Raw & Rebellious: Turning Passion into Profit

Jewelry, the statement piece of any outfit. It’s a way to express yourself and sense of style. But do you ever wonder whose face is behind the beads? Last year, Sarah Smyth, a senior at Auburn University, realized her love for creating custom handmade jewelry and started her company Raw & Rebellious.

The Raw & Rebellious line of jewelry was established October 2016, but Smyth began making jewelry for the first time in June.

“My grandma and grandpa inspired me to create my line,” said Smyth. “They’re the ones who encouraged me to start trying to sell it after I made a few necklaces for myself.”

The name Raw & Rebellious is compelling and unique, resembling the aesthetic of each custom piece.

“I just felt that it described my line the most, was catchy, easily shortened (R&R) and described my style as well as the style I want to portray,” added Smyth.

There are many Instagram accounts dedicated to jewelry design, but Smyth tries to differentiate herself from other brands.

“It’s crazy how many girls my age are doing the same thing, so I try to make my jewelry as unique as possible,” said Smyth. “I don’t really follow any other jewelry accounts to keep it as original as I can and make things that I would wear myself.”

Smyth’s signature style is boho and edgy, so she creates necklaces that reflect her personality and stand out in a crowd.

“I love how my pieces look layered together,” she said. “Alone, they aren’t anything special, but throw three or four together and it seriously adds so much to any outfit.”

Business wise, Raw & Rebellious has flourished this past semester. Being a full-time student and owning a business has been challenging, but her hard work and diligence have paid off.

“I went from being in 5 boutiques to now being in between 15-18,” said Smyth. “It still is so crazy to me that so many people love and want to wear things that I make.”

Smyth describes what it feels like to see people back in her hometown wearing her jewelry.

“I’ve had girls come up to me when I’m out asking if I’m the ‘Raw & Rebellious girl’ which is pretty surreal,” she said.

Each week, Smyth makes hundreds of necklaces for individual customers and boutiques. The process is time-consuming, now that she mass produces each piece.

“I get up to 80 or so individual orders a week through my Instagram, and at least two or three boutique orders a week, so it can be very overwhelming,” added Smyth.

As a double major in rehabilitation and disability studies and Spanish, Raw & Rebellious is the opposite of anything she has ever done. “I love creating things that people enjoy and it’s been such an incredible learning experience for me,” said Smyth.

“I have some fun plans for the coming year that I think will infuse all my passions into one, and I can’t wait to show everyone what I have planned for the future.”

Be sure to follow @raw_rebellious on Instagram, for details on her latest styles and business inquiries!     

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