Phyliss Rieman

I was raised in Niagara Falls NY, went to Syracuse University and got two degrees, one
in Education and one in Library Science. Then I moved to Chicago to be a flight
stewardess for United Airlines, met my husband Gary and raised our family in Evanston

Gary brought me to the Apostle Islands for Fall weekends before we were even married,
and my love of Madeline was instant.  A trip to Woods Hall was always a part of our
visit. Our family camped on the Island until we purchased a small log home on the north
end in 1995.  We moved in as snowbirds in the summer of 2003. Sadly, knowing that
keeping up a log home was going to be too much for us as we aged, we purchased the
Island Carver’s house in the fall of 2021.  Happily, we are now just down the street from
St. John’s and Woods Hall.

After spending much of my life as a librarian, in retirement, I started a new hobby
doing something that I genuinely love: creating jewelry.  My husband and I attended the
Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (the largest in the world) each year and I started
collecting semi-precious stones, knowing at some point I would begin to make jewelry.
After taking classes, I created my business called, R Designs and started creating
jewelry pieces including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants, and rings.
Natural stone gemstones, semiprecious gemstones, minerals, and organic materials
such as amber, coral, shell, fossil, and pearls are used in my designs. I often use
Swarovski crystals and art glass from Europe to enhance the pieces.  Generally, what
distinguishes my designs is a “less is more” philosophy, so that the beauty of the natural
gemstones remains the focus.

Most years I try to work at the Woods Hall Gallery sales desk one day a week, as I love
talking to Island people & visitors, as well, as hearing their stories of how they came to the
Island.  I feel so blessed to be part of the artisan community and to be able to sell at
Woods Hall. What a joy it is to me to bring jewelry made from stones, mined from
around the world, to the Island.