Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Meet Rachel, the designer behind Ray Ann’s colorful jewelry

I recently discovered that a friend from high school, Rachel Najarian, creates and sells colorfully beaded jewelry locally in Toledo. I jumped at the chance to borrow some of her pieces to be the inspiration for some outfits and to support a local artist!

I picked out a turquoise and coral necklace and layered it with a multi-strand necklace of turquoise, blue, white and brown. I knew these colors would go well with this amazing fringed skirt that I scored at an estate sale. I added a gold wire-wrapped ring with a beautiful stone, also from Rachel, a coral bag and tribal-inspired sandals.

I like the exotic tribal feel of Rachel’s jewelry that’s bold and adventurous. The pieces bring to mind tropical vacations to faraway places and laidback music festivals. I can imagine wearing this first outfit to jam at Bonnaroo, but without the heels.

I chose two more multi-strand necklaces that I layered and used to add color to a monochromatic outfit of black and white printed lounge pants and gladiator heels. I grabbed another one of Rachel's wire-wrapped rings with a black and white bead. The combination resulted in an urban, boho look that’s casually cool.

*Scroll down for more pictures of the outfits! 

Meet Rachel

I connected with the aspiring jewelry designer from South Toledo to learn more about Ray Ann’s Designs by Rachel Najarian.

How did you start making jewelry?
I’ve been making jewelry for about two years. It started with a class I took on wire wrapped rings at a Coyote Bead in Bowling Green. From then on it was all I wanted to do and I started playing around with different ideas. Gail, the woman who owns the shop, was very helpful and would offer tips on different ways of doing things and I continue to take classes. I still have a lot to learn but that's the exciting part!

I thought it would be fun to just make jewelry for myself, friends and family but people kept saying I should sell it. So I started selling at the The Arts Commission’s Art Walks in downtown Toledo last summer and it was awesome! I had a table at the Apple Butter Fest and a few smaller shows but I look forward to attending many more in the future.

I have completely fallen in love with making jewelry and it's such an awesome feeling seeing someone else wearing my piece and enjoy it as much as I do. I work downtown at Ye Olde Durty Bird and see quite a few girls come in, along with the girls I work with, wearing things I've made!
What inspires you in your jewelry designs?
I've always loved seed beads and the multiple colors and sizes you can get them in are never-ending. My friend Joni (Johnson, who manages the Humans of Toledo Facebook page) had on this cool necklace. It was long and had multiple chains in different colors. I said that I bet I could make something like that but use seed beads, so I did and that was my first necklace! I love mixing the seed beads with gold and silver pieces as well.

I love peacock feathers and bright colors. Also, I'm really into the tribal style jewelry! I've recently started making long shoulder-dusting earrings that remind me of feathers and I just made an awesome tribal inspired necklace.
What’s next for Ray Ann’s Designs?
I have a Facebook page and Etsy store that I use to share pictures of and sell my jewelry. I will be at the next two Art Walks on August 28 and September 25 in downtown Toledo. My plan is to get my jewelry in some local shops, salons and get into more art shows. I’d really like to make this a career for myself!

Want to shop Rachel’s jewelry? Then visit her at the Art Walks outside of Ye Olde Durty Bird on August 28 and September 25 from 5 to 9 p.m. or on Facebook or Etsy! If you’re a local shop or salon owner and you’re interested in carrying Ray Ann’s Designs in your store, please contact Rachel by email at raynajarian@gmail.com.

See more of the outfits inspired by Ray Ann's Designs by Rachel Najarian here: 

The Details
Tank: Old Navy, past season, similar here
Suede skirt: Melanzona, thrifted, similar here, I also recommend eBay or Etsy
Sandals: Unlisted, past season, similar here and here
Coral bag: Akira, past season, similar here and here 
Black top: Express, past season, similar here and here
Black and white pants: Joe Fresh at JCPenney, past season, similar here and here
Gladiator heels: Delicious, past season, similar here and here
Black bag: Merona, similar here

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