Hi there! It’s me, your friendly neighborhood rock nerd, Stacey Jo Räbiger.
True story: when my mom asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I told her I wanted to be a starving artist. Apparently, there was no Plan B. I’m a life-long pianist, crafter and creator. I’ve dabbled in painting, photography, and sewing. Anything and everything crafty. I merged my passion for creativity with earthy curiosity by studying fine art in college and ultimately receiving a degree in geography in 2004. After a lifetime of collecting gems, rocks and minerals, I started making jewelry when a pair of hand-me-down tools fortuitously met with my pile of gems. Thus Ker-ij Jewelry was born in 2011. Flash forward to now, and Ker-ij has grown to become my full-time gig and my mom doesn’t need to worry that I’m starving for the sake of my craft. I truly believe that each gemstone and crystal comes with its own energy and meaning, grounded in diverse geologic processes as unique as our own fingerprints. I personally select each and every stone as a focal or accent to my designs, and I’m honored and humbled to translate the beauty of geology into modern wearable art.
So, why Ker-ij? It’s the phonetic spelling of the word courage, which is derived from the Latin word “ker,” meaning “from the heart.” And it’s a word that holds a world of meaning to me.
Storyteller and scholar Brené Brown once wrote, “Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” And here’s my story of courage: In 2014, my seemingly out of reach dream of becoming a full time jewelry artist/boss babe went from the low key hum of a creative outlet to a literal fight for the ability to use my hands, virtually over night. The pain was so debilitating I could barely dress myself, use my phone, or drive my car. I clearly wasn’t working or making jewelry, either. Close to a year went by being passed from doctor to doctor until my eventual diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). That deep place of sorrow and loss for my dexterity was also revelatory. Faced with an unknown future of possible limitations, I kicked myself for never having the courage to take the leap of pursuing my dream while I still had functioning hands. Once my treatment brought some relief, I hit the ground running. I had found my courage, determined to create a body of work that could financially support me and provide the freedom to live on my own again. And, as a believer in the connectedness of us all, I like to think that each piece in my collection carries a bit of my own gutsy determination with it into the world.
Ker-ij. Courage. No matter how you spell it, it’s powerful stuff.
When not making jewelry, you’ll find me snowboarding, riding my bike, taking pilates classes, or on the water satisfying my latest obsession: stand up paddle boarding. After a day of selling jewelry at markets or art shows, I love nothing more than hanging out with friends on the patio in the summer, or snuggling by the fire on a cold winter night, either activity ideally accompanied by a big glass of wine. I’m an absolute nut for traveling the globe searching for stunning and unusual gems, rocks and minerals. Caveat: I’ll still proudly declare that my home state of Utah is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I live in Salt Lake City with my neurotic wiener dog, Gus, and a literal ton of minerals, which probably makes me the crazy rock lady of my ‘hood. It’s not hoarding if they’re pretty, right?
Have Ker-ij. I do!
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There you may find updates on sales, new items, projects or local events that Ker-ij may be participating in.