Who’s Who Wednesday: Say hello to RbDesign!

1. Introduce yourself. Where are you from?

 I’m Reagan Branham. I am originally from central Illinois and now live in St. Louis. I am a page designer at a newspaper and a part-time interior design student, in addition to having my etsy shop. I am part of a three-cat household, which is, yes, too much (I had two, then my boyfriend and his cat moved in).


2. What is your shop name? What is the story behind the name?

 My shop is rbdesign.  Hmmm…I guess it’s not as original as it could be, but it’s straightforward. I make jewelry and household items out of recycled and reused products such as Scrabble tiles, skeleton keys, and magazines.


3. How did you get started? Is this your full-time gig?

 I started my tinkering around with Scrabble tiles about 3 years ago. My friends were getting married and they love Scrabble, are big wine drinkers and love to throw parties. So I made them a complete set of Scrabble tile wine charms – all 26 letters!


4. What items do you sell? Which ones are your favorites to make?

 Out of sentimentality, the Scrabble wine charms are still my favorite items to make and sell, though I’ve never made another 26-letter set. My most popular item is my Scrabble coasters, which are also really cute and a great conversation piece.

vowels scrabble wine charms, set of six


5. What inspires you? Who influences you?

 I have a graphic design background, so I love looking at old signage in downtown St. Louis, as well as old architecture. The lines, use of color, and all the details are so interesting to me. I don’t know how that translates to my etsy shop, but I am very inspired by it.


6.  Describe your workspace. What book is near you right now?

 My desk is sort of homemade. I have two wooden shoe container storage systems at each end with a block of wood over the top. That gives me lots of nooks to put supplies in and helps keep me organized. And trust me, I need all the help I can get.


7.  Describe your creative process. What is your creative style?

 I love looking at craft shows to see what other creative people are doing and thinking of how I can translate it to my brand. I saw someone selling felt coasters a few years ago and it was a total “aha” moment for me. I went home and started thinking of how I could make coasters out of Scrabble tiles.

scrabble coasters, set of 6


8.  How do you stay motivated? Tea or coffee?



9.  Do you think feedback is important? How can you turn around negative comments?

 Feedback is critical to what I do! If a product isn’t working right or someone is unhappy with something it’s up to me to fix it and learn from that to make my product better. Many times negative comments aren’t really negative, they’re constructive criticism. It’s led me to put more pictures and better descriptions of items up so buyers understand a product better before they buy it. I’ve also tinkered with designs based on feedback I’ve received. I’ve found that most people really want to help you succeed, you just have to be willing to listen to them.


10.  Are you on any teams at Etsy? Which one are you most active? Do you think they are helpful?

 I’m on many teams but my favorite is the Etsy Success one. It’s hard to make connections on Etsy since we’re all over the world, but this is a great way to talk to other sellers and learn from them.

red recycled paper earrings


11.  How do you feel about your life right now? Any advice for new Etsians or those wanting to take the plunge into selling their artwork?

 Swamped! I’m working, going to school, and have a small business. That’s probably one thing too many. But I love all three and wouldn’t give any of them up. The advice I’d give to people wanting to sell on Etsy is to go for it – but do your homework. There are tricks to reaching buyers, getting your work seen, and putting your best foot forward. If you take the time to really learn how to use Etsy to the fullest it’s a great tool.


Wolves or Mountain Lions?

 Mountain lion! An 8-foot long cat that weighs 90+ pounds is crazy awesome!


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Categories: Uncategorized, Who's Who Wednesdays


Natural Light Photographer + Designer fine art*landscape*portraiture


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