Sometimes you just find a brand that really resonates with you. Catherine Rising is one of those brands. I initially found Catherine's signature floral smudge sticks in one of my favorite boutiques in Philadelphia and immediately became a fan & follower on Instagram. So when it came time to start sourcing brands for Bocu, I knew that I wanted to reach out. Instead of just emailing, I sought her out at the NYNow Tradeshow in February of 2018... I fangirled a little bit, obsessed over her product, and put in my very first order.
She is a lovely human who not only creates beautiful smudge sticks, palo santo bundles, and natural apothecary products, but she is socially conscious, supports female farmers & makers, and practices sustainability with her recycled packaging.
Enjoy reading about Catherine!
1. What is your "WHY" behind starting your business?
I graduated from art school right after the financial crisis. I bounced around for a while bartending and working at small, high-end shops... but feeling pretty uninspired. There was this jewelry designer that I really admired in Brooklyn, so I wrote her this really dorky fan mail and she took me on as an intern. I started doing studio work, running errands and worked my way up to helping her with design, sales, and trade shows. Every day was something new and she taught me so much. More than anything it was so amazing to spend every day in that world. I loved what I was doing, so work was fulfilling and inspiring. It was a really wonderful time.
A few years in, I started making some wall hangings to sell under her line. A buyer from a big retailer saw them at a friend's store and reached out. I had to register as a business in order to work with that big of a company... and Catherine Rising was born.
2. What inspires you?
I went to art school for painting, so I am super inspired by color and texture. I find so much joy in thrift shopping for the vintage materials that we use. I also love supporting other local small businesses run by women, so I collaborate with others as much as I can - from local organic flower farms that I visit every weekend at the market, to a woman with a goat farm who makes our soap. I love developing relationships with like-minded makers.
I am also really inspired by travel. I try to go to LA once a year. I also take a yearly trip with a friend who is a huge inspiration to me. We just booked our tickets to Mexico for this summer and I can't wait.
3. What is your go-to gift?
Gift giving is seriously one of the greatest joys of my life! haha! I love Darling Clementine and the local museum gift shops for kids gifts. It's nice to feel that the purchase is supporting a good cause. I love Species by the Thousands for gifts for girlfriends. Her room sprays are amazing. Fancy champagne is always a fun treat for a celebration.
4. What is your tip on how to be the Best Gifter?
Be a good listener. I guess I just try to keep it really special and specific to the person. And always buy from a source that you feel good about supporting!
HOW TO FIND CATHERINE RISING:
Shop our Catherine Rising offering in Build Your Bocu by filtering to Catherine Rising in Brands!