It's nothing better than wearing something designed especially from you. It's the designer capturing who you are in their design. Which is why I was so excited to get my pieces from Clouds and Ladders. I found this handmade jewelry brand on instagram a few months ago, and complete fell in love. The intricate design yet simplicity is something I'm always looking for in my jewelry.
Q & A with Kate, Owner & Designer of Clouds and Ladders
Q: When did you start Clouds and Ladders?
A: Almost exactly 1 year ago - Happy 1st birthday Clouds and Ladders!
Q: What is the inspiration behind the name and brand?
A: I started making jewelry after my husband and I moved to Northern California in June of last year. That marked our 5th move and 5th state for his job in our 5 years of marriage. You would think I'd be a pro at moving, but it almost seems like it gets harder instead of easier, and I felt exhausted from starting new jobs, making new friends, finding a good hair stylist, etc. So I started making jewelry as a way to have a creative outlet and rejuvenate myself. I imagined that making jewelry was like climbing a ladder into the clouds and out of the stress I was living in. I also liked the dichotomy that clouds represent something ethereal and artistic, while ladders are more solid and practical. In that way, Clouds and Ladders represents the balance I seek between my creative side and working in the science-based medical field of occupational therapy. (I don't know how much info you want, but please feel free to cut out as much as you like!)
Q: What is your goal?
A: To continue having fun making jewelry! If it ever becomes not-fun, I will stop.
Q: If you had to describe the clouds and ladders customer how would you describe them?
A: Creative people who like to wear unique and colorful jewelry.
Q: What was the first item you made?
A: I don't remember now...
Q: Is it difficult balancing your schedule between your day job and night career?!?
A: Yes, sometimes I start making jewelry in the evening and the next thing I know it's 1 or 2 (or later) in the morning! Coffee is the fuel that keeps me going on those days!
Q: What's one advice you would give to someone starting their own company?
A: I think Instagram is an amazing tool to help you start your own business. You can get instant feedback about what people like or don't like, and immediately tweak your work to include more of what people like if that's what you want. For example, I will play around with color combos that I like, post some pics, and based on how many likes or what kind of comments I get, I know what combos people like best. Then I know where to focus my energy, and not waste my time on things that aren't going over well.
Q: What is something that makes you smile?
A: My husband! He's a really funny guy!
Q: Where does your motivation come from?
A: I see different things around me like the colors of plants and flowers, or an outfit on the street, and I think how I'd like to see that made into a piece of jewelry that I or someone else could wear. Those ideas continue to bubble up to the surface of my thoughts until I can finally get into the studio and make the pieces I've been daydreaming about.
Q: What is you favorite piece?
A: I'm really hooked on a new style of earrings I just designed called Color Block Circles. There are a few available athttps://www.etsy.com/shop/
Q: What is one thing you want viewers to know?
A: That all of my jewelry is handmade and has a complex process to making it. So much of what is available to buy today is mass produced in factories. Even a lot of so-called "handmade" jewelry is just someone buying mass produced charms and hanging them on chains. But when you purchase a Clouds and Ladders design, I have soldered, filled, filed, sanded, polished, and finally tucked it into a jewelry box to make a unique and beautiful treasure just for you.
Q: Did you ever make a custom made piece you wanted to keep?
A: No, I have a few favorite designs that I wear consistently, like an Eclipse necklace and a Color Block necklace, that are my own signature pieces.
Q: What's one thing you want people to take from your brand?
A: I hope people are inspired to march to the beat of their own drummer and have fun while doing it.
To shop all Clouds and Ladders gems visit cloudsandladders.com https://www.etsy.com/shop/Cloudsandladders
Here's how I styled my custom made necklace and half moon earrings!
Floral String Dress - Trish's Closest
White Tunic - Zara
Beige Wedges - Forever 21
To stay up to date on what to wear, style tips and tricks, and Joy
Hugs & Love - Jseivad