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Jewelry-Designing Sister Act The FFS Steals the Show

Talk about making an entrance! Less than a week ago, sisters Cheryl and Donna Freeman, the masterminds behind two-year-old jewelry brand The FFS, were featured on Barney’s blog The Window and, in a matter of days, all the pieces showcased in the online editorial were sold out at Barneys.com. Fortunately, those enthralled by the pieces they encountered can still snatch them up at  The-FFS.com. But first, let’s get acquainted with our leading ladies: both Cheryl and Donna have spent years in the industry, working as models, stylists, and designers before making the decision to launch their own jewelry line in 2011 — no small feat given that Donna calls Miami home, whereas Cheryl is based in San Francisco, and they often have to share their designs via e-mail and discuss brand strategy via Skype sessions.

Citing inspirations ranging from Grace Jones to Erykah Badu, Gustav Klimt, David Bowie, and Mad Max, the Fabulous Freeman Sisters (one of the many meanings of the nickname “The FFS,” which they were given by a childhood friend) have worked with a bright color palette, sourcing materials from all over the world, many of them steeped in local history.  A large portion of their pieces, for instance, incorporate African vulcanite beads, colorful thin-shaped disks made of malleable rubber that were traded in Africa in the early 1900s, where they eventually became  an integral part of artisans’ crafts. Other rare materials used include: Tibetan dzi beads, made of agate and often featuring black-and-white etched patterns, which are believed to bring good fortune and to protect those who wear them; picture jasper, an opaque  form of chalcedony featuring a smooth surface and typically found in red, yellow, or brown tones; pavé diamonds from India; Ethiopian copper beads; and charms infused with cultural meaning (like the skull, which has long been used in Mexican “Day of the Dead” festivities to honor ancestors). 

Pictured here are some of the pieces you’re likely to covet when you visit The-FFS.com. At top, you’ll find Donna’s Stack ( $800 at The-FFS.com), an assortment of  six bracelets chosen by Donna Freeman. The stack includes: the stretchy Calavera Bracelet, featuring hot pink African vulcanite beads and a sculpted pyrite skull bead; the Fatty Classic Bracelet in Multi Color, featuring African vulcanite discs in green,  red, mustard yellow, royal blue, hot pink, neon green, and black; the Thai Antiqued Silver and Diamond Bracelet in Black, featuring slim black African vulcanite beads, three antiqued and etched silver barrel roll beads, and two silver-toned rings encrusted with diamonds; the Medium Classic Bracelet in Blue, featuring African vulcanite beads in a deep royal blue shade; a Medium Classic Bracelet in Multi Color, which features slightly African vulcanite beads with a slightly slimmer diameter; and the Slim Classic & Diamond Heart Bracelet Bracelet in Red, featuring deep red African vulcanite beads with the smallest diameter available in the line and a hefty, heart-shaped charm encrusted with pavé set diamonds.

To juxtapose ancient tribal style with city-slick hip-hop flair, the Freeman sisters crafted the Vulcanite & Sterling Silver Tag Bracelet ($90 at The-FFS.com), which features recycled vintage vulcanite beads and two black, rounded, faceted Ethiopian copper beads  that nestle a round, hammered, sterling silver charm that can be engraved with words like “Swag,” “Right On,” and “Bite Me,”  or even customized at the customer’s request. For a more Bohemian flair, meanwhile, there’s the Wood & Drusy Bracelet ($135 each at The-FFS.com), shown third from top, which incorporates round, ball-shaped wooden beads divided by tiny spherical pyrite beads featuring faceted sides and given some sparkle via a single round druzy stone featuring slightly flattened yet rugged sides that show off the stone’s natural beauty.

Aside from the beaded bracelets available, there are also ample wrap bracelet made of  intricately braided leather and adorned with diamond-encrusted charms. One of our favorites is the Leather & Diamond Heart Charm Wrap Bracelet ($330 at The-FFS.com), which features a woven leather strip that wraps around the wrist three times and which  is accented with wrapped neon pink cord and a heart-shaped charm encrusted with pavé-set diamonds. The wrap bracelets are also available with charms like a crescent moon or anchor (as shown below), en evil eye, a horseshoe, a starburst, and a Hamsa symbol.

Did the Fly Freeman Sisters leave you yearning for more? Then hurry on to The-FFS.com and check out their entire collection!

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