When Caitie Met Soda
This week we have teamed up with the beautiful jewellery brand When Caitie met Soda, talking about how her poor heath sparked the start of her brand, her relationship with her dog and more. As seen in Vogue and Red magazine her pieces take inspiration from hope and space, creating a beautiful and unique collection.
We are also running a competition over on instagram giving you a chance to win our Taupe jewellery box and a gold infinity pendant, enter at the end of this post.
Your journey into jewellery making and the idea behind the name is a different and much more personal one, I wondered if you could share a bit of this background with our readers?
Of course! You have certainly hit the nail on the head in saying that it is a very personal journey; and one that I am very proud of.
When Caitie met Soda was born when I met the furry love of my life - Soda. Soda is a Staffordshire Bullterrier, who we adopted at the age of one. His arrival coincided with what was an extremely difficult period in my life. I had just left my postgraduate training course, as I had become suddenly and unexpectedly very unwell. At the time, no one had any idea what was wrong with me; or a reason for my symptoms. After many, many months of searching, we found out that I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is an inherited condition that is characterised by, among other things, chronic pain. In a nutshell, Soda; little naughty ball of energy Soda; became my reason for getting out of bed in the mornings, and, on my difficult days, still is. It was somewhere along this journey that When Caitie met Soda, as it’s known today, was born, where from my kitchen table, I handmade some of my first pieces of jewellery. From there, encouraged by my wonderful family, I began selling on Etsy, and eventually on my own website, and, the rest, as they say, is history.
When Caitie met Soda has transformed my life; and has gone from being something of a hobby; something that I could do at my kitchen table to take my mind off the decline in my physical and mental health; to my full-time job and passion. There really isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t feel like the luckiest person alive to be able to do what I do. Designing and creating jewellery has given me the ability to communicate some of the most difficult of emotions, and as such, was and continues to be extremely healing.
You now work along side your sister, in your experience what are the main differences in having a partner to work with vs being on your own, and how do you two get on being sisters and working together?
My sister and I always actually dreamed about working together. In the dream we also have interconnecting homes, and basically live, work and play together! Our relationship has always been extremely close; and so she was the obvious candidate to ask for help with When Caitie met Soda. With her being highly creative, and her vast experience in business, she is truly invaluable. She is also just about the most patient person when having her photos taken - she actually features in most of the When Caitie met Soda pictures!
To say that we get along well would be an understatement. She truly is the person that understands me best. It feels like she sometimes mind reads exactly what I need and when! She has been a continuous pillar of support - whilst also maintaining a full-time job in the City! She’s a bit of a #girlboss, really. And a constant inspiration to me.
Importantly my partner, Paul, my mother, Debby, and father Clem also play an integral role in the day-to-day running of When Caitie met Soda. From packaging and posting, to helping with all things ‘businessy’, they really are my rock, and the When Caitie met Soda family.
Your product names have an affiliation with both hope and also space themes, I wondered if you could tell us a little more about how you name your beautiful pieces and what the thought process behind this is?
Many of the pieces available at When Caitie met Soda are pieces from our Core Collection, which was in it’s original format called the ‘Celestial Collection’. I have a fascination with space - from the stars, to the moon, planets… I think at the time in which I designed them, they were the things that made me feel less alone than I felt. When I look at the Moon, for example, I am reminded of the fact that I only appreciate its full beauty because of the darkness: the night sky. And somehow, that makes darkness seem a little bit less scary. Hope runs throughout the collection - and is something that will in all likelihood always feature on When Caitie met Soda in some capacity. I think it’s so, so important to never underestimate the power of hope. Because it’s the one thing that we can truly rely on when everything feels totally uncertain. And, most importantly, where we have hope, we are never, ever, truly alone.
Where do you get inspiration for your pieces?
This is a hard question as it’s such a big one! Honestly, I think I find inspiration for my pieces everywhere - be it in daily interactions with people, or in thinking about the universe and our part in it. A lot of my inspiration for my designs comes from my writing - I keep a personal journal and also blog over at Caitie met Soda dot com. Sometimes by getting everything out on paper, or onto the screen, I can visualise a design - almost like a photograph. It’s hard to say where exactly that comes from, or what inspires that process, but, one thing I know for absolute certain is that it’s definitely straight from my heart.
Soda is obviously a huge part of your journey and brand, it only seems right for you to tell us a little about him?
Oh, Soda. If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll be used to seeing a daily barrage of stories featuring this little man! Soda is now four years old, and has lived with us for three of those years (although I honestly can’t remember a time without him!) He is a whirlwind of energy, and honestly keeps me on my toes. But, he also has an incredible ability to sense when things are not quite okay. When I’m having one of my ‘bad’ days; which, in a nutshell is characterised by widespread pain, Soda will stay in bed with me, all day sometimes, and not leave my side for anything. Paul jokes that Soda has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome too, as he really does seem to have poorly days when I am poorly!
Finally where can our readers find you?
You can find me and shop with us over at caitiemetsoda.com ! As I mentioned, I blog regularly over there - caitiemetsoda.com/blog and I’m also very active on Instagram - here . I’d LOVE it (and, of course Soda would too!) if you stopped by to say hi!
Thanks so much to Caitie and don’t forget to enter the competition to win one of her beautiful pieces.