Personality and polymath Robyne Robinson ventures into business
For two decades, Robyne Robinson, the first African American woman to anchor a local primetime newscast in the Twin Cities, was a reliable and comforting presence for the local news.
Robinson is no stranger to moving through different professional fields and finding success. She has since been the art director at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. After five years in the unique position, she left the post last year to embark on other endeavors.
She recently made history as the first African American chair of the board of directors for the Minnesota Museum of American Art .
Robinson owns and designs jewelry for Rox Jewelry, and has launched and consults for the Five X Five Art Consultants firm.
Rox Jewelry features what Robinson calls wearable art. The love and passion she puts into creating jewelry dates back to her adolescent years. “My mom was the first person to support me. She was a teacher in the Chicago public school system,” said Robinson. If money was scarce, Robinson was encouraged to make jewelry, often given as birthday gifts for childhood friends.
Robinson offers an array of designs that include semi-precious stones and opulent pearls intricately woven together. The globally inspired jewelry also incorporates gemstones and artisan metals that have traveled from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East.
She has new bracelet designs for the Rox men’s line comprised of glistening gold beads and red gemstones. Another design showcases enchanting leather intertwined with metal.
The theme of Rox Jewelry surrounds “love, culture, history, all about finding your identity in jewelry” says Robinson.
Robinson says Rox Jewelry plays a therapeutic role for her and serves as escapism. “The only problem I have is that when I get into it, many nights I don’t go to bed,” she said of her latest endeavor.
Robinson, for Five X Five Arts Consultants helps clients with brand identity through the arts. The firm offers services in referrals and acquisitions. An example of the work includes counseling for Metropolitan Airport Commission architects. As a result, she was inspired to work in public design.
The former welcoming face on TV sets all over the metro and one-time pursuant of and office of public service said she values social responsibility. “I was raised by activists and politicians. I always gotta give back,” said Robinson.
It’s important to never forget where we came from, noted the Chicago native. “I came here on a greyhound bus with no job and no money,” she said. Despite trials and tribulations throughout her journey, she said she was embraced by supportive Minnesotans.
Robinson expressed that she gives back to our community as a way to reciprocate the love and support. “Minnesota allowed me to grow up on the air and figure out what I wanted to do for me.”
Ashley Lauren is a contributing writer at the MN Spokesman-Recorder.