Beginning in childhood, Babs Noelle was surrounded by things both aesthetic and engineered, and fascinated by both. Her mother was a European-trained fashion designer and dressmaker; her father was a mechanically gifted man, with a penchant for language.
Her academic choices reflected that duality: despite originally having her sights set on becoming a classical violinist, Babs opted instead to pursue biochemical engineering and English at Rice University. But it would take an extended break between her junior and senior years in college for her to find jewelry design. She completed her college education, only to go on to earn her Graduate Gemology diploma from the GIA, and then on to earn her Master's in Jewelry Design at Goldschmiedeschule Pforzheim--the oldest jewelry school in the world.
Babs' early career catered to glitterati clients: celebrities, professional athletes, musicians, and comedians, as well as Texas energy sector moguls. But as soon as she got her first real taste of "regular" people as customers, she was hooked.
"For me, the human component is of intrinsic importance to jewelry design. Yes, I find inspiration in the materials, and the methods used to manipulate them. But without a person in mind--even if that person is merely imagined or archetypal--the design will not come alive for me. I need to feel the person behind the beautiful object."