Liza Zucchino is the founder of Berlin-based jewellery brand Bitte & Danke.  She creates elegant, lightweight, tassel jewellery using Japanese bunka thread in both classical and vibrant colours, for women and girls of all ages.  Black, red, green, mustard, white, lavender and blue tassels work for women; black and vibrant blue for older girls; and purple, peach and turquoise for younger girls.  It’s a polished take on bohemian style.

Liza is from North Carolina, graduated in 2010 with a degree in art history and went on to work as an office manager in a San Francisco art company.  Uninspired by the jewellery market offerings she started making her own pieces in her spare time and attracted many compliments, so decided to start her own business.  Her hobby became her career and she “couldn’t be happier”.  The beginning was characterised by trial and error; she improved her craft and found a style that excited her. 

The name “Bitte and Danke” (“translation “please and thank you”) was born from the good manners so emphasised by her mother when she was a child.  She has visited Berlin many times over the last ten years and is interested in the country’s culture and history. 

Disheartened by San Francisco’s Silicon Valley, Liza and her partner moved to Berlin with their poodle, Oscar, in 2016.  They live in Kreuzberg, a creative neighbourhood, and she works in her home studio with Oscar at her feet.

Her inspiration comes from new materials, and the search for these materials starts the design process.  The majority of her jewellery is made from bunka, a 100% Japanese rayon thread.  She discovered the material shortly after visiting a lace museum in Berkeley, California, when she called into a small fabric store next door and discovered a wall of coloured threads.  She fell in love with the colours and the feel of the fabric, she hasn’t looked back.

Liza would ideally like to source her materials from local fabric suppliers, and she enjoys visiting their shops “sifting through fabrics and findings, dreaming up potential pieces to create”.  For the time being she is still buying from California but the search is on to find jewellery suppliers in Berlin.

New ideas often materialise in the evening, just before she falls asleep, and she keeps a notepad by her bed to quickly sketch out the idea before it’s forgotten. The next day this concept is transformed into a necklace or pair of earrings.

Alongside the bunka, Liza works with gold, silver and brass, all requiring manipulation.  She uses a host of tools - pliers, metal cutters, tape, weights, tweezers, clips, adhesive, “whatever it takes to get the job done” she says. Her most treasured tool is a pair of scissors that belonged to her grandmother, that are astonishingly still sharp, and which she uses to cut each tassel to the perfect length.

The tassel trend continues.  Bitte & Danke’s swingy little adornments are flirty and fun; modern and beautiful.  Rich in texture and colour, they are suitable for all ages.