A designer who finds inspiration in Nature and translates it into sparkling jewels
Ronke Nedd, founder and creative head at Toronto- based Rebecca Noff Designs Inc,, designs fine jewellery pieces that can only be described as striking and unique. Her work is underscored by her fascination with the natural world and the beauty one can find in simple things. However, it is Ronke’s remarkable attention to detail and unstinting adherence to traditional jewellery crafting techniques that make Rebecca Noff jewellery creations not just a treasure for today, but heirlooms to be loved and worn for generations to come.
Born in Nigeria, Ronke’s jewellery journey can best be described as circuitous. After fifteen successful years in the corporate and banking world, Ronke entered the jewellery industry in 2007 when she started making eye catching jewellery pieces set with coloured gemstones. After graduating as a bench jeweller, Ronke began working with diamonds and precious metals and in 2013 established Rebecca Noff, a fine jewellery brand renowned for its exquisitely-crafted pieces.
At Rebecca Noff, excellent craftsmanship underscores every jewellery piece. The pieces are handcrafted by skilled artisans and each jewel carefully upholds the delicate balance between art and wearability. As a jewellery designer, Ronke not only acknowledges the emotional value of jewellery but works with this concept to create jewellery pieces that are evocative and meaningful.
To appreciate Ronke’s vision and design aesthetic, one has to understand the #RNWoman. Innately confident and supremely stylish, the RN Woman is bold and self-assured. She loves to wear jewellery and naturally gravitates towards pieces that are both timeless and unforgettable. Never ostentatious, the RN Woman lives life with a passion, embracing all its vibrant hues and reflecting them with poise and aplomb.
In my conversation with Ronke, we talked about her jewellery collections and how she has seen herself change as a jewellery designer since she first entered the jewellery world.
Ronke, why is your jewellery brand called Rebecca Noff and why does this name hold so much meaning for you?
To be totally honest, I had a few days to register the company and I wanted something that resonated with my initials (RN). I am also a private person and so I was looking for a name that would work with my initials and also take attention away from me so I played with a few names in my head and settled on Rebecca Noff. The jury is still out on whether that was a smart thing to do or not 🙂
You started your career in the corporate sector and worked in information technology, investment banking and business aviation before entering the jewellery industry as a bench jeweller and jewellery designer. What prompted you to enter the jewellery industry and what have been the highlights of your jewellery journey so far?
Curiosity. I had a ‘what if I could make this work?’ moment and I let that thought linger long enough for me to get my first design out. I am also someone who sees design everywhere and so all of that creativity needed an outlet and let’s just say I put that energy into jewelry making and it’s been great.
One of the guiding principles at Rebecca Noff is that “art is in the details,” What are the things that define great jewellery craftsmanship to you?
The ability to translate every intricate detail of a design whether it’s from nature or art means a lot to me when it comes to craftsmanship.
Your Adinkra jewellery collection is brimming with symbolism. Why was it important for you to feature these symbols in your jewellery pieces and did you face any challenges in translating the proverbs, maxims and historical events into designs for jewellery?
I cannot take credit for this one. Adinkra symbols are native to the Akan people of Ghana and Ghanaian historians have done an excellent job preserving these symbols and documenting their symbolism. What Rebecca Noff sought to do was showcase them in jewelry with diamonds for everyday wear.
The jewellery pieces in your the Nest collection are geometric and somewhat architectural in design but also have an unbelievable fluidity to them. It is a very striking collection. What has been the most rewarding aspect of designing and crafting this collection for you? Did you face any challenges in the crafting of this collection?
Thank you for your kind compliment. The beauty of this design is the ability it has to continue to evolve from the original idea which was just connecting gold wires to including diamonds at each intersection and now ‘trapping’ a gemstone in the nest. There were no challenges per se as the design itself is the proverbial gift that keeps giving.
Have you seen yourself change as a jewellery maker and designer since you first started your brand in 2013? If so, how?
Absolutely. I think a lot of my early designs didn’t really take into account wearability. If I thought of a shape or curve, I’d put it in my design without paying as much attention to, “who would want to wear this and why?” I do a better job of that now I believe.
All your collections are so unique and different from each other in style as well as design aesthetic. What inspires you as a jewellery designer?
I’ll say mostly the beauty that nature presents everyday, a lot can be designed from simply observing how everything flows and ebbs.
Recently, you were selected as one of the judges for the Together by Design jewellery competition, organized by the Black in Jewelry Coalition. How did this come about and could you share a little bit about what this experience was like for you and meant to you?
A friend and fellow jeweler who I knew from Nigeria had nominated me as a judge and it was truly a great honor to be able to lend my time to such an important cause. This is a very difficult industry to navigate as a Black woman and if I can add a little colour to advance that cause for other people, I’ll always sign up for that.
Featured Image: Garnet and Diamond Earrings, Nest Collection
The images used in this article are the property of Rebecca Noff Designs Inc. Any person or organization not affiliated with may Rebecca Noff Designs Inc. not use, copy, alter or modify any of the images used in this post, without the advance written permission of Rebecca Noff Designs Inc.