We are delighted to share with you our one-on-one with owner and creator Ashley Rae Alvarez, where we talk shop and really dive into the core of her brand.
Ashley describes Raebird as “Timeless heirloom jewelry made with love and intention”. She prides herself with her brand’s appeal to all walks of life, no matter the demographic. Stating that she: “thinks her customers are drawn to the clean lines and beautiful stones”. With each piece providing its own story and a connection to earth, what’s not to love?! We hope you take a look at her work and words and feel inspired by Ashley’s wearable fine art within this brand highlight.
Ashley has been making jewelry for as long as she can remember, from macramé bracelets for her mom in elementary school, to metalsmithing courses (as an elective) while studying Graphic design in college. Ashley told us how those metalsmithing courses would change her career path.
Ashley: “I was drawn to the idea of using fire and big heavy tools to create beautiful little pieces of jewelry. I didn’t think I would fall in love with it like I did, and it made me question my graphic design future? I couldn’t imagine myself sitting at a desk building logos and websites for the rest of my life. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design and had instant plans to use my new skills to build a jewelry business”.
Ashley’s story of inspiration started with the love of family heirloom jewelry and watching her step-father as a farrier. From the sentimental aspect of a small piece of art when worn, telling its own story, and how special that is to be a part of. To the Blacksmithing aspect of her work inspired by those days watching her step-father forge handmade shoes from steel.
These events really convey Raebird’s story. Told in old patina on jewelry, little imperfections that show it was handmade, patterns, odd numbers, and geometric shapes that appear within her designs.
Raebird jewelry went live on Etsy in 2009 and has evolved and grown into the flourishing business it is today. Nowadays Ashley is setting her intentions in stone and silver (and other precious metals) in her loft studio in her home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This space is a work of art in and of itself, where each and every piece is one of a kind, fabricated by hand, and sold in limited release collections . Ashley genuinely puts her heart and soul into each piece. So much so that she has a collection of some of her work she just couldn’t let go of, and we don’t blame her!
Ashley says “her daughter will have a pretty epic Raebird collection someday.”
When we asked Ashley what a great day in the studio looks like for her she delivered an answer you can really visualize and feel.
Ashley: “I turn on a good podcast or music, and pull out some beautiful stones from my collection, draw up my designs. Then I get to work cutting and forming metal. I fire up the torch, and start melting the solder (a metal alloy, usually made of tin and lead, that is melted with a hot iron). Each piece is worked carefully with a hammer and file.
By the end of the day I have several pieces in process, and waiting for the next step. Sometimes at night after my daughter is in bed I slip back up to the studio just to look at how much I accomplished and what I will work on tomorrow. It’s a pretty great feeling to love what you do and be excited to do it everyday!”
We Love Ashley’s origin story for Raebird, and we hope you enjoyed getting to know the person behind the art and the love story she creates in her work. As always we love to hear from our readers so please share your thoughts with us below!
Conquer your day!
We have been fans of Raebird Jewelry Company since we discovered Ashley’s work many years ago. Her hand-forged, one-of-a-kind jewelry really speaks for itself.