As a child, Caitlin Mociun harbored a fear of coyotes and a dream of becoming an appaloosa. Spared by the mutts and with humanity intact, Caitlin instead channeled her creativity and imagination into jewelry design. Having lived throughout Asia and Europe, Caitlin eventually made her way to the Rhode Island School of Design, where she graduated with a BFA in textiles. In 2006, she founded Mociun: a collection that strives to use recycled, organic and alternative materials. These days, Caitlin is enjoying the “appaloosian character of self-employment,” focusing on crafting beautiful jewelry and keeping the customers happy. two + seven chatted with the designer about her environmentally conscious jewelry fabrication, exciting collaborations, and what the future holds.
two + seven: Tell us more about your ‘environmentally conscious’ jewelry fabrication. Was this a goal of yours when you first founded your company? How do people respond to it?
Caitlin Mociun: I do my best to use recycled gold and diamonds that are taken from antique jewelry. I do this as much as I can but this can’t be done with certain diamonds. As with every area of my business, I do my best to make sure that the materials I use are coming from the best places and that I know what is going on with the people who produce my jewelry. I work very closely with my jewelers here in New York and have a great relationship with them.
I am not sure that I really had a goal when I started my company. I just started making things and selling them. I always did this from a very young age. I used to make bottle dolls with my best friend and make jewelry from Femo when I was in middle school. I started selling clothes that I made when I was in college. I guess it’s just something that I was born to do (sell things, haha). I decided soon after I started my company that if I was going to be putting things out into the world I needed to do it in a way that I felt good about because there is so much ‘stuff’ that goes out there. I wanted to do this with as little waste as possible and support the community that I live in. I did that with both my (previous) apparel line and with my jewelry line now.
I have been blessed to always have a very supportive and excited audience for my work. I feel like it has really grown since I added the jewelry. The clothing did okay but the jewelry is doing great. It makes me incredibly happy to create work that people love. Having my new store in Williamsburg has allowed me to meet and talk to a lot of my customers as well as meet new ones. Its very rewarding to me; I love seeing peoples faces light up when they are excited about a piece of jewelry.
2+7: Do the fabrics you create ever inspire your jewelry, or vice versa?
CM: Not too much now. In the past they did but I am kind of putting the fabric designing to the side for a few months. I needed a little break from it.
2+7: When you’re not working on jewelry or designing, what are you doing?
CM: Cooking, going to the beach, traveling, and spending time with my loved ones.
2+7: What’s in store for Mociun jewelry?
CM: I just opened a store in Brooklyn, so that was pretty big for me. I just had a home collection come out with Urban Outfitters. I started working on a collaboration with Iacoli & McAllister- we are making some small object and furniture pieces- psyched about that!
2+7: How is the appaloosian lifestyle treating you these days?
CM: Great. Doing what I think is fun and finding time to graze when I can too