The Dream Collective Astrid Cuff was inspired by traditional American weaving, and the cuff was named after Astrid, the daughter of designer Kathryn Bentley’s friend. The brass comes from Rhode Island, where all of the enamel work is done—Dream Collective uses cold enamel, which is painted onto the metal. The piece then goes back to Los Angeles for assembly. Kathryn recycles the brass she uses to promote sustainability.
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Why it's special
HandmadeEach piece is lovingly assembled
Environmentally ConsciousMade with specific care to the environment
Made in the U.S.A.Products manufactured in the U.S.
Size, Fit & Care
- Adjustable to fit wrist
- Recycled brass
- Hand-painted enamel
Creative Spirits Make the Dream Come Alive
The Brand Story
“The support of a community is what made Dream Collective happen,” explains Kathryn Bentley, the founder and lead designer at Dream Collective. She was living in New York and making jewelry when she packed up and moved cross-country to Los Angeles. It was there, in what she refers to as “a gentler climate,” that her company was born: “It really was circumstance and meeting a group of people out here in L.A. who believed in it,” she says. With the help of friends at Commune Design Group and a dedicated following at the Echo Park Craft Fair, Dream Collective grew from a group of close friends with a vision to a global brand. Today the girls at Dream Collective are still what makes it so special: Mar, the studio manager from Spain; Lizzie, “creative spirit,” aka store manager; Charlotte, a friend of several years who handles assembly; and Kathryn, founder and designer. “So far all women, which is fun. It’s been a growth together.”
These gorgeous pieces start at the design table, which means going back to the inspiration. Kathryn looks for inspiration in unexpected places: “My favorite thing in New York is to go to the Strand Book Store….They have old catalogs from galleries and museum shows. They have amazing gems.” From there, she thinks about her materials, which requires a trip to the annual Tucson Gem Show. Kathryn uses brass, a warm metal that reminds her of gold without the high price tag. And, better yet, she uses recycled brass: “It’s really nice to use metals that can be recontextualized,” she says. And then there’s enamel, for its “unlimited palette.” And assembly: “Everything is made in the U.S. It’s really important for me as a designer and a business owner.” The jewelry is cast in Rhode Island, and then each piece is assembled by hand in the Echo Park, L.A., studio.
The History of Brass
Brass was originally recognized for its striking resemblance to gold. It looks like gold, feels like gold, but is far less expensive than gold. Brass artifacts date back to 5000 BC, and it was later produced during the Roman period for money and military use. Brass is an alloy (or combination) of copper and zinc made by a process called speltering that was introduced in 16th-century Europe. Brass jewelry, produced in Europe throughout the Victorian era, became popular in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century. Though brass jewelry production stopped during World War II due to military needs, it has since made a resurgence.