Meet the Maker: Rachael Compton of by ren

Hi, my name is Rachael. I love jewelry, dancing, and my dog (not in that order). I started by ren two years ago with absolutely no knowledge of how to make jewelry or what the jewelry industry is all about. This may sound oversimplified and unhelpful, but I started my jewelry brand because one day I simply made the decision. In the beginning there were no long nights considering the risks and rewards, no thought-consumed days wondering about the business side of creativity. All of that came later. In the beginning all I thought was, “I love jewelry. How do you make it? How can I learn?” The University of Google along with trial and error taught me everything I know.

I have always loved jewelry and the power that it can hold. Throw on a necklace and get a boost of confidence. Slip on a statement pair of earrings and feel like you can take on the world. We wear it because we love how it makes us feel. Whether it’s an heirloom piece that has been passed down for generations or a quirky flea market find, jewelry is truly a wearable time capsule capable of storing memories and influencing our mood.

Before I started metalsmithing I never considered myself to be very creative. I thought art was for “artists”. Art is for everyone who is willing to give it a try. When I first turned on my torch, I was terrified, but once the initial nervousness passed it all became fun. My creativity started to appear in the metal I was hammering, sawing, and soldering. I work fulltime in a spare bedroom in my apartment here in Philadelphia. It is littered with tools and metals, but it’s functional and inspiring. My weekends are generally filled with pop-up markets and festivals, but during the weekdays you can find me hunched over my bench with a fist full of silver. I design intuitively and all at once. My pieces never turn out like their sketches anyway, so I save myself the time and just go for it. I often end up with a piece that looks nothing like I imagined in all the best ways. It keeps designing exciting and challenging, and that’s how I like it.

I love that this small business I’ve created has connected me with so many other hardworking, creative people, Erin and Megan being two of them. Their work ethic is inspiring, and they have built something that’s not only impressive, but also works to uplift fellow artists. Art Star Craft Bazaar is one of my favorite markets of the year. I used to go with my mom before I even started making jewelry, so to be able to come back another year is so exciting. You can find me there at booth #61! Come say hi. I’d love to meet you!
Photos by @joymasi

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