We're delighted to speak with Rachel Ward, designer of the beautiful Rue Roosevelt jewellery. We discuss the creation of RR, ethics in the jewellery space, what inspires her, and her goals and dreams for future.
How’d you get started in jewellery design and how did that lead to creating your own business?
Even as a little grasshopper I have always loved jewellery. I was a big-time tomboy but seeing my beautiful Oma and Mum always rock the hell out of their gold jewels gave me a real love for gold jewels early on.
Starting up Rue was awfully daunting as you really, truly never feel qualified (still don’t) to enter into a space where so many talented humans are killing their crafts, but I suppose the desire to create something tangible for myself and to be my own boss were aspects of the game that tipped me over edge when it came to getting out there.
As a designer, where do you draw your inspiration from when making a new piece of jewellery?
Vintage jewels are my numero uno sources of inspiration. Our vintage jewels are a really unique and special part of Rue, so being exposed to lots of one-off, unique pieces with stories and imperfections gets the creative juices flowing.
What do you want women to feel when wearing your jewellery?
Beautiful and confident and all of the good things! I get the ultimate kick from happy customers enjoying their pieces, especially the ease of the waterproof jewels, and feeling like Rue is contributing positively in a minute way to the lives of the badass individuals who wear us.
Sustainability is a core part of the Rue Roosevelt brand. Can you tell us how you ensure that all the materials used are ethically sourced? Are there any challenges you face?
Making ethically produced jewels is such a driving force for us and it certainly comes with its challenges. Finding a manufacturer with a BSCI accreditation to ensure fair and safe working conditions for our talented team of makers was stop number one. We have an epic team of jewellers in Hong Kong who have been in the game for over 30+ years who reached out to me and have made these steps so much easier for me to prioritise.
On a smaller scale, we have implemented a number of procedures to ensure sustainability, many of which we have adopted along the way. Small batch drops to ensure we don’t have a heap of stock is an easy, sustainable practice we now live by. The inclusion of our vintage jewels to rehome orphaned jewels and sustainable packaging choices are a few others.
In some respects, it’s a big, ol’ trust fall with manufacturers, but in the next few years I’d love to get over there and meet the gang behind the magic. Shake some hands and hand out some serious thank you’s for making my business what it is.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
Working with other, likeminded small businesses is up there on a golden pedestal. Expanding my business with a helping hand or two and continuing my journey with the beautiful Kinga Csilla team, duh.