Dear Rae is and always will be, a firm favourite of mine. Their brand has been around for quite a while, but they always seem fresh! I love walking into their Woodstock store and every beautiful, simple piece radiates a sense of calm and sophistication. I recently had the pleasure of wearing some pieces from their latest RUMI collection, and I wanted to find out a little more about the inspiration behind the new designs. Here’s what Karin (owner) and Amy (marketing manager) had to say:
Tell me a bit more about the inspiration behind your brand and the style of your jewellery.
KARIN: I started Dear Rae with the intention of making simple, sustainable and elegant jewellery. I always start off my design process with a story that inspires me and the jewellery naturally develops from there. My designs often have a playful element, my hope being that it allows the wearer to make the story their own and for the jewellery to remind them of their memories.
Dear Rae recently launch a beautiful new collection called RUMI. Please tell me a bit about the new designs.
KARIN: RUMI was inspired by a personal journey that I embarked on this year. I went through a challenging season, and it shifted and shaped me. I wanted to design a range that expressed my new understanding of balance in life. The designs hold many opposing shapes, colours and elements, reminding us of the importance of finding our own equilibrium. The RUMI collection inspires me to be brave enough to be my authentic self.
AMY: The RUMI campaign was such a great pleasure to implement and conceptualise. We spent a lot of time considering how we wanted the designs to be presented to our audience and how we wanted them to feel when seeing the lookbook. RUMI is about the self-discovery and journey of women learning to be self-confident, feminine, sexy and strong within ourselves, and we wanted the lookbook to convey precisely this.
What makes your branding stand out?
AMY: Dear Rae’s branding has grown organically over the years. I’m a self-taught marketer so have had to rely a lot on intuition. Over the years at Dear Rae, I’ve had to learn how to balance this with more learnt practical applications of building a brand. I think the authenticity of learning on the job has shown through our channels of marketing, which are mainly social media focussed. Jewellery is such a treasure and we want everyone wearing a Dear Rae piece to feel powerful, beautiful, and unashamedly themselves. Hopefully, our branding represents this.
Who is your Dear Rae girl/guy? Who loves your products?
AMY: At Dear Rae, we have been incredibly lucky to build a following of all ages. Our audience is mainly built of women between the ages of 16 to 65, from all walks of life. And we love it like that! It’s incredible to make products that appeal to all woman, no matter age or background. We have a more affordable product offering with our brass and silver pieces and then as the customer grows they start to invest in buying gold, as well as pieces with precious stones and diamonds. Our male following is consistently growing too. Men often come in to get gifts for the women in their lives and end up leaving with a ring for themselves. Our customers also definitely care about quality, which is great because so do we! Our jewellery is made to wear daily and our customers often tell us how they put on the same jewellery piece every day. This couldn’t make us happier.
What are the challenges that come with your job?
KARIN: I have to flow between the creative and business aspects of Dear Rae. Wearing many different hats can be tough. Some are more comfortable than others but they all challenge me in wonderful ways.
AMY: I spend a lot of time researching on and offline, finding inspiration and going on deep, dark internet safaris. I used to feel that this wasn’t really ‘working’, but now I’ve realised that this exploration is probably one of the most important aspects of staying current as a brand. Keeping yourself inspired means that you keep creating!
Why do you feel branding is an investment into the future of your business?
AMY: You can’t base a business on products alone, because trends and products change over time. It’s your brand that customers grow to trust and know. Your brand personality is what will keep customers loyal over time. Customers resonate with who you are, not only what you sell.
Being an entrepreneur is hard. What advice can you give to the people out there that want to start their own business?
KARIN: Just start! Your idea will develop and grow with your experience. Try and find a mentor to walk the road with you. It can be lonely, and a little bit of guidance and support goes a long way.
What are the 3 greatest attributes that you need to be a happy and successful creative entrepreneur?
KARIN: Determination, Authenticity and Curiosity.
Balance. How do you get it? How do you maintain it?
AMY: This question has been top of my mind the last six months and to be honest, I’m not sure that I’ve found the answer yet. My main piece of advice would be that it’s important to stay creative in your private capacity. Making time for yourself to blossom means that you will bring that same satisfaction to work with you.
KARIN: It is very important to cultivate interests outside of work. I personally find that a clear work and play boundary helps me to be more productive in both arenas.
I make sure I make time for surfing, hiking, yoga, friends and family. Without time off I lose my perspective very quickly.