In an age where jewelry options are endless, what can you do to set yourself apart from the rest of the world? That is what the creative entrepreneurs of the company, CA Souls, thought when they were first starting up their business. They wanted to combine a deep sense of purpose into their jewelry pieces, one that had a special meaning to those who bought them. After much deliberation, designers, Chau Jessup and An Shoemake, had the ‘aha’ moment when they combined the antiquated Morse Code system into their unique jewelry line.
Jessup and Shoemake really thought out of the box to come up with something so different in an era where every idea seems to be taken, and it takes something so unique to truly stand out. Their Morse Code line offers customization in the most sentimental form; a message made specifically for few to understand.
In an interview with the masterminds behind the CA Souls brand, Chau Jessup and An Shoemake, gave us a glimpse into the minds and hearts of their company, and why they choose to use Morse Code as the focal point to their jewelry line.
There are so many kinds of jewelry options out there, and your choice of Morse Code has really set you apart from the competition. How has the feedback been from customers on your jewelry line?
Chau - The feedback has been amazing. When we first started to focus on Morse Code jewelry, our intention was to create a product that would connect our customers with someone in their life that they love and greatly care about. It wasn’t until we received feedback and heard stories from our customers that we truly realized the impact that we were making in our customers’ lives. Every order that comes in carries a beautiful story that we get to be a part of and help memorialize.
One story that I will never forget was about a dear customer who sent us a handwritten note sharing her heartache over recent breakup. She and her best friend, who now lives in Paris, both got out of long term relationships around the same time. The fact that the best friends were far apart in distance made it hard for them to comfort each other during this difficult time. They both purchased the matching LOVE bracelets from us as a reminder that they always have each other, regardless of where they are in the world. To this day, we still keep the beautiful note with us as a reminder of the impact our jewelry line has made in the lives of our customers.
Morse Code is a unique and antiquated communication system. In a way, you are keep its memory alive by using it as the focal point of your jewelry. In your use of it, have you come to learn more about its use and history?
Chau - My first encounter and experience with Morse Code started when I was a very young girl. I grew up in Vietnam, and back then I was very active in our girls scout group, and I learned about the use and application of Morse code during that time.
Named after Samuel C. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, the Morse Code system utilizes the alphabet as a series of dots and dashes in either tone, light or clicking form. While Morse Code was strongly utilized by military units during the World Wars era, a few military branches of the U.S. still practice and learn this form of communication in our present time.
In this digital and high-tech era, why do you think it’s important for younger generations to understand the history of Morse Code?
Chau - As a millennial myself, I would have never known about Morse Code had I not learned about it during my participation in girl scout camp. Such an invention is no longer applicable to our modern life, and that’s why a lot of millennials are not familiar with it.
I think it is easy for us to take for granted the technologies that are readily available today such as our cell phone, internet, computer, etc. We don’t realize that these things were not invented overnight. It took scientists years of study, research and creative evolution of these inventions for us to have the technology that we do today.
How do you keep evolving your jewelry line so that it’s always fresh and unique?
An - I usually just have an idea and play around with it through trial and error. Most times, the ideas come to me because I need something to go with an outfit, an event, or I’m making something as a gift for a family member. Some of the designs came to life on their own, while others were inspired from a custom job with a client.
Where do you see the future of CA Souls going?
An - We are so excited with the love and support from our customers online. We love the fact that customers from all parts of the world can find our jewelry and shop with us. At the same time, we would like to have our Morse Code pieces available for purchase at many prominent stores around the U.S.
We hope to expand our product line to all highly traveled U.S. airport gift shops for a last minute, yet meaningful, gift idea for visitors. Expanding our product line to Morse Code accessories and incorporating Morse Code into home decor is also our long term goal.
As women entrepreneurs, what have you learned about running your own business?
Chau - It is still a learning process for us, and in fact, we are still learning and making adjustments every day as we go. The most important lesson we have learned is to know who our customers are, and listen to what they have to say. Our brand would have never existed, or continue to thrive, without the love and support of our customer base.
We make effective changes to our products and strategies by reviewing and listening to our customers’ feedback, both positive and negative. We treat each potential and existing customer as if they are our own family members or friends whose opinion we admire and sincerely care about.
What is your advice for young women designers, aspiring business owners or leaders who are looking at going down the same path as yourselves?
An - It is about taking baby steps and to not be afraid of failing. One small success will lead to many others. One small failure will give you the valuable experience to avoid failing in the same manner, and bring you closer to your next success.
One other important piece of advice is to not go at it alone. In saying that, we don’t mean you need to have a business partner (of course having one always helps to motivate each other.) However, it is important to have a great support system of friends, family, and domestic partners who support your entrepreneurship journey and have your back when you need it most.
Be sure to check out all of the CA Souls Morse Code products, special offers and our social media pages for inspiration on what your message would be to send to someone you love.