Look-Out is a weekly feature every Thursday on leading and up-and-coming designers from the Caribbean and worldwide. Learn more about the designer’s brand, new developments and products.
This week, Look-Out features the Jamaican siblings behind Rêve Jewellery, Duane and Teasea Bennett.
Avante garde, artisanal and haute couture, describes the style of Rêve Jewellery brand. The brand designs detailed necklaces and headpieces, uniquely shaped metal rings and earrings, made from different metals (aluminum, copper, brass, gold and silver), semi precious stones, gems and natural materials. Each piece seems to be molded by Jamaican waves.
This fashion dream forged from the minds of Duane Bennett, Director of Concept, Design and Production and his big sister Teasea Bennett, Director of Marketing, Sales and Public Relations. Together they are the faces of Rêve Jewellery.
From an early age, both siblings aspired to be entrepreneurs. The siblings attended universities in Jamaica. Teasea pursued a BSc. in Tourism Management and her studies took her to France for two years. Duane holds a BA in Goldsmithing. Although Duane was offered a scholarship to study technology in the United States, he turned it down and never looked back. Instead, Duane pursued his studies at Edna Manley School of Visual & Performing Arts in Jamaica. He took up Goldsmithing as an elective and fell in love with the endless possibilities that the craft presented.
In 2006, upon her return to Jamaica, Teasea resigned after working for six months and launched Rêve with Duane who was a second year student at the University. Now, ten years later, Rêve is a dream come true for the siblings.
Teasea shared these thoughts about their relationship over the years:
‘We both share the opinion that we are truly blessed to have such a good relationship naturally as “big sis/little bro” as well as business partners (which is honestly secondary). Our core roles are a natural balance and we respect each other. We always thrive to have a sense of humor and gratitude no matter the celebrations or challenges. Fortunately, from the conception of the company, we both understood our strengths as well as our weaknesses and trusted each other to manage our respective duties and responsibilities in the company. Honestly, we have both inspired each other and over the years I have seen my brother grow as a business person and I have definitely become more creative.’
Duane’s designs have won him the “Jamaican Avant Garde Designer of the Year” award in 2007 and 2009. Duane shared that his inspiration comes from God, travelling and people. His dreams reveals his ideas. He does not believe in following trends and enjoys experimenting and exploring to create his designs. He enjoys using natural materials. Daune also said, from his earliest memories he loved art. His philosophy is: ‘ARTISTS aren’t MADE, they are BORN’. He believes he is blessed with God-given talents and is grateful to express it. He is happy that his work is enjoyed and loved by so many others, aka RÊVEllers (loyal and growing clients).
Their RÊVEllers are found all over the world. Their celebrity fans include: Kelly Rowland, Cherine Anderson, Nia Long, Queen Ifrica and Lance Gross. Currently, Rêve is featured on Britain’s Next Top Model and was featured on cycle 19 of Tyra Bank’s America’s Next Top Model.
Rêve brand’s vision and mission is to be the #1 world-renowned Jamaican and Caribbean jewellery & accessory brand; synonymous with creating and producing the most authentic, original and high quality pieces whilst positively contributing and investing time in themselves and others. Rêve’s core values are innovation, quality, integrity and professionalism. The brand continues to grow and debuted a Sandals line in the Dominican MODA Fashion show, 2014, through a CEDA (Caribbean Expert Development Agency) initiative. Now, the sandals are sold through an exclusive retailer in Trinidad and Tobago, WildOrchid Glam. They are looking to expand their marketing to other Caribbean islands such as St Vincent & the Grenadines.
Advice from the siblings:
We believe in ourselves, and our family and friends do too. We do what we love and since starting we have made some difficult choices, but we have not looked back. We have kept focused with open hearts and minds. We learn quickly, and set clear and attainable goals.
The duo not only pursue their business goals, but also believe in contributing to local associations and organizations, geared toward building entrepreneurship and fashion. They enjoy participating in local, regional and international fashion shows and events, and are always open to mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships. In 2012 they founded the Rêve Wellness Festival (RWF).
“We see and feel the growth and love the company gets. We believe that we can make a positive impact on the lives of others and wanted to build a community which shares and supports one another whilst positively building our community and island. We raise money for charity each year and the RWF features an artisan pop-up shop, live music, natural foods, lifestyle and entertainment. It’s an exciting time of year. Held for one day only in August, this year it’s set for 13th August, 2016 on the grounds of Devon’s House. Our tag line “LIV GUD, GIV TANX”, Jamaican patios for (and our way of saying) “In all things be grateful”. Our vision is to be the #1 annual must attend Artisan Holistic Event for all things beautiful, all things authentic and Caribbean handmade.”
Their boutique and showroom which is located in Devon House, National Heritage Site, not only sells the Rêve brand but also other artisan made products from across the region.
“Authenticity cannot be bought! We are Jamaican, Caribbean and proud! That simply cannot be duplicated. Our Caribbean travels have blossomed into a growing family and community of artisans and we started retailing their original products at the Rêve boutique in Kingston. We are truly excited about the future for Caribbean creatives. The boutique stocks other designers and lifestyle brands; from jewellery and accessories, to paintings, artisan mirrors, clothing and natural skin & hair care products. ALL CARIBBEAN, ALL HANDMADE!”
When asked about their personal accessory style, what are their must have items; Teasea’s favourite would be earrings and Duane’s would be bracelets. We wanted to know which Caribbean Island was their favorite outside of their homeland, but they could not pick one favourite Caribbean island. They love all the islands they have visited thus far which are: US Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, St, Vincent & The Grenadines, and Antigua.
As we do with every designer featured at Adornami Caribbean we asked Duane and Teasea what the words “To adorn” mean to them. They said:
“For us, to adorn oneself or one’s living space is an opportunity to truly express self. Wearable Art or just Art has the potential to elevate as well as ground you. It’s powerful, wear with caution, and prepare to be transformed for the better. Get RÊVEd up!”
Rêve Jewellery’s pieces are available for purchase at:
Shop #13 Devon House courtyard, Devon House, Kingston Jamaica
Local & International Shipping available.
Caribbean Retailers currently available in Trinidad and the Cayman Islands.