Style in Belize: Designer Rebecca Stirm is Going to Be Famous…Seriously
Born and raised in Belmopan, Belize, Rebecca Stirm is BURSTING with talent.
Rebecca is the creator of the beautiful Belizean brand Twig and Pearl. She designs and manufactures hangbags, accessories, clothing and more from sustainable materials here in Belize. I’ve been mooning over her Instagram pictures for what seems like years.
Yesterday I met up with the young designer for the first time to chat – and I am absolutely smitten.
Rebecca – never Becky – just like me.
Only 24 years old, she has lived such an creative, interesting, thoughtful life so far, I am super excited to see what’s next. It’s an easy prediction to make but I’ll put it down in print officially. My Prediction? BIG THINGS.
Here’s a (too) quick summary of her amazing adventures so far. Rebecca is Belizean – born in Belize’s capital to parents (from the US and Canada) who met in Belize and are now Belizean. Her father, Pastor Scott Stirm, is a controversial pastor here. I asked her about him and…well…he’s her dad! And has been supportive of Rebecca’s talents her whole life.
She grew up dancing – ballet was her life. Until the age of about 16 when she hurt her ankle and her dance studio closed.
She loved drawing and focused on that – soon her portraits turned to figures turned to fashion. She graduated high school, attended one year of Galen University in Belize – focusing only on English and Literature and then was off to fashion school in Vancouver.
She loved it there but had a pretty genius teacher – who understood that a few years of fashion school would put Rebecca into lots of debt. She told her that she was extremely talented – to make the investment in her business – real job experience – and start a company.
Rebecca returned to Belmopan after one semester.
Miss Stirm…still a teenager, back in Belize, put together a collection. She held a fashion show and was soon designing custom cocktail dresses and evening wear. She put her drawings/her collection on-line.
And received an email invitation for the Caribbean TV show (based in Jamaica) – Mission Catwalk. Come join Season 2! It’s like Project Runway without the uber-annoying Tyra Banks!
She won 4 out of 12 competitions. And finished as the 2nd runner-up.
WHERE WAS I WHEN THIS WAS HAPPENING?! I missed it all! I LOVE THESE KIND OF SHOWS!
She returns to Belize – she takes a break from designing and then re-focuses on what she loves and what she cares about.
She thinks lifestyle brand – she thinks sustainability – she thinks about her own talents and the skills and talents of those around her.
And she thinks of a name. Twig and Pearl. I love it. To me it says jungle and sea – it says nature and beauty – it says rustic and luxe. It’s so perfect.
She designs a camera bag for herself…and sources local vegetable tanned leathers. And so it begins. (She also received some funding from the Government of Taiwan – grants for small promising businesses in Central America – how cool is that?)
But enough of me talking. Take a look at her site. Get ready for some really cool collections coming soon! One she is working on with Oceana to raise awareness for sea turtles – the endangered hawkbills in particular. She is even using confiscated gill nets…and the results are beautiful.
I am love with her bags – and even more so when she gave me this gift. This AMAZING gift! Hand tooled leather…I LOVE IT.
I’m not alone – it’s her most popular bag.
Can you think of a more beautiful souvenir from Belize stamped MADE IN BELIZE — or forget the souvenir part…I just love these bags
I want this envelope clutch next…
And then this tote. I saw hers yesterday – and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
I even need the belt – I SO need the belt. And maybe a silk caftan. I need to up my game.
I will be able to say that I know her.