Rachel Dooley, designer of the Gemma Redux collection, grew up on Grand Rapids, MI, where she spent her younger years making lanyard necklaces to sell at the community pool and breaking glass in the garage to make stained glass mosaics. Despite her creative bent, she was drawn toward math and physics in school and headed to college at the University of Michigan to study mechanical engineering and material science. After college, Rachel's desire for analytical challenges (and lack of motivation otherwise) lead her to Fordham University School of Law, but her college design classes had established both a love of industrial metals and a continuing desire to design and create. Taking a break from studying for the New York Bar Exam in 2005, Rachel made her first mixed metal necklace from vintage and industrial materials and the Gemma Redux brand was born. Within months, Gemma Redux designs were showing up in publications such as Harper's Bazaar, WWD, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Zink Magazines, as a regular in the weeklies, and featured on the TV fashion success, Gossip Girl. Not long after, Gemma Redux pieces began showing up on the necks of Cameron Diaz, Blake Lively, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jessica Alba and Molly Sims, among others.
Rachel continued to design the Gemma Redux collection while practicing law at a large firm in Manhattan until early 2009, when she quit practicing to dedicate her time to the Gemma Redux collection. She focuses on discovering new, raw stones and gems to incorporate into the collection to drive a contrast against the industrial metals. Rachel strives for contrast & excess in Gemma Redux pieces: "I like the contrast of industrial metals and high end jewelry, of thick chains and delicate natural stones, and the excess of massive pieces with too many stones, too massive on the neck or too long on the body." Gemma Redux pieces are never precious - the metals are not delicate but rather primarily industrial, and the stones are generally rough and intense. But the designs are fluid, serpentine, almost delicate on the body and always handmade to the highest standard of quality.