About Us

An Unexpected Passion:

Yvonne Raley of Cecile Raley DesignsAbout 10 years ago, I saw a necklace in a museum shop in Montreal. I really wanted it, but it was too expensive. When I came home from vacation, my best friend said to me "why don't you make a similar one yourself? I'll show you how to do it."
This was a revelation to me and I've been making jewelry every since. I am self taught (my degrees are in all in Philosophy), but I love being creative in any which way.
I've always been a self-starter, and motivated to try new things. I like keeping busy, and my hobbies and my jobs tend to blend into one. This is a good thing, because you shouldn't waste your life doing things that you don't enjoy. Gemstones are my passion, and I hope that my item descriptions and photos communicate this.  I also love writing, you can check out my blog on this website. 

My shop grew together with my customers. Most of them are regular buyers, they make suggestions, provide feedback, and they tell me what works and what doesn't. Being creative is a collaborative effort, all you need is to be willing to work hard and to have an open mind.  My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have supported me over the years! 

Our Mission:

  • Cecile Raley Designs is dedicated to all things sustainable and fair.
  • Our castings are made from recycled materials, and our gems are untreated and locally sourced whenever possible.
  • We promote local artisanship and fair wages.
  • We strive to understand how our gems and materials are sourced, and we provide full disclosure about our production to our customers.

Our Staff:

Yvonne Cecile Raley, Ph.D. - Owner, creator, lover of gems. A philosophy professor by trade, Yvonne got "sidetracked" into jewelry in 2008 by making beaded jewelry for her friends. 

Karen French - Administrator: Karen is responsible for our shipping, catalogs and prices, as well as some client interaction.

Johanna Wood - Social Media/Graphic Designer: Johanna is also a Jewelry Designer, with her own brand and Etsy shop.  

Our local artists:

Pierre B Inc - Setter

Ethan Sweet - Setter

Vasken Baghdad (Goldmaster Jewelry) - Goldsmith

Alex Pugachevsky - Engraving

Taba Casting - Casting Service

Our Office Kitties:


Lucy (Non-working shop member) 

Toby (2006 - 2021)