Designer Spotlight: Rita Sunderland
A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
I married an artist and that has allowed me great freedom. It has also changed how I look at creating works of art. I start with a stone that inspires me, it's color, shape, symbol or even magical properties. I have learned to think about shapes enhancing a person’s body. I strive to balance beauty, fashion, function and affordability.
How did you get into jewelry design?
It was after moving to the United States from Russia in June 2005 to start my own family. My husband encouraged me to start a hobby and business making jewelry so I could stay home with our new daughter. It started small and grew as I learned how to market and sell. I started selling at local farmers markets and sites like ETSY. I was making micro macramé jewelry as I had been since I was 5 years old. My husband inspired to be creative and supported my transition into working my skills with precious metals and stones.
What makes your collection unique?
I like working with rare cut or unusual shaped gemstones. The ones you can't normally find at a store.
What are your inspirations?
All the beauty of Pacific Northwest. Different colors and changing weather (clouds and sunshine). Different moods in every moment.
How are you making a difference in your life?
I'm a very positive person. If something is going wrong – it's like a lesson for you to pass. There is no need to be stressed or get down. Just pass another hard lesson in your life and sunshine will meet you at the corner.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
Helping others. Those who need my help and know me always ask and I feel great when I can help them.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
My biggest struggle in running my business is finding ways to find and keep American customers. On the other hand, my biggest success is having a lot of repeat customers from Russia. Maybe it's just because I'm Russian. I know if I can do it there (Russia), I can do it here (USA) and I will not give up.
Jewelry artist from Russia who is living and creating in Seattle, WA. Love to work with natural gemstones.
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