Brandon Schoolhouse has been designing jewelry since the ’90s, getting his start by making unique pieces for the Beastie Boys. The work he did for the group led to creating more jewelry for celebrities and musicians and eventually, the path led to him founding a company of his very own: Han Cholo. Schoolhouse comes up with incredibly detailed accessories that make a statement for his company. Han Cholo’s offerings include original designs and licensed creations–licenses like Star Wars. Han Cholo has released rings, necklaces, and bracelets inspired by the original trilogy, but today they moved into a new era. It’s Force Friday, and the day is all about releasing products for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Han Cholo’s contribution to Force Friday focuses on the character that is possibly the most popular one at the moment: BB-8.
The Force Awakens may be first and foremost in the minds of fans right now, but like for many many, Schoolhouse’s history with the Star Wars saga stretches way back. The first Star Wars film he saw was A New Hope. He remembers being stunned. “It totally inspired my whole life. Everything from the art design, to the characters, to the story–it really was just embedded in my brain,” Schoolhouse said.
Now it’s several years later, and Schoolhouse is working with Lucasfilm. He said it started because he did some projects for Disney involving their “Block 28” line and Tron. Lucasfilm became familiar with Han Cholo because of that, and when they started collaborating, Schoolhouse said he was “totally ecstatic and ready.” He continued, “I used to always dream of doing designs for Star Wars stuff, so it’s always been on my radar for what I want to create for them.” He said he approaches it from a fan perspective and makes what he wants to see on the market and what he would wear. He pours his fandom into his work. “I’m just blown away that I’m actually creating [jewelry featuring] iconic characters–I put so much work and heart, blood, sweat, and tears into this stuff.”
The labor involved is apparent in the final product. Jewelry from Han Cholo’s line is intricate and closely matches what’s in the films. “That’s something that we totally take pride in. I try to–every piece has to be detailed to the max. Sometimes it works, and sometimes I have to cut down on the detail, but I love including every detail I can.” To help with accuracy, Lucasfilm provides reference images.
When it came to designing pieces based on The Force Awakens, Schoolhouse received references for the characters but no details or spoilers about the plot. Schoolhouse was happy to stay in the dark. He said, “I’m just glad that’s the way it came about, and that I didn’t have to learn anything about it because I want to be watching the movie and be surprised.” The first release from Han Cholo’s The Force Awakens line is the sterling silver BB-8 pendant pictured above (a stainless steel version will be available before Christmas), but approximately six more designs inspired by the next installment will be available in the near future.
You can purchase the sterling silver BB-8 pendant as well as many other pieces of jewelry at Han Cholo’s website. More photos of the pendant and Han Cholo’s Star Wars jewelry are in the below gallery.