Doers and Dreamers...Cadence
The best part about the Doers & Dreamers series is finding out all the detail behind such beautiful brands. Cadence is one of the first mums I met when I went to a networking event in London for mums in business. What's so wonderful about Cadence is she really does embody everything her jewellery brand Cadence London is. She is centred, calm, warm and happy. I've really loved finding out how she manages to maintain this in the crazy world of being an entrepreneur and mumboss...
Hi Cadence tell us a bit about yourself? (and your business)
I AM a dreamer ;) I am also a lover of coffee, yoga, green smoothies, symbolism, and sunshine. My greatest inspirations come from art, spirituality, fashion and movement. I am a mum of two girls 6 and 10 who have taught me my greatest lessons about self. They are feisty, strong, sensitive creative spirits who always challenge me to be the best that I can be and their happiness is my greatest joy. Outside of that I thrive on creating in quiet solitude and doing anything where I can close my eyes and breathe into my body. My first life was as a professional ballet/contemporary dancer, yoga teacher and artist. Since my second daughter (and getting a bit better handle on motherhood. . .if that is possible), I set up Cadence London, which is a line of fine jewellery which seeks to inspire women through celebrating the symbolism and beauty of anatomy. I am utterly inspired by the beauty of the human body in all its facets, depths and forms and believe true happiness comes from going within and allowing that inner spirit and self to radiate out. . . not the other way around.
What was the driving force to set up Cadence London?
I wanted to combine the ideas and issues within my artwork, but create a viable business that would have a larger outreach. My artwork is about women’s relationships to their body in light of the mirror of “perfection” that is held up for us by the media. What happens when this creates a disconnect between mind and body and what happens if one instead goes within and lives from the inside out? The jewellery has become a more tangible (and a bit less serious) extension of that.
The initial collection is inspired by my fascination and awe of, the beauty and symbolism within the human form (ALL human form). I see the spine as a metaphor for life. The vertebrae fit together in a magical way that act as our scaffold and strength, yet they bend and twist to life’s demands and protect within them the sensitive spinal cord which connects mind to body. The heart is a symbol of integrity, passion and courage and its unfailing beat gives fuel to our fire.
I hope with the message in the jewellery women find a deeper connection with their bodies and their inner strength.
Having a proper workspace is my dream and goal before the end of 2016, scheming and planning as a write! A minimal, monochrome, organised space that can function as jewellery bench and desk...ah, a girl can dream! For a long time I worked at the kitchen table, but I found it hard not to be distracted by chores. At the moment, I have a little desk set up in a window alcove, which, although not ideal, puts me in the zone and I can focus on the tasks at hand. I look out onto the beautiful communal garden, with my back turned to whatever household chores lie in wait for me...
Tell us about a typical day?
I try to get up at 6 before my children and do a bit of meditation and yoga, as I am someone who needs to be in my own headspace and have a lot of quiet to start the day. This is always followed by the typical family fray of getting out the door, but we always have a sit down family breakfast and then literally run to school (usually getting there just as the bells goes). I try to make school hours as productive as possible for work, as my brain works best in silence and solitude. It is hard to ignore chores working from home, but it is essential if I want to actually move forward. I do, however, take a lunch break to do body combat or yoga three times a week. When the kids are home from school it is all about them until after they go to bed and then it is my time to catch up on chores or any loose ends that didn’t get finished in the day work wise. I try to be disciplined about sleep as I went too many years without enough and I find it actually makes me less productive as my mood drops significantly. I aim to get 7 hours a night (although dream of 8), but it often slips to 6 if I am not careful—old habits die hard. Weekends are all about family and only slipping in bits of work if absolutely necessary because of a deadline.
How did you launch?
I never had a proper launch, but just had a small party at a friends house with champagne and artisan chocolates and all the jewellery on display. Now that I have redone my logo and branding (ahem, in the works...) I am thinking about doing a proper launch.
What’s your favourite online resource (app/tool) that is indispensable for work?
I absolutely love Canva. I am a tactile hands on girl and get really wound up by computers (they also always seem to start doing crazy things when I touch them), but Canva is brilliant, as it makes it super easy to do instagram posts, design flyers, design gift cards, etc....LOVE it! I also love Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration.
How do you manage family and work life balance?
Do I??? I find it really hard to take care of oneself (i.e. enough sleep and exercise), run a business and be a great mum. So where I find balance. I get up early to have a bit of me time before they get up to calm and focus my mind for the day. When I am on my own with my kids I aim not to be on my phone. I plug it in when we get home from school and don’t usually look at it again until after bed. That is their time and unless I have an absolute deadline that I am about to miss, I don’t work between school pick-up and bedtime. I am pedantic about neatness and cleanliness and function best in a spotless home, BUT (cue grimace) I have had to let go slightly of the house always being absolutely perfect and/or cleaned as often as I like. I am also trying to teach my children to do more chores and be more responsible so that we can all work as a team (I often feel like a broken record, but pray that eventually it will sink in). My husband and I both run our own businesses and he is incredibly supportive, so although we are often ships crossing in the night, we do find a way to balance things, so that there is usually a parent (not sitter or TV) engaging them. My newest inspiration to find more balance, though, is to do a major life clear out, getting rid of anything that does not spark joy and creating a more minimal space: less things equals less to clear up and less to distract mentally. Will let you know how that one goes....I tend to be very sentimental.
What have you found most surprising since setting up your business?
How much people genuinely really want to help and give you support. That if one is open and honest and really passionate about what one does, others want to collaborate or lend a helping hand without expecting you to pay them an arm and leg for it.
Also how much one’s own mind can play games on one about one’s abilities and relevance, but the more one puts oneself out there, despite fear or lack of confidence in the moment, the more confident you become and the more doors open.
On the tough days how do you self motivate?
I put away the phone (and stop looking at Instagram which can make you feel the size of a flea in an instant) and find a way to go inside or use my body...Depending on the mood (and time) I will do some yoga breathing exercises, go to a yoga class or punch and kick it out in a body combat class.
What’s been your business highlight so far?
I would say the biggest highlights have been those initial orders off the website (some international), where I had no idea who the person was. To know that all one’s work has paid off and one’s message has reached far flung places and unknown people is really rewarding. It isn’t big or grand, but was somehow so satisfying and exciting when it happened.
What have you got planned next?
So many ideas, so little time! I am about to launch some rings, earrings and cufflinks to fit in with the current collection and I am also developing some new ideas based on other symbolic anatomy. I am also looking to join forces with some charities to create a symbolic piece of jewellery in line with their message (breast cancer, genital mutilation, abused women) that can be bought by survivors to honour themselves and bought by the public to raise awareness and money for the cause. Also, a blog celebrating women and their strength is in development with an amazingly talented journalistic photographer friend of mine, Francesca Snelling.
And finally….what’s your top tip for anyone thinking of starting their own business?
I would say the most important thing is to trust your gut and be true to yourself. You cannot be all things to all people, so doing things straight from the heart is the only way of ensuring you will be utterly unique and it will be an absolutely coherent idea. Also, if you don’t ask you won’t get. It is so important to just put yourself out there and ask, even if the person seems uber important or unattainable....we are all human and if one approaches things with an honest and personal note, the response can be amazing. People respond to humility and honesty. Of course, there will also be the doors that close in your face, but there are always a thousand more doors to knock on, and you have to focus on the ones that open not the ones that close.
To find out more about Cadence and her stunning jewellery please visit www.cadencelondon.com
Every Monday we will bring you a new Doers & Dreamers interview. Let us know who else you would like to know more about.