No...her name is NOT Gemma, but if you address Creative Director and CEO of Gemma Redux, Rachel Dooley, with this title she won't hesitate to respond with the friendliest of greetings. After all, technicalities like "Gemma" versus "Rachel" seem insignificant when you create jewelry that establishes a name for itself, one that screams elegance with a relieving touch of mishap. "Gemma Redux" actually means"reconstructive gems" in Latin, which are exactly what we witnessed when we wandered into her studio in Midtown, New York.Her studio much reflects the fantasy girl she envisions wearing her jewelry. One version of the Gemma Redux "girl," as she can be described, is barefoot and beautiful, enjoying the finer things in life without a focus on luxury. Much like Rachel's target for Gemma Redux, her studio is lighthearted, managing a laid-back atmosphere even in the midst of finer things, some of which include necklaces made of agate, lapis, and malachite. The magazine clippings below have all inspired Rachel's designs. Especially the girl bottom center with the juxtaposing ponytail and black cocktail dress--glamour, without the fuss.
The photo directly above actually inspired Rachel's serious beginning in jewelry design back in 2005. Like many others, she questioned why she would buy a necklace like the one showcased, if she could make something similar on her own? The difference between her and many others, however, is she actually committed to her curiosity, and wow, what incredible jewelry has resulted!
The one above is the Empress necklace, made out of petrified wood. This is a perfect example of Rachel's use of irregular, rough edges, finished in the chicestmanner and perfect with any scoop next or wide collar.
We couldn't leave without snapping a picture of this combination of Gemma Redux's Hesse necklace, as worn by Blake Lively (click to view picture) in this season of Gossip Girl, a show that has really helped propel the brand. Rachel mentioned how flawlessly she thinks Blake pulls off her jewelry, as most often it is the accent to a well put together outfit and disheveled ponytail.
While we had to leave Gemma Redux jewelry behind, we walked out with something worth much more, and that was another reminder to keep following our dreams. Rachel, a former law student who moved to New York to study at Fordham, decided, upon graduation to turn her hobby of making jewelry into a profession. If it weren't for New York's inspiring energy, and technical resources within the Garment District, she would have never followed through with her passion. So she started out making jewelry for friends and went forward enrolling in trade shows until finally she made it.We had to smile as she, so perfectly, commented on New York, "There is something about being here--you cant do anything regular."