Dream Catcher: Rita Rainieri Polak

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Rita Rainieri Polak is the creative director and designer of fashion jewelry brand, Juliet & Co. Born into a family of artists and entrepreneurs, Rita nurtured her creativity at FIT in Manhattan before merging her entrepreneurial spirit and innate style to launch her well-articulated jewelry collection in 2009. Blending vintage inspiration and current trends, Juliet & Co is statement jewelry that is contemporary with a nod to retro styles. Rita applies a thoughtful design process to producing budget-friendly jewelry on a large scale; she is on a mission to find innovative ways to design accessible jewelry and bring carefully edited “buy now, wear now” pieces to the fashion-conscious. The line has been featured in publications such as Glamour, InStyle and Vogue, and is sold at top retailers including Shopbop.

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When did you know you wanted to pursue your business or venture? Always. There was never really a knowing ”moment”, only knowing there would be the right time and the means.

What makes you different from your competition? Juliet & Co jewelry is contemporary, current, and inspired by vintage style; there is a balance of freshness and nostalgia in each design. Also, though we often produce in large quantities, I personally design each piece in the collection by hand. There is a very thoughtful design process, which I believe makes Juliet & Co stand out against other fast-fashion jewelry brands.

How do you organize your day to best optimize your time? Describe a day in your life. OMG. Let’s just say it would make a fantastic reality show.

Tell us about a time when you thought you should throw in the towel. What kept you going? Never wanted to throw in the towel. Just needed more towels.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be… It is in my nature to stay busy and productive, mind and body. I would be dancing, writing, or designing something.

I wish someone would have told me… That it gets really difficult before it gets good. And that if you’re doing something right, it will get really difficult again and again.

I gave up ____ to pursue my dream: Dreaming about pursuing my dream.

If I had to do it all over I would… Do it all again and enjoy the process more.

My proudest professional moment to date is… My first order.

The most important thing I have learned so far… That I need to take time out for myself. Coming back to fashion with a fresh eye is essential.

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The three words that best describe me are… Positive, entrepreneurial, modern.

My favorite place to go on vacation is… Absolutely anywhere with my gorgeous husband and adorable babies.

My favorite nail polish and/or lipstick is… Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven and Bitches Brew for nails; Guerlain KissKiss and tinted lip balm for lips.

My favorite scent is… Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs Royale and the scent of my beautiful children.

My favorite movies are… Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Almost Famous, Amadeus, Dangerous Beauty.

My favorite food is… Sashimi (at Soto or Sushi of Gari)

On my playlist right now… Lorde, The Lumineers, Ella Henderson, and a ton of The Grateful Dead.

My favorite type of workout is… Anything Tracy Anderson.

Lately I’m inspired by… My parents.

My favorite quote is…“Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” – Gianni Versace

My office would not be complete without… My constantly changing inspiration boards. There is one board in particular that I don’t ever change, I just add to it. It has pics of my honeymoon, my family, a card from mom and dad, bank deposit receipts that I’m proud of, gorgeous fashion moments. It’s my collage about enjoying life and being grateful.

My secret for getting a good night’s sleep is… Who gets good sleep? Give them my info and please have them contact me.


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Tell us what LIVING THE DREAM means to you: Living the Dream is hard work, so you have to love what you do and the entire process. It’s whatever makes you happy.

Living the Dream is a state of mind.


Want to connect with Rita?

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Image: [Jenn Sturtevant + Yours Truly, Ciera]

Copy Editor: Noelle Hale is a writer/editor/proofreader/wordsmith who in a former life was a lawyer and senior sales executive for legal research and education companies. She has known Nada Jones for 20 years and one of their first collaborations was the ill-advised completion of the LA Marathon without actually having trained for it first. After many wonderful years spent living and working in New York and Los Angeles, Noelle and her husband and their two children are now happily ensconced in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado.

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