Creating jewelry is both a creative outlet and a passion for artist Boo Balkan Foster. Each piece is made by hand in her West Seattle studio. After designing and creating jewelry for decades Boo took the advice of her friends and family and started Balkan Designs in 2009.
Boo is of Jicarilla Apache and Makah (adopted) descent and grew up on the Olympic Peninsula in the town of Sequim. It was here that she fell in love with the outdoors and discovered her love of rocks. As a child she would comb the beaches with her grandma searching for agates. She remembers sitting at her papa's table and doing Native beadwork and in college twisting her dad's scrap copper from his electrical jobs into one of a kind pieces of jewelry.
Inspiration is abundant for Boo's creations. She is drawn to clean lines, texture, traditional bead/silverwork of Native America and the power of natural gemstones and color. The beaches of the Puget Sound, the Cascade Mountains and the amazing rivers provide endless inspiration that transfers to her jewelry line. Always aware that jewelry is often gifted to a loved one and carries sentimentality, Boo respectfully and carefully creates pieces to be treasured for years to come.
Boo holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and a Masters in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University. She has been an educator with Seattle Public Schools since 1994.
When not creating jewelry, Boo enjoys white water kayaking, skiing, and camping but most of all loves spending time with her husband Mark and their two daughters Raine and Bliss.