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team spotlight | RACHEL

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The Christina Kober Designs team is amazing. We are a close-knit group that sometimes feels more like a family than a business - a great mix of dynamic, dedicated and talented women, that bring different backgrounds and experiences to build a very strong team.

In our Team Spotlight series, I will be introducing you to our team one at a time. I am so excited to share who we are, the team that brings Christina Kober Designs to life. We are the people who hand-stamp, solder and polish your jewelry, the ones that answer your questions, and the ones that package up your orders with love. My hope is that you will see more of what makes us who we are, what drives us and connect to our stories of what inspires us.

I am so excited to introduce you to Rachel! She is one of the newest members to our team and recently graduated from UGA's metals department. She is a very talented metalsmith and amazingly creative. Rachel is constantly surprising me with random bits of pop culture and is a fellow lover of true crime podcasts. Without further ado, I'd like you to meet Rachel!

Rachel on a boat

WHAT DO YOU DO AT CHRISTINA KOBER DESIGNS?

At Christina Kober Designs, I am the production assistant. My usual day is getting the newest batch of pieces that need to be made, pre-stamped with love by Christina, and then going about the finishing of the pieces. Each piece of jewelry has its own unique order of operations that need to be done in order for it to be done properly, and it’s been a fun adventure learning all the different processes for all of the many pieces Christina has available. It’s always exciting to come in every day and see what I will have the opportunity to make that day!

When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in jewelry making?

I decided to pursue a career in jewelry making after I fell in love with it once I took the Intro to Jewelry Making class at the University of Georgia. A degree in jewelry wasn’t even something I knew existed! I struggled for a long time trying to decide what my path in life would be. I switched my major many times hoping that each time it would stick. I finally found my way back to my biggest passion, art. The art school at UGA has so many majors available that it’s almost overwhelming. I originally thought I would end up in sculpture, but one day while I was taking a sculpture class, I saw the jewelry building and was intrigued. I took a class in it as soon as I had an opening and the rest is history. I had not been passionate and excited about what I was doing in a very long time, and I am beyond blessed that my crazy path led me to this amazing craft and career.

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU THINK MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT HANDMADE JEWELRY? 

Just how long the process of making is. A wonderful piece of jewelry looks simple on the outside, but getting to that state takes a lot of work and requires a lot of knowledge on the properties of metals. It’s a wonderful discipline, but not an easy one. 

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I have been asked this question many times, and each time, I do not know how to answer it. I really do not know where exactly I get my crazy ideas from. A lot of my work deals with my life and my identity. I try to always make it “light” and “funny though because that is how I’ve always handled the trials and tribulations throughout my life. I make many references to pop culture as well. So maybe that can be my answer from now on; my life experiences and funny/interesting moments in pop culture inspire me.

What is your favorite CKD piece and why?
If you can believe it coming from someone who loves the art of making jewelry, I do not wear very much of it. On my and Grace’s first day, Christina gifted us with a piece from her collection and I chose the karma studs. I chose them because I loved the size (I have very small ears so I can’t have anything too large in them) and the diamond dusting on them was so pretty! Once I put them on, I forget that I even have anything in my ears because they are so lightweight. I love it!

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FREE-TIME ACTIVITIES?

Early on in the pandemic when we were all stuck at home, I did not know what to do with my hands since I could not go to the jewelry studio at school. I picked up crocheting as a way to get out creative energy not knowing that it would be one of my favorite things. I have taught myself (with the help of YouTube) to make little stuffed animal/plushies which I like a lot more than working flat. I also enjoy going to antique stores with my mom and grandma. Ever since I can remember, the three of us have gotten together to do a day of shopping and we take full advantage of that day! I have so many treasured memories from those days and I would not trade them for the world.

What is something you are well known for around the studio?

I’d like to think it’s making people laugh because it’s my favorite thing to do and I just hope everyone else thinks I’m as funny as I think I am. I will also drop anything I’m doing to lend a helping hand or help brainstorm.

What does a “treat yourself” day look like to you?

A “treat myself” day might look a little interesting and different than most would expect. During the week, I am usually go, go, go and on the weekends I spend a lot of time with my grandma and neighbors. This does not really allow for much creation time besides nights. So a “treat myself” day would look like sleeping in, having my morning coffee(s) with my cats, and spending the whole day in my studio making beautiful works of art.

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

The best gift I have ever received is my cat Luna - well, the “okay” from my step-dad to get her was the gift. For my first two years of college, I went to Kennesaw State University. Then I decided to make a switch and transfer to UGA. This meant starting at a new place and not having many people to talk to. I had wanted a cat since I moved away to college and I used this opportunity to beg my step-dad for a cat (my mom was already very excited at the prospect of having a grand-furbaby). On our annual beach trip, we were playing a round of bocce ball, and my step-dad and I were on the same team. In the very last round, he said to me “If you win this for us, you can get a cat”. So naturally, I had to win the game. I threw the heavy ball into the air and it landed directly on top of the little white ball. Talk about a sign… A week later, I had my little white kitty, Luna.

What is your favorite thing to make in the studio and why?

My favorite thing to make in the studio is definitely the wide ring. I would say it is the most ordered ring, and because of that, I have had a lot of opportunities to make them! I think what I like most about it is the transformation. Going through the whole process of making something always makes you appreciate it more because sometimes, you wouldn’t even recognize the ring in the jumble of bits that you put together to make it - I think this ring is a lot like that. So many bits go into this beautiful ring and each time I get to make one, I feel like I get faster and that they look even better than the last time I did it.

Rachel with her cats

Ok, now time for a little quick fire….

Gold or silver?
gold

Diamond dusted or Inspired?
diamond dusted

Savory or sweet?
savory

Receiving gifts or giving gifts?
receiving

Simple or Layered?
layered

Wide ring or Narrow ring?
narrow ring

Coffee or tea?
coffee

Dog or cat?
cat

INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK?
Instagram

SUMMER OR WINTER?
Winter

NEUTRALS OR COLORS?
Colors


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