Crystal-clear vision illuminates jewelry designer’s work

Brenda McDermott, founder of Rei of Light Jewelry Designs, believes ardently in the healing properties of gemstones and crystals, which she incorporates into her eclectic mix of handcrafted jewelry.

As an introduction to her spring and summer collections — and to support local business and strengthen community — McDermott has partnered with Solterra Winery in Encinitas to present an afternoon of wine, live music and fine jewelry.

From 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 26, the winery will host a happy hour menu, entertainment will be provided by musicians Xandra and Day Walker, and McDermott will display her collections.

There will be give-aways of jewelry gift certificates along with several raffles for individual pieces.

Rei of Light Jewelry Design was founded six years ago by McDermott, who is also a Reiki practitioner and Pilates instructor. Her jewelry business is online, with some North County stores also carrying her collections, she said.

Many hours go into creating each original piece, from shopping and selecting the highest-quality gemstones and precious metals, to the design and hand-crafting each item sold.

McDermott’s art studio — in addition to a Pilates studio — is in her Encinitas home. She first began making jewelry in her twenties when she studied art at Creative U in Arizona. In essence, her life has come full circle.

The leap of faith to start her jewelry business was prompted nine years ago when McDermott struggled with the question of how to change her life into one that was more creative.

Her answer came from an unexpected source while she was meditating. Relaxing her racing thoughts, she suddenly had an out-of-body experience and found herself on the sinking Titanic, tied to a desk by a ball and chain.

“I jumped off the ship into the water and was drowning as the weight of the desk pulled me further and further into the depths of the ocean,” she recalled.

“I screamed, ‘I’m drowning, someone please help me!’” In her vision, the clouds parted and a ray of light appeared, carrying a vision of her mother, who had died in a car accident a few years prior.

“My mom spoke to me urging me to follow my heart. She reminded me that she sacrificed her whole life, only to lose it a few short years after finding the freedom she needed to gain true happiness,” said McDermott.

The simple words that her mother spoke — “Just let go, be free, go live the life you desire,” was what she was looking for.

“That moment brought the clarity that I needed to free myself from the weight of the burdens I was carrying and to follow my true passions for life,” McDermott said.

“I now had the certainty that the path to personal fulfillment was through expressing my talents through my art and providing light and healing to others.”

As part of her promise to help heal others, McDermott — who has severe gluten and dairy intolerance — has partnered with the charity Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) and donates 25 percent of proceeds from a special jewelry piece, The Empowerment Necklace.

“This has been a really unbelievable thing that has been happening in my life,” said McDermott about the partnership, which began last month.

“The director asked if I could design a piece of jewelry specifically for the organization. Together we came up with the color of teal, and I suggested quartz because it is a power-protecting stone,” explained McDermott. “It is a simple necklace, but it is touching so many lives. Crystals have such powerful healing qualities.”

Visit http://reioflightdesigns.com to see McDermott’s jewelry and to learn about the stones she uses in her pieces.

Attend her special event April 26 at Solterra Winery, 934 N. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, to see her latest collections. Visit http://www.foodallergyawareness.org to learn more about FAACT.

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