Zabe Bent

Owner & Designer

Location: San Francisco, CA

"I have been designing and creating in various media since I was just a little girl sitting at my grandmother's sewing table and borrowing my grandfather's drafting pens."

I am a jewelry designer, urban planning nerd and travel enthusiast.  After more than 12 years in the urban development and transportation sectors, this past year I decided to tilt the balance between my two loves: urban transportation and artistic design. Now an entrepreneur, I focus my efforts on building a business around sleek, modern, handmade jewelry. In my new endeavor, Bent Metals, I use images from my environment, my travels and my experiences to inspire the unique pieces I create.

I have been designing and creating in various media since I was just a little girl sitting at my grandmother's sewing table and borrowing my grandfather's drafting pens. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, I migrated to New York City as a child with dreams of artistry dancing in my head even then. Over the years I’ve lived in quite a few places (New Rochelle, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, San Francisco) and worked in quite a few fields (real estate, community development, urban transportation). The common thread has always been a backdrop of various art forms:  watercolor painting, comic book sketching, floor plan concepts, and well, oodles of doodles.

Upon moving to San Francisco, I reconnected with the love of metalwork I discovered in middle school metal shop and began making jewelry in what little free time I had.  My day job shepherding several of San Francisco’s most challenging, innovative transportation studies and projects kept me pretty busy. Making the choice to focus on the art world rather than public policy and engineering was a difficult one. Only after completing a major effort – analyzing the feasibility of a potential congestion pricing program in San Francisco – did I begin to explore the allure of transitioning from artsy hobbyist to design entrepreneur.

I couldn’t turn my back on urban development, however. Each quarter, a charitable organization is designated to receive a portion of proceeds from my sales. In addition, I feel somewhat obliged to make good use of my experience and my degrees: I recently launched a part-time consulting practice. Though it can be difficult to manage the balance between my consulting work and my design business, my dedication to both endeavors spurs me on.