Meet the Designer: Ruta Reifen
Our Ruta Reifen Trunk Show is almost here! Until then, learn a bit more about the designer being these gorgeous pieces.
How did you get started making jewelry?
At the age of 17, my family and I were living in London. I was studying drama and acting full- time after being a theater actress for all my teen years. I took an evening class at Central Saint Martins College of Art in Goldsmithing and completely fell in love with the craft. It was love at first solder! I went to every class I could, and found myself in the studio at CSM every evening and weekends.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?
I wanted to be a lawyer. Making the case for social justice. It was more about taking the stage and giving impactful speeches, like in the movies. However, the metalsmithing studio stole my heart at seventeen, and the rest is history.
How long have you been in the trade?
I started a small silver jewelry business in my sophomore year of undergrad. After graduating from grad school at RISD, I worked for other brands in the industry as a designer, a maker, a production manager and creative director for over a decade before starting my current fine jewelry line - Ruta Reifen Jewelry. So, it's been 15yrs total.
What’s your favorite part about being a jewelry designer?
I love selling my jewelry, because it means someone selected a piece I made and is enjoying it. What a wonderful, beautiful and intimate exchange; I make in my studio, you wear on your neck/ear/hand. After all, it's a very personal connection even with total strangers.
Who is another jewelry designer that you admire/do you have a mentor in the jewelry industry?
I adore design houses like Hemmerle, creative use of alternative materials, and cutting edge, designs or Taffin for their incredible use of color.
Do you have a favorite piece that you have made?
Yes! a ring that's part of a new collection coming out summer 2021. Inspired by the glass work of Tiffany and La Farge incorporated with coral-like texture in a very comfortable-to-wear design. It comes in ten colorways.
Do you have a favorite metal or stone that you prefer to work with?
14 karat yellow gold is by far my favorite metal to work with. It forms as I wish, still strong for durability.
Do trends in the industry affect the way you design a new collection?
It's always great to follow engagement ring trends. Popular gemstone shapes or settings are good to keep in mind when designing a collection.
What’s your favorite piece of jewelry from your own personal collection?
My personal collection consists of four pieces including my engagement ring and wedding band. For several reasons, I come from a line of women that barely put lipstick on let alone a string of pearls, secondly we have no “family jewels” as my grandparents left Europe post second world war with no precious belongings. Decorating others is my raison d'etre.