For a young and successful entrepreneur, life can be busy. With a budding career and a growing fan base, Rebecca Mir Grady is pumping out some seriously captivating collections. Her popularity brings with it a heightened demand for her time and energy, so rather than sit down with her, I corresponded with her via email for a little Q and A with the blossoming jeweler and artist.
How did you get started on designing? What was the process to get to where you are now?
I learned metalsmith through classes at my high school, and an apprenticeship with a local jewelry designer. I’ve been making jewelry ever since. In college, I studied sculpture and visual arts, and that has definitely influenced my creative designing process. I also worked for another jewelry designer, doing metalsmith and managing the studio, which taught me so much about running a business. After toying with the idea for a bit, I launched my own jewelry line in the Fall of 2013. It’s a lot of work but I love it!
How would you describe your brand?
I make well crafted jewelry for adventurers. The pieces in the line are made by hand in Chicago, from reclaimed precious metals - primarily Sterling Silver and 14k Gold.
What are your inspirations?
Traveling has always been a great inspiration for me. Last fall I had the chance to go to Northern Sweden for an artist residency and it was amazing! I’m playing around with sketches that I made on that trip for the next collection.
What are some things that you do or that interest you, aside from designing?
I also make visual art, I do a lot of photography (comes in handy for photographing the jewelry…) and I also make books - both writing and illustration. I’ll be debuting a new mini comic at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo later this year.
What was your brand like in the very beginning?
The very first collection was only 25 pieces. So with the next two collections - each adding another 50 pieces to the line - I was able to really expand the line. Now, there’s a little something for everyone.
Where would you like to see your brand in the next 5-10 years?
I’d love to open a shop/showroom space.
If you are sold in any shops, which ones?
You can find my work in Chicago at Morlen Sinoway, in Portland, Oregon at Alder and Co., in Pittsburgh at The Shop in East Liberty, in San Francisco at AB Fits, and online at Bishop Collective and Madesmith.
When you get in a creative rut, what do you do to get out of it?
I try to give myself a break. I go on a lot of long walks by the lake, and read a lot of books.
What are some things you have learned over time in the business?
The best way to succeed is to be flexible and diversify. For me, that means making my business work in a number of different ways. My business is three-fold, one part retail, one part wholesale, and one part custom projects.
Which part of the city is your favorite?
The lake! I grew up next to the ocean, so give me a lot of water to stare at and I’ll be happy.
What do you wish you could do more of?
Travel, always. There are so many places to go and see!
What was your childhood like? Where did you grow up, family, siblings, etc?
I grew up in Maine. My sisters and I spent a lot of time with my dad on his boat, and we were always at the beach. I loved it. I try to get back for a visit as often as I can.
Find out more about her talented work through her various social media channels:
By Leslie Dicarlo