"I started making jewelry when I was about 12 or 13, " says Robyne Robinson, creator and designer of Rox Minneapolis. "My sister and I were the scholarship kids at a private school. But we never knew we were poorer than others --- My mother couldn't buy a whole bunch of Christmas presents on a teacher's salary every year, but she never let on. She was creative -- she turned gift giving into a fun trip to the bead store with my sister, and we'd make designs for all our friends."
Three decades later, her creative spark for creating necklaces, bracelets and earrings was triggered by a fluke. "My Greek boyfriend carried his worry beads everywhere – some made from gorgeous sponge coral, ceramic or carved bone. I told him if I really tried, I could make one for him. He'd let me know if my attempts had flaws, and when they hit the mark. Next thing I knew, his friends and family all wanted them. Then a woman even offered me money for the bracelet on my wrist. I realized it was time to start a jewelry line."
Soon, Robyne's passion for making jewelry exploded - the Minneapolis news anchor and former art gallery owner found herself heading a new business called Rox.
"I love using semi-precious stones in my jewelry - amber or carnelian, jade; there are so many different types of rocks and stones that have been used for health, beauty, spirituality and trade, from the Pharaohs until today. We just have a natural attraction to the rocks under our feet."
Rox sells in jewelers and boutiques throughout the Twin Cities metro area, as well as Santa Fe, Tampa, Naples, Athens, Greece and the Caribbean. It's also displayed at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the internationally-known contemporary art museum based in New York City. Rox has been featured in several national publications, such as Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, Today's Black Woman and Redbook, as well as on The Tyra Banks Show and WGN-TV Chicago.