When I first started making jewelry, I was an unemployed Navy wife who moved a lot, I wanted to create things + I wanted to share those things with all of you.
Creating things was simple at the time. Sharing them, on the other hand, not so much. I was new to instagram, I was new to promoting myself + I had so much going on personally that I was having a hard time making it all fit. I had a small following made up of loyal friends + family members, and while I knew they would support me regardless, I was not so sure about anyone else. I was worried that no one would really know what Leocadia K. was, let alone understand what I was trying to do, because I consciously left the word 'jewelry' out of my business name + because I wanted to build a lifestyle brand, not just a jewelry brand.
I wanted my instagram to be filled with photos from my everyday (YOUR everyday), not 101 photos of the new necklace I made. I wanted to talk about holistic health, yoga, style, art, chai tea, food, the way that morning light sparks a kind of magic inside of you. I wanted to inspire you to live life creatively, simply by being yourself.
I knew @caitsherrick could do all that, but I wasn't convinced that @leocadiak could just yet. So I decided to use my name as my handle. To make my instagram more personal, keep my work more relatable + to help you see that you could do it too. That we could do it together.
Within a year of making all of these big business decisions, I moved cross country with my then-husband, found out he was cheating on me, filed for divorce + moved cross country again so I could live with my mom, start over + figure out who the heck I was.
Now, I think it's safe to say that an unexpected divorce could cause you to question your identity. I know for a fact that finding out your partner was unfaithful for quite some time really has a way of making you question your identity + separating from the military as a spouse, when that life was all you knew as an adult feels like a huge loss. All three together? That felt like a full on identity crisis. I turned 30 that summer.
Absolutely every single thing in my life changed that year. Everything. The only thing that didn't absolutely have to change was my name. So I kept my name. His name, technically. Cait Sherrick.
It didn't make sense to anyone, but it made perfect sense to me. "How could you keep his name, Cait?"... "It's HIS name."..."He betrayed you."..."It's kind of anti-feminist." Here's the thing, it's MY name too + keeping his name is probably one of the most feminist things I could do, because I had the choice + I freely made my choice. His poor judgment shouldn't dictate my name change. Besides all that, I had already changed my name twice in my life, once as a kid on account of my parents' divorce + once when I got married. I didn't want to change it a third time by the age of 30.
My name was all I had. Well, my name and my very small, baby business were all I had. While I admit, changing my instagram handle was the least of my concern at the time, I'm telling you all of this, because my name was important to me. Cait Sherrick was important to me. My name was the only thing I knew for certain at the time. If anything, the whole experience made me want to keep my @caitsherrick handle because I was Cait fucking Sherrick + I was there despite it all.
It's been roughly four years since all of that began + it's time. I'm more committed to Leocadia K. now than I've ever been before. I'm more committed to you, my loyal following + I think I'd be doing you a disservice to continue to act like the worried @caitsherrick from four years ago. So I made the divinely guided decision to change my handle to @leocadiak. I've toyed with the idea on and off for a while, but it never felt right. I don't think I was ready to let @caitsherrick go. I cried as I made the switch, as if I was leaving a part of myself behind. I had to remind myself that becoming @leocadiak is actually a huge step in my personal growth + a huge step for my brand + business; that @leocadiak is still me; that we're both expanding on so many levels.
I'm crying as I type this too.
Instagram handles, man. It's funny how the strangest things can bring you to your knees, force you to look yourself in the eye + heal your shit.
So there it is. The lengthier post I promised you.
Oh, in case we haven't met yet, I'm Cait fucking Sherrick + I own @leocadiak.