Get To Know Elizabeth Raine
Posted: July 11, 2023
Categories: Designer Interviews
British jewellery designer Elizabeth Raine is known for her uplifting colourful and spiritual jewellery designs. In today's Designer Interview Elizabeth tells us more about her artistic inspirations and what made her first start her brand.
How did your brand begin?
Following a turbulent time in my life, I had a meditative vision of myself designing jewellery whilst overlooking the sea, with a prism of light casting rainbow rays all around her.
It was this extraordinary experience that provoked me to create the uplifting and positive Oz Collection of jewellery. It symbolises hope.
With no investors or leg up I carved my way through sheer determination and inner guidance and extreme challenges. It felt like the second wave of a tsunami, but I got back up again.
I went on to do a lot of spiritual work and training which I integrate into my work.
When did you first fall in love with designing and knew you wanted to become a designer?
I was in junior school when I started designing and making bookmarks, which I sold in the school playground, I must have been about only 7 years old.
It was strange when I grew up at school. I was into science and art but you could only go one way or the other. Girls did home economics. Design was seen as a boy's industry when I was at school applying to colleges. Wow, how things have changed!
Is there anyone in particular who has heavily influenced/guided you as a designer?
In an ideal world, we’d all have mentors. I just had to be brave, go at it alone and not listen to the naysayers.
Sure you make mistakes, but I don’t call them mistakes, they are lessons that teach you. You never evolve if you do not make mistakes on the way.
Intuition is the greatest guide as a designer. Creativity is doing something with passion and soul as a human. That can never be replicated or replaced by AI as it is unique to you: the designer, artist, creative.
Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?
Wellbeing. Colour. Craftsmanship. Made to Order. Individuality.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?
Personal observations and experiences are just the beginning. I draw inspiration from my intuition of the world around us and beyond — real, imaginary, and unknown - for achieving well-being.
Although my designs seem literal, as in the Oz Collection, each piece and collection tells a story with an added meaning and healing message.
With a keen interest in the holistic healing properties of stones and colour, I incorporate the elemental power of the stones used in my jewellery collections to enhance the sensory experience, bringing on a feeling of contentment and well-being in the wearer.
How do you ensure your designs are ethical and sustainable?
My limited-edition pieces are collectable and do not contribute to the mass production, mass consumption model.
I now use 18-karat gold, so pieces have an exchangeable value that can be passed on, rather than thrown away, as much jewellery is.
There is so much greenwashing and nonsense. I value the environment and humanity but I do not prescribe to the climate agenda or a lot of what is peddled for us to believe is good.
How are your products made?
Elizabeth Raine Jewellery is finely handcrafted by a small workshop of the most skilful artisan jewellers. Some use an ancient fine enamelling technique.
Only the finest natural materials and gemstones, handpicked and specially sourced for their unique qualities, are used.
Every detail is created by hand with passion and love, making each piece exclusive and one-of-a-kind. Each piece is infused with positive energy.
Each piece is defined by the ER official registered stamp and hallmarked at the London Assay Office.
The journey of an Elizabeth Raine piece, from a tiny sketch to its stunning presentation in its own jewel box, is filled with passion and love.
Elizabeth Raine jewellery is a statement of individuality and encapsulates positive, radiant energy, beauty, and sometimes a little of Elizabeth's grounded wit.
Are there any specific manufacturing/crafting techniques you use?
For two of my collections I use a vitreous enamelling technique called Meenakari.
How do you source your materials? I source from Jaipur in India, which is one of the most colourful places on the planet.
Have you won any awards for your work?
No, my greatest award is for someone to be wearing or using my designs, though being featured early on in the New York Times was a great accolade.
Tell us about some of your most inspiring clients, or bespoke commissions.
Dua Lipa who models my Chakra Collection. How inspiring how she has followed her own rainbow in the music industry.
It is lovely to have customers that love wearing my designs, they all have their own unique stories and even healing journeys. It is lovely to hear that my designs have brought happiness and positivity.
My son is of course my greatest inspiration and I have made him special pieces that he has worn when performing, rock climbing and surfing.
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
Someone completed an around-the-world race for charity wearing one of my designs to keep them going.
Can you recall a particular moment with a client that will stay with you forever?
Yes, my first client, was Head of the Wonder Room at Selfridges and has worked with the best contemporary jewellery designers. That was the biggest compliment to have as my first customer.
How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?
To feel uplifted and to feel good, mind body and soul and to have fun.
If you hadn't become a designer, what would you be doing?
Perfume. To have a perfume farm in France and make perfume. Still could happen. Never say never.
Have you been featured in any exhibitions?
I exhibited at Treasure 2013 at Somerset House, London.
And at the Louvre Paris with Mattel in France, with a Barbie House 2030 I designed and made.
Do you have any exciting future plans and where do you see your brand in 5 years?
It is such a competitive market, so I just want to start putting out the collections that I have in my portfolio and continue to produce limited-edition collections. I love to put out my pieces that seemed way too wacky to be commercial but which are symbols and codes I received to help people.
Other than that, I want to have fun, stay healthy and enjoy the journey.
What music do you play in the studio whilst you’re working?
A mixture, from classical to jazz to Hendrix to house music, it all depends on my mood.
Who is your favourite artist?
I have too many to name a favourite, but I remember Hockney and Dali were my favourites as a child. One painting I always have gravitated to at the National Gallery that has been a remedy through dark days has been Claude Monet's The Water Lilly Pond, it is mesmerizing and so soothing.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
To just be myself!
If you could travel to one place in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Japan. I have never been. Perhaps I have a calling to go there. Sushi is my favourite food. So not just the food, the culture, people, architecture, and the landscape. Looks incredible.
What are your go-to style tips?
To make your own style rules, bin whatever anyone tells you. Just be unique, have fun and don’t worry what anyone else thinks. Trying to fit in is too much hard work, I had 5 decades trying and gave up on that, it just makes you miserable!
Are there any other designers whose work you particularly admire?
I love going to the British Museum and looking at the ancient designs of jewellery, the unknowns these resonate with me.
What music inspires you to create new designs?
Music and dance have always been an integral part of my life and I have a son who is a talented musician and performer, so I will have to plug his music @Paris Raine.
I am currently listening to a lot of Kate Bush again.
How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?
My life has been chaotic and was turned upside down through several difficult events, so I relish focused work time, walks in nature to relax and I unplug from any matrix shenanigans or distractions.
What drew you to JewelStreet?
I was introduced to JewelStreet by a member of the Team when I exhibited at Treasure. I liked how it supports small designers and independent labels.
How do your brand values align with those of JewelStreet?
Allowing people to shop for art and design from small independent design labels, designers and artists is what attracted me to JewelStreet.
They have a global reach and support designers that would, without the support and backing from the team at JewelStreet, be unseen or unable to reach customers far and wide.
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
Probably my There’s No Place Like Home Ring because I love the meaning behind this ring. It was inspired by Glinda the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz and her wand. It's good over evil, love over hate, bravery over fear. It resonates on many levels. Especially now after the last three years.
What is your favourite quote?
“I've been through it all, baby, I'm mother courage." Elizabeth Taylor.
Which 3 books would you love to have on a desert island?
Ray Mears, Outdoor Survival Handbook - would be handy.
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe - for the humour and irony of being on a desert island.
The Bible, Unedited Edition - to keep the faith.
Thank you for talking with us Elizabeth!