Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Gemma Redux designer Rachel Dooley spent most of her childhood in a constant state of creative exploration. Whether she was crafting lanyard necklaces to sell at the community pool, smashing glass with a hammer for impromptu stained glass mosaics, or sewing and painting her own clothing, Rachel always explored the full potential of her creativity. It was Rachel’s interest in raw materials that led her to study mechanical engineering and material science at the University of Michigan, and her fiery spirit that took her to law school at Fordham University. While at Fordham, Rachel reflected back on her college design classes – the creative passion she had as a girl never left her, and it was her continuing desire to create and explore that steered her life on a path she hadn’t planned.
Taking a break from studying for the New York Bar Exam, Rachel made her first mixed-metal necklace from vintage and industrial materials. Gemma Redux was born. Within months, Rachel’s designs were appearing in publications such as Harper’s BAZAAR, WWD, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Zink, and were featured on the successful fashion show, Gossip Girl. It didn’t take long for others to take notice, and trend-setters, such as Cameron Diaz, Blake Lively, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jessica Alba and Molly Sims, were seen wearing Gemma Redux. Rachel was also selected in 2009 to be one of twelve designers in the innagural class of the CFDA Fashion Incubator, a program established by the CFDA and NYCEDC to support the next generation of great American designers.
Rachel’s focus on exploring new stones and gems to blend into her collections continues to give Gemma Redux customers something new, season after season. Rachel explains this inspiration by expressing:“My passion is to find new materials and create unique silhouettes that evoke a sense of fantasy and discovery.” Gemma Redux collections are a combination of ideas and inspirations: geometric shapes and mathematical repetitions, a contrast of masculine industrial metals and shapes with feminine faceted stones and delicate metal elements. Despite these juxtapositions, the finished pieces are always fluid, serpentine, and delicate forms that organically envelop the body.
The determined focus of Gemma Redux is to empower each woman with confidence and femininity. “Jewelry should be 100% fantasy and should make you feel excited to put in on.” Find Rachel’s jewelry on her website Gemma Redux.