Meet Zelda Beauchampet, founder of The Boyscouts. Rotterdam, Netherlands.
‘After I graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2004 different design agencies offered me a job. It was kind of a natural flow to start working as a freelance designer. During that period I discovered that creating my own products is what I am passionate about. At the end of 2010 I took a leap of faith and started ‘the Boyscouts’. I am inspired by the traditional boyscouts, I like their ideas about survival and self-sufficiency, hence the name. Starting the Boyscouts was the ultimate test to see if I could have my own business and make it work. Four years have passed and I have got 3 girls working here. For me it feels like no way back, I love the independency, to make my own decisions and to be able to do whatever I want.’
Designing and inspiration
‘The design process starts with digging in traditional boyscout elements. Old photos are really inspiring; we look at what the boyscouts used to wear and what kind of activities they did. From everything we gather we choose one broad theme and create our own story around it. Over the years we developed our own handwriting; our own language which we use to translate these storylines into products. We spend days with sketching, building prototypes, rejecting the designs and starting over again. One of our ‘musts’ is that a piece is unique. We want to be inventive and search for ways to combine new techniques, like 3d printing, with craftmanship. This process results in designs that are strong, abstract, organic and geometric.’
Labour and production
‘We have a few local suppliers and we have invested al lot in our relationship with them. If you want the collaboration to be successful you need to take care that the relationship stays healthy. I want to produce high quality products, which have been produced locally. I want everyone to get paid a fair wage. It is about sustainability, that you don’t fly things in from a third world country. With the Boyscouts I aspire to make products that are time-less and last a lifetime. I want to motivate people to make more sustainable choices, not only when it comes to jewellery, but with everything they consume. I really hope that I can reach people with this message through the Boyscouts.’
Achievements and Future
‘I am really proud off erverything we have achieved so far. The fact that ‘The Boyscouts’ is doing so well, that there is another beautiful collection finished and that we keep developing our products. Also I am so proud off the girls working here, off all the effort they put into their work. For the future I would love to become an icon, that Zelda Beachampet becomes a real Dutch trademark. While growing, it is very important for me to stay true to myself and to my vision. I want my company to stay an organice entity. My ultimate dream is that my products do not only go out the door, but also come back here and get recycled. That people can hand in their old Boyscout jewellery and let them be shaped into new pieces which suit them better at that moment. By doing so we can reduce our footprint and be more sustainable.’