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Rising Stars: Meet Robyn Johannessen-Anyaeji

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robyn Johannessen-Anyaeji.

Hi Robyn, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I fell in love with gemstones by attending the Tucson Gem and Mineral show annually. I bought a lot of precious stones and artifacts and taught myself how to make jewelry. I thought about designing 24/7. I eventually worked for a very popular gemstone supplier as a seasonal worker, which taught me so much about the stones.

I would happily help the other designers put together their collections. That was the beginning of my jewelry design journey. A late bloomer to the design world, as I was well into my fifties as I began selling my jewelry and traveling about the country participating in fine art shows. I loved large art pieces, sculptural and architectural, bold pieces for fashion-forward women. The problem was I could never find components that matched my artistic vision.

One day while doing some restoration work on my property I found myself staring at some seriously broken tiles… I had two options, a.) retile the house or b.) rebuild the broken tiles. I headed off to Home Depot and asked a ton of questions about epoxy and resins, silicones and grout, etc. I researched online for hours until I felt brave enough to make my mixture. I built up each tile and everything was going as planned except for the color…

I grabbed my cosmetic case and began painting the colors to match. To my absolute amazement… my experiment exceeded my expectations… it was a flawless repair and dried rock solid. I knew that this mixture had to be used in my jewelry somehow. It sparked my imagination and my studio became a place of joyful experimentation.

After some months of trials and errors, it became clear that I was now able to create something magical and fun, and fashionable. Now at age 65 instead of becoming invisible… I and my gorgeous ladies are brightening up the fashion options around the world!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The journey has had its ups and downs, Learning what worked together and the chemistry of it all, I worked out all the kinks and began making “recipes” and making the unique statement pieces I dreamed could be possible.

My new line made its very successful debut at the Tucson gem and Mineral Show in February 2020…. along with the debut of COVID-19. I finally had my own unique point of view statement on Jewelry, and the world was now in lockdown, sadly that was my last physical show.

On a happier note, that year, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine ( a national publication ) ranked Instinct Jewelry in the top ten at the Tucson Gem Show!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I create the jewelry of every size, shape, and color that is lightweight and comfortable. I have created faux stones, faux ivory, and faux rocks… it took the weight out while leaving the fun in. Yeah!

I’m most proud of that! It’s also completely sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My family and friends have put up with me for a few years of verbally brainstorming my thoughts and ideas to try. So many very successful designers have supported my efforts and shared my vision, kindly mentoring me as I had to navigate my transition to the internet and graciously introducing me to their followers.

It’s been slow and steady. My clients have also been instrumental in helping get the word out as they wear my creations and post the photos. I have been especially embraced by the incredibly stylish women influencers of the #advancedstyle movement.

My best friend helps me keep up with my workload. Countless models and photographers who pitched in, my poor abused relatives with trucks and muscles and built me displays… yes, it does take a village. I am grateful for each and every one

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