I aim to create jewelry that is elevated and polished while highlighting the natural textures and western elements in leather. When you’re wearing Raven & Riley, I hope you feel beautiful, feminine, and bold. - Kara Reddel
How did you get into jewelry design in the first place? I was never good with a paintbrush or a sketchbook but I am a creative at heart. A college graduate in English and Literature, I have always had an appreciation for self-expression. My love for creating led me to jewelry design in 2013 when I moved from the Carolina coastline to Denver Colorado. I fell in love with the rustic elements of the Rockies and incorporate that raw Western beauty in my designs through my use of Colorado-sourced leather.
What made you decide to use leather as your primary material? When I decided to start selling my pieces, I wanted to take it a step further and root my passion in the communities that I have fallen in love with. Leather has always made me think of the Midwest but is unique in that it offers up creative freedom in what you do with it from a design perspective m, while being weightless and easy to wear. It is a dream to get to hand select each hide we use from Colorado. In 2018, my husband and I took a trip to Italy where I fell in love with the culture, warm tones of the landscape, and the abundance of high quality leathers. In 2022, I finally released our Italian leather line to offer more color options and textures to our designs.
Where does your inspo come from? Originally from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, the coastline is always in my heart and continues to find it's way into my designs.Turquoise and hues of blue have always reminded me of home and the ocean; while leathers, natural tones, and raw gemstones take me to the Rocky Mountains and Italy. Embracing these elements in my jewelry allows me to tell my story and share my heart.
After getting married and moving back to North Carolina in 2017, I am now a mother of two and happily working in my studio in Wilmington, NC with the best-excuse-ever to fly back out to Colorado every few months--to hand select leather for our designs. I feel like I am living the dream and couldn't be more grateful for the love and support over the years.