No two painted and crystallized leather cuffs are exactly alike
–Local artist Caroline Rocha makes gorgeous one of a kind jewelry from her studio in San Luis Obispo, California. Rocha specializes in creating beautiful leather cuff bracelets, bags, belts, and more. Rocha’s designs have created a huge following, and customers of all kinds love her pieces which she paints and adorns with Swarovski crystals, in swirling, colorful patterns. Her eye-catching designs are reminiscent of the beauty you’ll find in nature. Each piece is lovingly created by the artist herself with a team of dedicated helpers, and adorned one-by-one with sparkling, heavenly crystals.
The mosaic-like quality her jewelry has is so unique that no two bracelets are exactly alike, and Rocha has amassed a large fanbase of collectors all over the world, including celebrities since beginning her business in 2007. Rocha has a true artists perspective, and sees the beauty around her, feeling inspired to create designs for women to wear and celebrate their own unique beauty.
Caroline Rocha Jewelry is all about the brilliance and bold color, and the artist can’t seem to stop herself from painting on everything around her. Her endless flow of creativity started out thanks to her supportive inner circle. Rocha has a pair of sisters who encouraged her from the beginning to sell her cuffs to stores, which at first embarrassed her, but later looking back she shared, “This is a test, I felt shame but I could push it away. I was embarrassed that people would laugh at me.” Rocha had quiet moments in her car where she would silently sit and evaluated herself, processing and questioning what she should do. For me, I heard this internal voice saying, “And I will show you.”
Caroline Rocha wasn’t always the confident, well-poised jewelry artist you may know and love today. Although she always loved to make art, and had grown up doodling and drawing for her entire childhood, the joy she found while expressing herself artistically became dampened by anxiety. Throughout her childhood, she feared her work would be laughed at as she became self-conscious and worried whenever she shared her art. Unsure of where to turn next after high school, and not excited to do most careers, Rocha delved into being a hairdresser, and helped to put her husband through medical school.
Later in life, around age 40, Rocha’s eyes were opened after a friend invited her to be a part of a study on the purpose driven life. It lasted from 8-15 weeks and Rocha continually went. The biggest thing she learned from it was that she has a unique gift granted by God, and an intimate relationship which she attributes as one of her inspirations.
Rocha felt a responsibility to use her gift, and not hide it. Art was what divided her from the rest, saying, “God made me to be an artist. I felt relief when I would collect rocks at the beach and paint them.” Rocha had an increasing insatiable lust to paint bigger and better surfaces, until one day she was at an amusement park and noticed a kiosk selling plain leather cuffs. She envisioned them adorned with her art, and bought one to paint and gift to her sisters.
After returning to her hotel room she started painting it, but realized it needed something a little bit extra-so upon returning home, she encrusted it with luminous and colorful Swarovski crystals. Her sisters were very impressed with her work, and their excitement and encouragement had her marveling. One of her sisters insisted on getting these exquisite designs out into the world, and set off from San Diego to San Francisco, met with a buyer, and got Caroline’s art picked up by the store, Something Silver. In 2009 her story began as Rocha’s designs started selling in Downtown Disney and Disney World, and from that point her confidence grew!
Rocha believes her sister’s faith in her, and a trust in God’s wisdom showed her the way to success. After getting into the wholesale market, untrained, she entered professional shows with designers and reps to display her creations. The stores started buying from her, one after the next, and so she made it her goal to have jewelry sold in all 50 states. Her prayers were eventually answered. Over 250 boutiques in America have carried her designs, as well as in London, Australia, and Canada. She’s never stopped creating and over time has simplified her business.
Caroline Rocha Jewelry is sold locally at The Madonna Inn, Le Creme, and Shell Beach Floral in Pismo. For more information, call (805) 235-7259 or visit www.carolinerocha.com.
– By Cassandra Frey