We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Dolber and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rebecca, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
The value I’m most concerned with is authenticity, for both myself and those who work with me. I learned pretty quickly that working for others required a manipulation of who I really was; a contortion of my truest self. At first, I thought this was just me–that I was somehow different and didn’t fit in. But what I’ve come to realize is that the system is actually built to do this to you, and if I wanted to “walk my talk”, I needed to work for myself or change the system. Ideally, both.

Not everyone can work for themselves, but as someone who is fiercely pro-worker, I believe everyone should be able to negotiate the conditions of their labor. It’s exciting to see the younger generation demanding this. They aren’t compromising themselves (their happiness, health, inner-flame) so corporations can continue to turn exorbitant profits at their expense. So much of the status quo is unsustainable, and as such, must change–and is. It’s an exciting time and I feel lucky to witness it (big picture) and be part of it (small picture).

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve often said the pieces I make are not overly complicated. The designs are not complex or abstract, but the power they hold for people is boundless. When you’re translating people’s memories, milestones and personal mantras into jewelry, it’s important to get it right. Unlike other makers, I’m not selling anyone my idea or vision. In truth, they’re telling me theirs, and my job is to listen, to transform what they share into a piece that not only empowers and comforts, but most importantly, lets them feel seen.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Great question! I love a good thrift store or flea market, but my favorite thing to do is go to yard and garage sales. There’s nothing like getting up early with a hot cup of coffee and hitting up all the spots. Assuming the person is also into this (because believe me, it’s not for everyone!), the weekend would consist of “treasure hunting”. The North Fork is a perfect spot for this because you can visit the wineries between sales 🙂

My wife and I love the North Fork of Long Island and got married up there in the winter of 2019. The spot we chose was The Sound View in Greenport, which has a clean and classic vibe. Lunch at their restaurant, The Halyard, would be a must, followed by Bloody Marys and oysters at Little Creek. The Greenport Brewery is fun too, the older, smaller one that’s above the old jail just off Main Street.

But perhaps above all this, a visit to Long Island requires some time on the water. One of my favorite things to do with my nieces and nephews is to take seine net in the bay to see what we can catch. This is a rectangular net with loops at each corner. It requires two people to operate and you basically walk out into the bay and make a “horseshoe shape” and see what comes up. We keep a fish tank or plastic bin on shore so we can examine what we catch–and then of course, throw them back. We also love to “go crabbing”–aka, tying chicken legs to shoe strings and throwing them over the side of a dock. When you feel the tug, you slowly pull the leg up while another person whips up the crab with a handled net. Late August is best for blue crabs. I personally prefer the bay over the ocean, but with that said, it’s never a bad day at Cupsogue beach in Westhampton–sunrises are my favorite. There’s nothing like catching morning’s first light.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is to Ani DiFranco. In order to stay true to her values, she never signed with a big label and instead, created her own. This allowed her the freedom to make the music she wanted, the way she wanted to make it. Examples are important, and even though we are in different industries, her determination to make a living her way inspired me to do the same. This is not to say that we both “went at it alone.” To your point, the idea of rugged individualism is a myth: we need each other. Working for myself and not for a corporation simple means I seek to exist outside a structure that’s likely oppressive and instead, create a new way.

Website: www.rebeccadolber.com

Instagram: @rebeccadolberred

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