Seattle-based jewelry designer Rachael Byers’s style is simple. Her brand Rachael Ryen Jewelry modernizes classic designs with vibrant colors and elegant cuts. Striking a balance between costume and fine jewelry, her delicate designs create a subtle statement that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. She uses a mix of gold vermeil, gold-filled, and sterling silver with semiprecious gemstones and diamonds. Taking inspiration from a recent trip to the Maldives, this season’s collection focuses on rich turquoise, light pink, and sandy white shades.
Where is your studio?
My studio is actually in our loft apartment downtown. I love being in the center of the city as it enables me to stay in tune with my customers, closely observing how fashion trends are playing out.
What is your earliest memory of designing?
I’ve always loved fashion and clothing—from the time I was four or five I refused to wear anything I didn’t pick out on my own. The very first thing I ever designed was a simple slip dress for a school dance. Unfortunately my sewing skills weren’t up to par with my design ambitions, so the end result was a dress with an asymmetrical hem (not intentional) and one armhole. Needless to say I didn’t wear that dress to the dance, but I did continue my love for design that eventually led me to jewelry.
What do you do to get yourself in a creative headspace when you're feeling stuck?
Typically my creative blocks are a result of being too stressed, so my go-to solution is a run. If that doesn’t work, I’ll bake something. I find my best designs come to me when I’m not forcing it.
Five things you can’t work without:
Pliers for creating and fixing pieces.
My cell phone to stay connected to clients and suppliers.
Coffee to keep me awake.
And Brian, my incredibly supportive fiancée.
What is your favorite thing about your studio?
The space itself is incredibly inspiring as it has some pretty unique details, including exposed beams and hardwood floors dating back to the early 1900s. It’s very open and bright, which keeps me inspired.
Where can we find your pieces, and where would you like us to be able to find them in the future?
Currently my line is carried at Show Pony in Fremont, and select designs can be found at Anthropologie. You can also find them on my website. I’d love to see the line in some more local boutiques and eventually in Nordstrom. Growing up in Seattle, it’s always been a dream of mine to walk in and see my collection carried by such an iconic store.