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Buy Less & Wear it Longer: Raegen Knight Creates Timeless, Upcycled Jewelry

Photo by Sarah Deragon

By Natalia Perez

A reclaimed metal artist, Raegen Knight believes that simple designs are timeless. She adores clean, minimal design, and aspires to create classic pieces that transcend fashion and can be worn for years. Her line of jewelry–earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces from sterling silver and 14k gold filled–are made using recycled metal. 

Photo by Orlick Photo

As she works, Raegen loves her Spotify playlists to keep her creativity levels boosted: Indie Pop, Meitei Radio, and Acoustic Hits. As with all artists, inspiration ruts are imminent, and Raegen combats hers by allowing herself ample downtime to step away from her work. If she doesn’t feel creative, she doesn’t produce. Instead, she steps away for a while and tends to some routine tasks, like cleaning up her workbench and doing some bookkeeping, and returning to work only when she’s feeling inspired again. 

To her, creativity is the thread that ties so many pieces of her life together: art projects with her kids, reading art history, art across cultures, and traveling. 

Raegen, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I went to art school with the intention of being a fashion designer, but I fell in love with metal smithing and printmaking, along with art history. I worked in art museums for ten years before I felt brave enough to give my jewelry line a shot.

Photo by Orlick Photo

What made you decide to start creating art?

My art teachers in elementary and high school. I always thought they were the coolest, most interesting people. 

What do people NOT know about what you do?

I save all my scraps of metal and send them back to my metal dealer for recycling. 

Photo by Kaelin Photography

Do you have a product you’re the most proud of?

I took a flush setting class last year in Los Angeles and I have a practice piece where I was able to flush set a diamond. It’s tricky work, so I’m proud of that little scrap of metal.

Where do you go when you need a break?

I take a walking meditation through the neighborhood. It always makes me feel peaceful. 

Photo by Kaelin Photography

Let’s be real, what’s the hardest/most frustrating thing about what you do?

Production work can be pretty exhausting. I love designing pieces and making them the first few times, but making a lot of the same piece takes a different kind of energy.

Favorite way to celebrate a job well done? 

Coffee break! I’m addicted to coffee.

Photo by Kaelin Photography

Have you ever considered throwing in the towel? What stopped you?

I probably go through this every couple of days or so – honestly! 

“Whenever I’m feeling really low, though, something good usually happens unexpectedly – a new wholesale account or editorial coverage. Small wins have managed to keep me in the game so far. My maker friends are always there for me, too. I’m so grateful for them and for our talks!”

Photo by Mol Goodman

Keep up with Raegen and support her small biz by following her Instagram, @raegenknight + visiting raegenknight.com.

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Art, love, family, brunch, t-shirts, tacos or potted plants. Whatever you're using your gifts to create- we are here for it!

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