WINi 2018: Kaitlin Ryan

courtesy Kaitlin Ryan

Kaitlin Ryan is the founder, designer, and maker of Peppertrain Jewelry, a line featuring handmade clay beads in dynamic, statement combinations. The Meredith College alumna earned a degree in fashion merchandising and design before working as a visual merchandiser. She wound up as the shop manager and assistant shop buyer at Raleigh Denim, where she learned the ropes from, and built a friendship with, the brand’s founders Sarah Yarborough and Victor Lytvinenko. After experimenting with “wearable art” jewelry she made for herself, in 2015, Ryan sold a few pieces at the Raleigh Denim Curatory and Peppertrain was born. Today, Peppertrain Jewelry is sold statewide and beyond, both online and in small boutiques. At WINi, Ryan will share what she’s learned about overcoming self-doubt and comparison as a creative and a small business owner. “It’s important to follow your dreams, even though you may not have all of the answers,” she says. “Starting is the first step. Continuing is the truth teller.”