First person fabulous: Roxy Rabb

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I first met local jewelry designer Roxy during Fashion Friday at the Birmingham Public Library and am so excited that she showed at this year’s Birmingham Fashion Week (BFW)! Her craftsmanship (featuring materials such as leather, hammered silver, and semi-precious stones like coral, smoky quartz and turquoise) is amazing, and this conversation is long overdue. She’s yet another example of the fabulous talent we have right here in the state, and if you’re in the market for unique statement jewelry and accessories I hope you will check out her pieces.

How’d you get started? It’s been 10 years. At first I just did it to play around and do something for distraction because I had little kids at home. I’ve always loved making things, and making something out of something else. When my kids were really little I made all their clothes. As they grew up I started dabbling with jewelry and I loved it. People are like “How long have you been doing this?” FOREVER, is what it feels like.

Do you design full-time? No. I eventually would love to solely survive on my jewelry business and to be able to help more people in the community by hiring them. That’s my dream: to have a substantial business. I teach classes for a lot of techniques and I enjoy that. I’ve also been working on the Betsy Prince Charity Bazaar every moment I’m not with the kids, getting things ready for that. We have ten racks full of gently used or never worn donated clothing, tons of shoes and accessories, and more scarves than I’ve ever seen donated. It’s an exciting night. [The Bazaar will be held May 2-3 and benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama For more info, click HERE.]

Her inspiration? You know, I don’t have one particular thing. Sometimes I look at a bead or and I just think “This is how I’m gonna do it.” I’m visual and have tons of ideas floating in my head. I might see one bead and an entire piece comes together, and then when I sit down to make it, it changes.

How’d you get involved with BFW? I worked with Elizabeth Singleton; she was named an Emerging Designer last year. So she was the up and coming designer this year. One of her favorite models is a friend of mine, and one thing just led to another through talking. I offered [to provide jewelry] and she readily accepted.

She sent me her mood board and pictures of the fabrics and told me what her inspiration was. So I made double the pieces that she needed just because I didn’t know what would go for sure. But I had certain pieces that I knew for sure she’d use. I had a lot of vintage, big glass pearls and just some unusual pieces. I had these giant copper beads, lots of vintage golds, blushes and coppers which went along with her color board so I thought it’d be perfect.

What was the day of the show like? I was excited, I was nervous, I was apprehensive. My heart was pounding as the first girl turned the corner, and I was nervous for Elizabeth too. But it was amazing! Elizabeth did a great job. I was so incredibly excited that I could’ve jumped up and down and screamed, but I just sat there quietly and took pictures. (Laughs)

Why do you think BFW is so important to the Birmingham “scene”/fashion industry? I think it’s important becausea lot of people don’t know how to market themselves. The opening night of BFW was all about up and coming local designers. Everybody kind of needs help in the beginning. I think it promotes that camaraderie between artists and that’s what we need. There’s enough to go around for everybody. There shouldn’t be cattiness or extreme competition. No two people think the same. I think we need to have each other’s backs – we’re all artists. I think BFW promotes that.

Roxy’s pieces can be found at Betsy Prince in Brookwood Village, Harper Lane (Riverchase Galleria and at Huntsville’s Parkway Place Mall), at Gallery One in Montgomery and via her Etsy shop 7th Avenue Turquoise. Prices range from $20-$500 depending on the location. She also designs specialty pieces for weddings and accepts custom orders. Also, if you’re interested in learning how to make jewelry you can take one of her classes at Bead Biz in Helena (check the website for class schedules and sign-up information).

Images courtesy Roxy Rabb


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