The art of beadwork has been around for centuries. Countries like India, Greece and Italy have a complete framework of artists and bead masters that use traditional craftsmanship to create the most precious pieces. Bobbie Van Der Vlugt is one of those fashion pundits – a Cuban jeweler who has merged her expertise in fashion and passion for jewelry to produce high-quality bracelets and necklaces to an elite clientele unbeknownst to the media and even other celebrities.
For a craft that seems simple, Bobbie has whetted a set of skills that require precision and focus. The 53-year-old bead master has a penchant for rare stones and glass beads from the 1800s that are only identifiable by a true jewelry connoisseur. Vintage Masai beads, African beads, Murano glass beads and other semi-precious stones predominate in her artwork.
What makes her oeuvre unique is her handmade technique and stone selection. Though Bobbie has encouraged some of her clients to have a say in their stone selections, she admits it takes a real stylist to know the right sizes and pieces to pair each bead together. As we continued our conversation on bead culture inside her cozy studio hidden in a virescent neighborhood in Coconut Grove, Bobbie revealed her very niche clientele. Cameron Diaz, Raul de Molina, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lopez and Hilary Swank are some of the personalities that wear Musa Jewelry.
Royalty also wears her jewelry including Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece and Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark. Though her jewelry is not labeled, wearers of her jewelry are able to identify them. “Are you wearing Musa?” some may ask. Aside from her making a limited amount of pieces, Musa Jewelry has healing properties and every stone she hand-selects creates spiritual energy. Bobbie believes that the beads respond to our chakras and to different energies in our bodies. “The gemstones have a vibrational energy and we are automatically attracted to what our body needs,” shares Bobbie.