Local Women: Rebecca Douglas
Born and raised in South Africa, Rebecca Douglas grew up with a love for the environment and unconventional art forms. She combines these passions by taking unwanted items and giving them new life in the forms of unique jewelry and clever trinkets. Her Lansing-based online business currently has customers in 15 countries and counting.
Q: HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH RELOVED DESIGNS?
A: I’ve crafted for as long as I can remember. In 2009 I was planning to do a craft show in Williamston, and that’s when I thought I should try to create a name for myself. The heart behind my business is that everything I use is recycled or sourced from former pieces. I went to school for environmental technology, so it combines my love for conserving resources with my creativity. My initials are R.L.D., so the idea of it being ReLoved Designs worked with both my name and the concept behind the business.
Q: TELL ME ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR DESIGNS?
A: Growing up overseas, I saw a lot of traditional African art, which is made using anything that’s available because they don’t have a lot. You don’t see painted canvases as often (in South Africa); instead you see designs carved out of pieces of wood. People use bare necessities, and that idea of taking something that was trash and making it beautiful again is a concept I’ve loved since I was little.
Q: DO YOU INVOLVE THE SAME ART AND CREATIVITY IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE?
A: Yes. I suppose creativity is sort of a way of life. My mother always said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I never had a very affluent lifestyle, so I’ve always had the need to be creative with what I’ve got. I make a lot of my own clothes and started making a lot of my own jewelry because I couldn’t afford to buy it. That’s also why I make sure everything I make and sell is affordable to others.
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