Rahya Blackwell

Rahya Blackwell
United States
State / Region

Talent/work rate per hour
My work rate per hour depends on the job and project. I cover so many different mediums; it is difficult to group all of them.

Launched in 2011, Rahya Jewelry Design was created with the strong influence of nature and organic form. Rahya's unique vision and strong aesthetic are translated into each of her Collections. Influenced by mid century modern design, her jewelry truly captures timeless composition, celebrating simplicity and integration with nature.

Educated as a bench jeweler, receiving her BFA in Metals and Jewelry from Savannah College of Art and Design, she also studied at Parsons School of Design and Chicago Institute of Art.

Originally born and raised in New Orleans, her upbringing served as an important role in her life long passion for design. Attending New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Rahya was submersed in an environment bursting with like minded artists and an openly creative culture. Her mother, an accomplished architect and father, a skillfully handy businessman, creating was not a foreign concept.

Rahya's love for the outdoors and nature ultimately drew her out west. Surrounded by the beautiful Hill Country in central Texas, she currently lives in Austin where she designs and produces in her home studio.

Our readers would love to get to know you more Rahya. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?

Growing up in New Orleans and attending an art high school, I was always heavily entrenched in the artistic world. My love for small and intricate objects was nurtured in my parent's local hardware store. Not really understanding what everything was used for, the nuts and bolts and hinges, etc. were my medium. My mother an architect by trade and my father a gifted builder who’s specialty is furniture, designing was never a challenge or a far reach.

Rahya, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Designer?

My passion has always been jewelry. Starting in middle school, I often sold my wire wrapped jewelry to friends moms and at local stores in New Orleans. After graduating in the Metals and Jewelry BFA program at Savannah College of Art and Design the making and selling took to a whole new form. I deeply enjoy the design process just as much as the business side.

Who is your inspiration in life Rahya? How do you keep inspired?

My artist friends have always been an inspiration to me. Being surrounded with people who push you and force you to grow-even question yourself-is so important as a designer.

We all make mistakes Rahya; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Designer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
First starting out as a young designer, it's sometimes hard to figure out and define your self-worth as an artist. Knowledge takes time, and time is money. I wish I had figured this out sooner.

Rahya , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Designer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?

This is difficult. But I am incredibly organized and focused, so there are very few times where I feel I have not followed through to represent my brand in the way it should. I would say written organization is key; lists, calendars, even reminders for the simplest of tasks is not unreasonable.

Please tell us Rahya, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Designer?

Manufacturing has been the most challenging regarding strategizing. There are so many components to producing jewelry, and being as hands on and fastidious in design as I am, it can be extremely tedious.

Rahya, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I don't collaborate well with others. Everyone who knows me well knows this. It's definitely a weakness of mine, and can destroy a creative flow between designers. I used to do some freelance work as a CAD designer and putting my aesthetic in their pieces opened the client's scope of ideas. Ultimately it was not my work, but theirs and as a CAD designer I should have simply been the decoder to their ideas.

Rahya, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Designer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
When I was living in New Orleans designing and producing jewelry, a fashion company had contacted me the night before their runway show. Apparently, the jewelry designer they had on board did a no-show. As a newly beginning jewelry designer, I was so excited that I was found. The fashion show was unbelievable, and seeing my line walk down the runway was a feeling like no other.

Rahya, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I think as people, as we grow and become adults, who we are and what we like becomes more clear. I take pride that my collection is cohesive and truly looks created from me. I have cravings to explore as an artist and try to use other mediums like painting or photography to explore these. As an artist, you have to keep growing and exercise your creative brain to keep it in shape. Exploring new techniques can be difficult but is also so exciting, all the while keeping my collection cohesive.

What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Designer?

Being true to your style is the most important thing as a jewelry designer. I love fashion and create jewelry that I wear. I appreciate and admire other work from designers, but ultimately it is not my design or style. You have to stay true to yourself and tap into what inspires you because that is the root of what makes you unique. 

Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am always open to collaboration! I might not be the strongest candidate for it (stated above), but I am always open to new challenges and networking opportunities.

Now for the best part Rahya! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photo Credits:
Photographer: Zack Garcia - zackgarcia16@gmail.com
Model: Niki - nikiklus@gmail.com