My very first jewelry piece came from a place of grief and loss. My cousin David died in 2009 to a terrible disease that made him blind and eventually took his life. We were best friends. He used to write me letters in braille and we would talk on the phone all the time. I wanted to create something to remind me of him.
He was a joyful person full of life and energy. He loved God and loved people. I decided to create a braille necklace with the word "joyful" stamped into it. Not only was joy something I was longing for, but it described who he was perfectly. I went to the hardware store, came back with a hammer, nail and some brass and created my first piece that sparked my love for making jewelry. I recently created a collection called Letters From David inspired by the very first piece I made.
I love creating sentimental, feminine and floral jewelry. My favorite pieces to make are the custom pressed flower necklaces. Each one has a story behind it, a unique place where the flowers came from and a special meaning to the person receiving it. One customer collected flowers from her Grandmother's garden after she had passed away. She pressed them in books and then brought them all the way back to the US from overseas. I created 7 special pieces for her and her family to cherish the memories of their grandmother and wear as a reminder of her love for them and for her garden.
Originally from Wisconsin, I (Rachel) now live in San Diego, CA with my husband Hunter and our cats Bianca and Louie. I work out of my jewelry studio in our apartment to create and design my jewelry collection Rachel Keppeler Designs.
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