Senior Feature: the Rae of sunshine that illuminates BC

Sporting a recently acquired pixie cut and an unwavering radiant smile, senior Rae Davel was putting the finishing touches on some locker decorations for a friend’s birthday when I approached her for an interview. Beside her was a home-baked cake, which she later explained was part of her compulsive baking habits. “I was up until three last night…had to wait for the stupid ganache to set. It’s good ganache though. I was really impressed with myself,” she says with a laugh.
Though her Walgreens employee name tag reads “Rachel,” she is known as Rae to all her friends and family. “I didn’t know my real name was Rachel until kindergarten, because nobody ever called me that,” she says. “I think it suits me better than Rachel…because I’m a Rae of sunshine!” she jokes before bursting into laughter. “And like, if I was about to walk into oncoming traffic, you can scream it real easily, so there’s that.”
Pragmatic like her own nickname, Davel has garnered much attention through her creative talents. Most recently, she designed her own dress for Halloween. “This year I was a Day of the Dead skeleton, the year before that I was an antique doll, and the year before that, I was Anna from Frozen,” she says.
She has expressed a desire to do more dressmaking and designing, but has encountered some problems from her ‘Sewing Machine of Death.’ “I think it’s determined to wipe me off the face of the earth, and I it,” she says. “So…I do a lot of hand sewing.”
Not to be easily dissuaded by something as simple as a bloodthirsty sewing machine, Davel often finds herself experimenting; picturing designs in her head before setting out to work with the fabric she has lying around the house. She also created her Homecoming dress this year – a simple yet elegant black dress decorated with a string of white lights to mimic stars. “My first thought for the space theme was to light up – like, obnoxiously so,” she says. “Apparently, other people didn’t have that thought.”
However, her creative passions do not stop at fashion design. Davel always keeps her hands busy – seemingly for no reason, and seemingly without constraint. “Homework kind of sits by the wayside…But if you ever wanted to build a small windmill, that’s kind of what I do,” she says, laughing again. “And then you’re just like, ‘I didn’t need this. What do I do with it?’” She ended up presenting it to her dad.
With an older sister and an older brother already sent off to college, Davel is the official baby of the family. And while she feels ready to graduate, she is less certain about her plans for the future. “I don’t really know what I’m going to do,” she says. “I think more than college, I’m excited for internships and study-abroad and opportunities like that.”
She has considered majoring in industrial design, although she feels she could also be comfortable in illustration or perhaps film or computer science- which, she admits she has little experience in. “I feel like I would be happy doing anything,” she says. “Although [some schools] didn’t have my major, so I applied for really random majors. So, if I end up in marketing, you know why that happened.”
Regardless, wherever she is headed for the future, Davel will not forget her roots as a born-and-raised Brookfielder. “I’ve lived in the same house since I was eight months old. Brookfield has always been my life,” she says. “I don’t really picture myself coming back to Brookfield, but maybe I will. There’ll probably be, like, eight more DSWs by the time I come back, but that’s fine – I don’t mind shoes.”