Last May, over 400 people crowded into Evan Rauch’s Houston home, with a line spilling out the door. The cops even came to investigate the unruly neighborhood scene. At the center of it all was Rauch, an advertising freshman, selling her jewelry at the fourth trunk store of her career.
Rauch was first inspired to make jewelry in eighth grade when someone gave her a beading kit. It was just a fun hobby until her classmates started making requests and asked to buy her creations. She started out making woven, cuffed bracelets and now creates high-end jewelry with semiprecious stones.
Rauch’s style has evolved over time. She loves working with pendants and charms, mixing golds, greens and grays to create trendy, yet timeless, pieces. She said her favorite pieces to use are Buddha charms and pyrite stone.
“[My style] is a little boho but more traditional,” Rauch said. “I like simple, fun pieces that are versatile. You could take a necklace I made and wear it with a white button-down and jeans.”
Roughly a year ago, she opened an Etsy store to expand her clientele. She has also caught the eyes of multiple stores and sells her jewelry at four boutiques, including the Houstonian, Cuatro and Annie Albritton in Houston and c.jane in Austin.
“She has one of the best eyes I’ve ever seen,” c. jane co-founder Julie Copp said. “Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t talk about Evan.”
Rauch is the local boutique’s youngest seller but also one of the most popular. Rauch said she delivers up to 10 pieces to the store every two weeks.
“My clients have definitely changed,” Rauch said. “It used to be eighth graders, and, now, it’s their moms.”
The transition from high school to college has affected Rauch’s pace. It takes her about an hour to make each piece and, with a demanding course load, she can only make about one per day. Rauch is determined, however, to continue making and selling her jewelry at UT.
“I love it; I never get tired of it,” Rauch said. “It’s an addiction.”
Her friends and family have been supportive of her throughout the process. One high school friend, psychology freshman Mary Hotze, has watched her jewelry evolve since high school and owns pieces of Rauch’s work.
“I bought a necklace from her four years ago that I still wear,” Hotze said. “It doesn’t go out of fashion.”
To keep up with the trends and stock up on new supplies, Rauch goes to beading conventions at least twice a year.
“I bring a suitcase; people think I’m crazy,” Rauch said. “It’s my thing. It’s the best weekend ever.”
Rauch hopes to someday turn her Etsy store into a storefront, allowing her to spend her time designing. If that doesn’t work out, she wants to have a high-couture line on the side with a shop in her house. She’s currently majoring in advertising and hopes to complete the Business Foundations Program as well.
“People say I’m going to be the next Kendra Scott,” Rauch said. “And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I wish.’”