In the midst of a global pandemic that’s forcing so many people to stay home (or at least spend more time there), it helps to have a successful jewelry business that also offers a solid collection of homewares. chic. Ask Caitlin Mociun. The owner and founder of the homonymous label Mociun has managed to navigate the storm with its vast and well-preserved home treasures that are as playful and whimsical as they are elevated and well-designed.
Since its early years, the New York-based company has been no stranger to necessary pivots and evolution. In fact, the brand started out as a clothing company before moving into jewelry and home decor. “I started [the label] in 2006 as a women’s clothing line, focusing on hand-printed textiles that I designed, printed, and sewed myself,” says the founder, who studied textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design. . “I would never have imagined then that I would have a fine jewelry brand and a boutique.”
Like its thoughtful and intricate jewelry collections, the brand’s homewares are carefully selected and sourced from emerging brands and “styles and designs that [my buyer and I] are unique and new,” Mociun tells TZR. “But we also like to mingle and work with brands that have been in business for hundreds of years. I think a lot of what we’re looking for is a unique perspective and beautiful craftsmanship.”
Mociun has always drawn inspiration for the brand’s articles from 20th century Germany school of art and movement The Staatliches Bauhaus, or simply the Bauhaus. “The college (RISD) I went to was based on the Bauhaus, so I think my schooling really influenced the way I approached design,” she says. And more than being inspired by the current school (which ran from 1919 to 1933) and the artists, Mociun says she is inspired by the principles of the movement. Some of these key elements found in the brand’s jewelry and home collections include:
- Function before form: “I make pieces that are wearable, so they have to start out being wearable. A jewel that is uncomfortable, too heavy, unbalanced, etc. is not a successful piece even if it is pretty or cool.”
- Working with real materials: “My materials often influence my designs. Part of what I’ve fallen in love with when it comes to jewelry is the stones, the color of the gold, and how the two play together so simply. I find them perfect and beautiful in their simplest forms.”
- “To see no difference between artist and craftsman.
In home decor, these principles manifest themselves in brightly colored mouth-blown Italian vases, speckled ceramic teacups with playful dog sculptures in the center, and whimsical woven blankets with interesting designs and patterns. In jewelry, geometric and unexpected shapes, brightly colored precious stones and timeless and delicate pieces are found in the brand’s collections. Yes, every item under the Mociun umbrella strikes the perfect balance between sophisticated and playful – and it works.
In addition to Bahaus principles, the designer says her travels have always served as inspiration for the brand’s one-of-a-kind pieces. “[Travel] It’s really about taking me out of my comfort zone and my daily routine,” says Mociun. “It would make me see things in a new way. It’s been really difficult for me in 2020 to find a way to do that without leaving my physical spaces.”
Unsurprisingly, 2020 has brought more challenges for Mociun and his team (and countless other companies). But the founder says “working as a team” has helped keep everyone motivated during these difficult times. “Nobody wanted this ship to sink,” she said. “It has been wonderful and inspiring to see my team working together in new and exciting ways and finding solutions to problems that arise.”
The launch of a new “and very robust” website at the end of 2019 helped Mociun’s online business showcase its artistic products, especially those for the home, and allowed the brand to thrive. amid the pandemic, which has impacted traffic to its Brooklyn storefront. “It was helped even more by my amazing website manager who keeps improving our site,” says Mociun. “As well as my photographer and my creative content partner, who help bring our ideas to life in the photo shoots we work on.”
Indeed, Mociun explains that much of the magic of its namesake brands lies beyond its superb product offering. “There’s a whole world of people and personalities behind it,” says Mociun. “I work very hard to discover people’s strengths and talents (not always successfully, of course). Just as I worked to do what I love, I want my team members to do what I love too. ‘they love. I’ve seen all aspects of my brand improve when these things are targeted.’
Better indeed. Mociun’s “organic and unforeseen journey” led it to evolve into the multifaceted – and resilient – label it is today. “I mostly just kept pushing towards the things I loved doing, knowing there’s always going to be parts of it that are hard, that I’m not the best at, or that aren’t fun,” said Mociun. “When something really didn’t feel right or felt like something the world needed, then I walked away from it. [I’m] always checking and asking myself is it worth spending my time doing it and showing it to the world?”
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