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 IL.

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.