A move out of New York City coupled with a second baby three years ago lead creative Donnie Soddu on a personal journey. Having the time and space to reflect inward, she looked to nature as a way to anchor her personal restorative process.
“I had all these things happening that to me felt like a spiritual expansion and a moment for spiritual exploration,” she said of the time. It lead her to lean into her creative side, creating jewelry based on ceremonial objects, “as a way to connect with my own personal power,” she said.
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What began as a project of self-reflection is now a full-fledged brand: High Light Rituals, built on the proposition of ceremonial objects designed to encourage the wearer to become more in tune with themselves and their inner world. “The pandemic aspect had to do with me sharing it more broadly,” she explained of wanting to expand the project. “I was feeling like in our collective conscious, there’s just like a lot of trauma and this deep need for reconnection.”
The debut collection begins with pendants and bracelets made of semiprecious stones and crystals, heavily influenced by natural elements. Each piece has different layers, of symbolism, “but when you look at them, they’re quite classic,” she said, like the Large Genesis Pendant, which is meant to help channel good fortune, and the Abundance Prayer Pendant, meant to invoke a fruitful mindset of gratitude and prosperity.
Her pieces, she says, are meant for a customer seeking spiritual expansion but aren’t necessarily religious. “People who are exploring crystals and mysticism but might feel intimidated or unseen by the metaphysical brands in the market delivering bulky, DIY-driven styles,” she said.
The collection ranges from $75 to $2,500, crafted from recycled 18-karat solid gold, ethically sourced gemstones and lab-cultured diamonds. “For the initial collection, gold was most aligned. The recycled element of it is important because again, this is our philosophy is very earth centered.” Pieces are handmade-to-order and are cleansed and blessed by Donnie herself before being sent to their new “home,” she said.
A seasoned marketing executive — she has had stints at Nécessaire, Tula Skincare and BaubleBar — Soddu has crafted a strategy that stays true to her direct-to-consumer brand DNA, launching with paid media and new social channels. Along with e-commerce, her website is also built as a place for discovery with a brand blog. “It’s a great opportunity for education and connection,” she explained.
A solo female founder, Soddu defines her brand goal on her own terms: “For me, this brand is about helping people feel connected. As long as I can take care of my family and be able to spend my time focused on this brand…that to me is success.”
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