In the Baltic region, Estonia defines what it is to be different. In a country that boasts tranquil landscapes and a sparsely populated countryside, it is no question as to where Riina Mettas’ inspiration for her timeless, delicate jewelry comes from. Born and raised in Estonia, Riina had spent her life representing her country in the United Nations and the Embassy of Estonia. She had always been creative, searching for her perfect niché but stifled by a lack of opportunity to cultivate her talents. Riinas’ focus as a single mother has always been to support and provide for herself and her daughter, placing these needs above the risks involved in satiating her creative side. Her work in governance brought her to the United States in 2003 with her daughter; not realizing that this mission would result in her permanent residence in the U.S.
Riina’s creativity is multi-faceted. She was unsure as to where to direct her energies until while in New York, a colleague introduced her to jewelry making. Riina immediate fell in love and finally found what she was searching for. The past few years have rejuvenated Riina’s enthusiasm as well as her creative designs. In 2012 she met and married the love of her life, who encouraged her to pursue her talents. For the first time, Riina, who had spent her life helping those around her, was in a position to help herself. “The inspiration for my business comes from other successful women, who have done it before. Their success gives me hope that I can do it too.“
Riina discovered Empowered Women International after attending an event in 2009. She had desperately wanted to enroll in the program but as a working single mother, was unable to do so. After getting married and with a little more confidence in herself, she readily applied for EWI’s fellowship, and began Entrepreneurial Training for Success (ETS) in Spring 2015; finally taking the steps towards making her dream a reality. However, Riina is not only looking to establish her business, but also to create opportunities for other immigrant women, similar to what EWI was able to provide for her; thus, satisfying Riina’s relentless dedication to those who have superseded her and those who are to follow.
Riina always had her own style in her craft, using copious amounts of color and focusing on modern concepts. Her objective is to define her jewelry outside of her competitors both in the United States and the Estonian market. She is already tackling this goal with her involvement on Etsy through the ETS program. Her years living in the United States and working for foreign dignitaries have added a professional aspect to her pieces, creating versatile looks for every kind of woman. Riina’s jewelry truly is a culmination of cultures colliding, female independence and perseverance.
For more of Riina’s beautiful work, check out her website.
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Written by Bithika “Rini” Sarmaroy, Program Associate Intern, Alexandria, VA.