Meet The Designers

Trish Italia


After a weekend trip to Galena with my husband in 1972 that was all it took to instantly fall in love with this town.  Little did I know that it would lead to moving to Jo Daviess County and opening a bead/jewelry shop in 2012 along with the help of my family.

I started as a fabric artist and did juried craft shows for 10 years, until my oldest daughter opened my eyes to designing jewelry.  Now, my 3 daughters and I share the passion for jewelry design.

I hope you enjoy your shopping experience at "Rustic River" and I'll see you again soon!

Betsy McCool-Wallace


I grew up in small town Warren, IL, and am the youngest of three girls.  I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, to eventually become a Juvenile Probation Officer.  I now live in Dubuque, IA with my husband, daughter & kitty :) 

It all started in 2008 when my sister introduced me to the "world of beading", and I've been hooked ever since!  I love being able to express myself through design! Never would I have thought I would end up as a jewelry designer, and wouldn't change it for anything!

Amanda Link


I have been designing jewelry since 2005, being a naturally creative and crafty person I fell in love with the different stones, findings, and ever changing elements of design.  Designing jewelry has become a passionate outlet for my creativity.  I live in charming Galena, where inspiration is everywhere, with my husband, son & puppy.

Megan Italia-Styba


At 23 years old, I opened the first chapter in my jewelry designing career! Little did I know what passion & love it would bring me.  Everyday I strive to make unique designs getting inspiration from everyday life!  The best joy in this book of mine is how close it has brought my family together! My sisters, mom & daughters have all joined in on this amazing adventure!

"Gemelli Inspired"


Italian for "Twins" Gemelli Inspired jewelry is handcrafted using nothing but the highest quality findings to create one-of-a-kind pieces.  All of the metal we use is 100% natural and in its breathable state, therefore you can expect some lightening and darkening with wear and age.  We take great pride in our work making each item just as beautiful as the next.  The love that we share as identical twins, is the same love that we share for designing our jewelry.  We hope you enjoy wearing it as much as we have had designing it.

Katie Italia-Waver


After years of my Mom and sisters making jewelry I finally decided to try it myself.  It wasn't too long after learning from the best that I was hooked.  Creating vintage inspired jewelry with a twist is definitely my style.  Not a day goes by where I do not think of new designs and how to make each piece unique.  I draw inspiration from new fashions trends and antique findings, the perfect combination of old and new.  Bing home with my kids and designing jewelry is truly a blessing.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have making them.

Anthony Waver


Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed art and design in all of its many forms - and more recently I have been drawn to and inspired by all things rustic.  Whether it's mangled barbed wire, rusted tin or the weathered wood from a barn, I truly subscribe to the phrase "one person's trash is another person's treasure."  But it's not just about the finished piece.  To me, it's more about the process and the challenges to create "treasures" out of "trash."  It is during this process in which I get to travel to different locations, pick through various items, seeing history 1st hand, and wonder of their stories.  I have been very fortunate as Rustic River has given me the opportunity to explore this passion - hopefully one day turning it into my profession.  I truly hope you enjoy these treasures as I have had creating them.

Joan Lincoln


I've crocheted since I was a teenager.  I never felt I was very crafty, but enjoyed working with my hands.  Then my son's girlfriend - now my daughter-in-law, Trish's daughter Jess - introduced me to jewelry making.  After making numerous gifts, she talked me into selling my jewelry.  My husband has been very supportive and is my best and worst critic.  I'm proof that we can do anything we set our mind to, no matter what age we are.  It's rewarding knowing others are enjoying my creations.  Born and raised in Galena.

6/23/1952 - 11/11/2016

RIP our dear friend.  You will be missed, but never forgotten.

Cathie Roberts


I have worked in many different glass forms over the years starting with stained-glass and now focusing on lampworking.  I always say each bead is a mini piece of art, time passes without notice while I am working on them.  I also love to make jewelry and work with fibers.