Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Gold Mirrored Acrylic Soul Glo Earrings
In North Carolina, over two hundred years ago in 1799, the son of German farmer Johannes Reith (a/k/a John Reed) unknowingly discovered a large gold nugget on their land. 

Subsequently, this unearthing led to the erection of one of the USA’s first gold mines, the Reed Gold Mine.  North Carolina is also home to featured jewelry designer Rachel Stewart.

Jewelry making is as much about a jeweler’s act of self-expression as it is about an expression of beauty.  Each designer imparts something of his or her personal experiences onto their jewelry collections whether that is people they know, places they have traveled, or their personal heritage.

The offspring of musicians Stewart is a lover of the soulful sounds of Phyllis Hyman, Angela Winbush, and Cherelle.  

Her bold fashion jewelry of solid brass, mirrored acrylic and wooden beads is an interplay of commanding African-inspired spiritually and a fun homage to African-American and 80s iconography such as afro picks, cassette tapes and colloquialisms like 'Fly', 'Natural' and 'Young Gifted and Black.'
Stewart Models her Solid Brass Cuff Bracelet
African symbols of Neteru Kings such as her Dwennimmen Adinkra Earrings that signify strength and wisdom; the Ankh Cross Earrings that symbolize life; and her Gye Nyame Earrings that means I fear none except for God are laser cut from walnut or cherry wood as well as gleaming mirrored acrylic.

“I am stuck in the 70s and 80s.  I love vintage dresses and caftans like the ones Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company wore.  I loved her big jewelry and house dresses and yes I thought she was fly,” says the wife and mom. 

“In 2009 I learned how to make peacock feather earrings, which I sold from my blog Target Queen.  After that I began expanding on my design style.  Major jewelry designers don’t have African-American women in mind so I create designs like my 'Natural' nameplate necklace a piece that lets everyone know what you are about.”

While Stewart’s striking brass cuff bracelets, wood dangle earrings and acrylic brooch pins will make heads turn, I feel that these glossy items also serve as a glistening reminder to be true to oneself and embrace who you are.

“I am most creative at night so I do my designing and sketching late at night.  I have a studio in my house; it’s not a glamorous life but I love being my own boss and being able to take care of my family, “she says.
Walnut Wood Gye Nyame Pendant Necklace

“I have noticed that my customers are from all over the world; of all ages.  I just make things I like and go from there.”
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