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Horticulturist in The Plains Designs Bespoke Jewelry

Horticulturist in The Plains Designs Bespoke Jewelry

Written by Lia Hobel | Photos by Callie Broaddus

“We live in the woods with no visible neighbors. It’s just the perfect escape from the world,” says Sarah Causey fondly about her home in The Plains where the only sounds are those made by nature. She shares the space with her partner, who manages the mountain nature preserve. The home, which they rent, has also become an art studio where Causey creates jewelry available to customers through Etsy. “It’s just a beautiful place. It’s inspiring and tends to inspire my jewelry,” explains Causey. 

Geometric shapes and natural materials influence Causey’s designs.

Her online shop, Bean Hollow Studios, made its debut in 2020. The virtual shop showcases her handcrafted jewelry, largely earrings, that are made from natural materials. The material might be metals, stones, gems, wood, antlers, or bones from an animal that naturally passed. She cleans her materials with methods that resist degradation. Occasionally she purchases from reputable, non-cruelty sources when she doesn’t have what she wants on hand. Most designs favor an earthy, bohemian feel. “I’m always looking to be inspired by color combinations, textures, and patterns in nature that I find appealing.”

Without question, bone jewelry is among the most popular sellers. Another sought-after accessory is “nest earrings,” where she tightly binds wire into nests and adds little pearls in the middle to resemble eggs. As of late, she’s been drawn to geometric shapes with a more simplistic, modern feel. Causey also welcomes requests from customers. Some unique asks have included using a cat’s tooth that had to be pulled by the vet and turning it into a keepsake piece, or creating wishbone earrings from a chicken for a chef. 

Causey makes one of her popular nest designs.

“Bean” is a nickname given to Sarah by her partner; “the Hollow” refers to the landscape that surrounds the environment in which she creates. She’s a self-proclaimed “earthy, dirt-loving, bone-collecting, moss-growing, swamp witch,” as she writes in her Etsy bio. Though, based on the jewelry she creates, Causey’s artistic talents are far more ornate than she lets on. Causey is also a professional horticulturist. She recently became the horticulturist at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna. She’ll be designing a set of gardens and is responsible for growing the plants. “They really encourage [us] to change [it] all the time, so I’m planning for the next five years as to what these garden spaces are going to look like.”  

Sarah Causey.

This new and considerable responsibility is one that Causey is excited to take on. Causey received her training from the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Upperville, founded by Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. She worked there for four years as part of the gardening and landscaping team, and was “very inspired” by Mellon’s English cottage and French garden designs. “I know I’m going to be bringing some of that with me,” she says regarding what’s to come at Meadowlark. “This is my first time being solely in charge of a garden space and so I’m excited to just be able to start from scratch, almost, and see a garden come to fruition.”

Causey’s love of being in nature derives from her upbringing. “We were always going camping,” she recalls. From an early age she remembers creating with nature, whether it was fairy houses or something else. “I’ve always been an artist. I started getting more interested in art when I was in high school and ended up taking AP classes, and then my art teacher at the time was like, ‘You need to go to school for this.’ She encouraged me to apply for art school, and so I ended up getting my associate degree in fine arts.” After graduating from West Virginia University, she worked in Maryland as a conservationist and helped with environmental education. 

Earrings in all shapes and sizes.

Although she’s a full-time horticulturist, creating wearable art is still a big part of Causey’s life. Additionally, she likes to paint and sculpt, and her biggest aspiration would be to have a bigger studio. “This is something I like doing for fun, and I really like doing commissions; that’s something that I’ve always enjoyed just because people get to see their vision materialized.”

For more information about Sarah Causey and Bean Hollow Studios, visit the Etsy shop at ML

Published in the February 2024 issue of Middleburg Life.

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