Kaitlin Ryan and her line of handmade beads, called Peppertrain after an old nickname, are as bright, airy, and refreshing as a shiny soap bubble. Kaitlin’s beads are as beautiful as she is warm, and she’s got warmth in spades.

Whether she’s experimenting with eye-popping colorblocked palettes, or hand-blending beads for a custom look, Kaitlin’s work consistently pleases. 

Like the curious beat of her “own fashion drummer,” Kaitlin’s aesthetic is eclectic, personal, experimental, handmade. It’s also chic, and modern, with a slightly industrial edge she cultivates by accenting her pieces with “unexpected elements such as pipes and elbow brackets from the hardware store.” The key to her work, we think, is her clear confidence, and joy. These shimmery qualities imbue her jewelry with a roots-up joie de vivre that can’t be faked. This is not a drill. Kaitlin really loves what she’s doing with Peppertrain. And this is how she got here.

Every since I was little I’ve loved adorning myself with STUFF. I used to go shopping with my mom and get into trouble by the sales-people because I would move clothes around and make display outfits, which I clearly thought were better than their displays. 

The desire for design lead me to Meredith College in Raleigh, NC for interior design which later switched to Fashion Merchandising. My Junior year I was lucky enough to study abroad in France, and travel around Europe soaking up tons of beautiful-ness. The process as a whole enriched my life and allowed me to see important artistic inspirations. 

I graduated from Meredith and worked at various retail shops where I was a merchandising manager, and full-time merchandiser…I loved mixing colors, textures, and patterns together, influencing people to view outfits or spaces in different ways.  

But at the end of the day I wanted to create something of my own.