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It seems like you have done so much what is your proudest moment?
I started on my path to being a designer nearly 11 years ago and all I wanted was to be recognised in my field as a great designer and maker. I am proud to say my work has been exhibited at the British Museum and The Victoria & Albert Museum. I now have a worldwide following and it’s great to see people collecting my work.
I have always collected jewellery and I am quite a sentimental person. I like the idea that in 100 years’ time people can see my hallmarks and still enjoy wearing the REW collections. Having worked at one of the world’s top fashion houses as a designer and with my formal training, I was frustrated seeing the same kind of country themed mass produced jewellery. Jewellery is something we keep for our lifetime and then pass it on to our loved ones. Designs should be well thought out and animal forms should represent accurately the animal they are modelled on.
What is your specialism?
After leaving university with a 1st Class Honours degree I embarked on my formal training in silversmithing and goldsmithing and specialised as a wax modeller.
I have noticed your animals are incredibly life like and 3D. How do you do it?
I often get asked this. I suppose it’s a gift that I can visualise an animal’s form and recreate it in 3D. A favourite part of my job is when I get asked to do someone’s pet. It’s a pressure making sure that I get the proportions and the character right as no one knows their dog, cat or horse like they do. I have received flowers, thank you cards and there have even been tears of joy too when my client has received their piece, which just makes my job even more special.
Next Month I have been invited to show my latest silversmithing work at the Goldsmiths Company alongside some of the world’s top silversmiths. I have some exciting new animal designs so watch this space.
Have you always wanted to do what you do?
I have always been creative. I used to decorate my ponies and their stables with weird and wonderful things when I was a little girl and I was always customising my riding outfits. I had a difficult decision when I went to university trying to choose between becoming an architect or a jewellery and /or fashion designer.
Why handmade in Britain?
O Gosh! Well I am so proud to wave the British flag. We were once the greatest manufacturing company in the world leading the way with innovations… Sadly no more.
I have had no desire to cut costs and get my designs manufactured abroad and my clientele appreciate our unique appeal. With so many foreign imports and a lot of companies saying “Hand finished in Britain” REW product are 100% manufactured here in Britain, all in-house too and we are proud to shout about it.
So Rachel with such a growing business who’s the real Rachel?
I love art of all kinds from contemporary to historical. As a designer I feel it’s so important to not get swept away with our commercial world. Art should be individual, and we as individuals should celebrate that. I have a bit of a soft spot for contemporary paintings and I am planning a 4×2 meter painting for my new office.
What do you do you your spare time?
Spare time what’s that (laughs). I Love working, sad I know. I embarked on another business adventure 12 months ago so that takes my spare time but I am a country girl so I try as much as possible to get outside and get my vitamin D. I love skiing and if I could, I would do this full time.
What would you say to anyone who wants to be in business as a designer?
I think about my businesses around the clock so you really have to love what you are doing. Take advice but always go with your gut feeling. Treat people how you want to be treated, good manners cost nothing and get you everywhere. Lastly get yourself a good team around you who think like you do. Recognise your weaknesses and make sure someone in your team has that as a strength.