise for the first national Women’s March. “Getting to be creative every day is so rewarding, and so is getting to showcase other Arkansas creatives in our storefront.” Bang-Up Betty offers handmade pottery, art, candy, candles, stickers, ornaments, soap, bath soaks, cards and more – all by Arkansas artists.
Sponsored by Methodist Family Health | Nominations accepted at Foundation@MethodistFamily.org
methodistfamily.org | #ShareTheLightandSHINE