It all started with a pair of strawberry earrings that my mother used to wear when I was a child in the 60s. At a glance, they were insignificant, just gold-plated costume clip-ons that she would throw on for parties. And yet, they stuck with me - the quirkiness of the strawberry motif, the playful feeling they evoked sitting on an earlobe. They lingered with me.

I went on to major in art history and studio art and after college worked as the Assistant European Couture Buyer at Frost Bros. From fashion, I transitioned back into the world of art, running the art gallery at the Southwest School of Art, and later as a photographer working with black and white film.

And yet, my early fascination with treasures from the past lingered with me, and slowly but surely I started collecting. From Paris, to Portugal, to small towns across the U.S., I’ve gathered forgotten relics, uncovered undervalued misfits, and dusted off once-treasures from a time before. Fascinated by the history of these bygone pieces, worn long ago by someone I’d never know, I craved to carry on their beauty in a new way. And so, Holland | Billups was born.

At the core, Holland | Billups plays homage to those who came before us and the personal adornments they left behind. It is a way to cherish their stories and their style in a new, modern light. However, as the brand evolved and my love for sourcing grew, so too did the materials that make up a Holland | Billups piece. Most works still include vintage elements - from old brooches to vintage chains. However, many pieces are simply inspired by the beauty of the past yet composed of modern materials, such as semi-precious stones and Baroque pearls. To this day, every Holland | Billups piece is handmade in my small studio in San Antonio and (nearly) every piece is one-of-a-kind.

It brings me joy to think of these pieces entering new chapters and creating new histories. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me!


Nancy Billups