Women's Lib: Caroline Mauro

Caroline Mauro has so much style, she makes a living from it.

Caroline Mauro can do just about anything. She’s got years of fashion and design work under her belt, and she’s been a stylist and creative guru for bands, TV, celebs, and places like RueLaLa and  Barney’s, New York. Now, with her fine-tuned design eye, Mauro has launched her own jewelry line, INDA, that is inspired by her travels and adventures. Just like her jewelry, she’s full of life. 

The Kind: What does it mean to be a Stylist?

Caroline Mauro: A stylist is responsible for conveying a particular vision, story, or desired mood (developed by client or a team of people) through clothing, accessories and/or props. As stylists, we are often part of a larger collaborative creative team including photographers, directors, art directors, hair stylists, and makeup artists. The main divisions are on-figure styling (outfitting models, celebrities, actors, and actresses, and clients as a personal stylist) and off-figure styling (prop, food, and set styling). You know, the shirt stacks you see in the J Crew catalog that look so beautifully pressed and folded? Sadly, they didn’t press themselves. That’s off-figure styling. I actually enjoy doing both.

A stylist must be abreast of current fashion trends, possess expert brand awareness, have a strong working knowledge of textiles, fabrics, silhouettes, and body types, a keen and developed eye for detail and the ability to think outside the box and be creative. And patience because becoming one certainly doesn't happen over night.

The Kind: Favorite part(s) about being a stylist?

Caroline Mauro: I love the excitement and fast-paced nature of photoshoots and interacting and collaborating with others on the team. I love seeing the story/mood/concept through from inception to completion. I also sickly enjoy the madness and chaos surrounding the hunt to find the right vendors and clothing in time for a shoot. Hunting and gathering is my favorite, even under pressure. I also love exploring styling in new formats too. In the past few years, I have styled and directed several stop-motion videos for brand’s social media campaigns and have transitioned into art direction which has been awesome!

The Kind:You started your own jewelry line, INDA. Tell me about it.

Caroline Mauro: INDA is a jewelry line inspired by the bohemian lifestyle. I love traveling, adventuring, exploring, wandering, and creating and all of the connections you make with others along the way—the free-thinkers, the spitfires, the rulebreakers, the dreamers and the do-ers, the wanderers, the lovers, the inspired, the rebellious, the tenacious. INDAviduals, as I like to say. 

I tend to pull my inspiration from the beauty of nature from my own travels and try to hunt and source all of the stones I use on every trip or journey I embark on. (Some of my favorite crystal dealers and shops are in Colorada, Joshua Tree and Vermont.) Starting the brand has allowed me to combine my love of people and traveling; I am constantly meeting new people and seeing new places when searching for stones and crystals, which keeps me inspired.

The Kind: I see crystals everywhere, are they magical? They must be, right?

Caroline Mauro: It’s no surprise that crystals are on the rise. It seems as though it’s no longer considered mystic, new age-y, weird, and esoteric to take an interest in crystal healing, as well as many other alternative healing modalities. With the false connectedness that the internet provides and being constantly dialed into social media 24/7, we are pulling away from being connected to ourselves. People want to look inward again. We are looking to find inner peace and spirituality through these types of avenues. Think of all the people who practice yoga, meditation, and etc. compared to a decade ago. Even the pantone color choices were inspired by the wellness push we are seeing. I am excited about this awakening! 

The Kind: INDA's motto is “Enchanted Armor for the Gypsy Soul." Where does that inspiration come from and what does it mean?

Caroline Mauro: On one of my adventures, pre INDA, I was hiking in a forrest surrounding Lake Willoughby in the Eastern Kingdom of Vermont. On my hike, I found a tiny pendant that was a design of the exact tattoo my very close friend who had passed away had. I automatically put it on the chain I was wearing. It made me feel closer to him, but also gave me strength, solace, helped me heal and served as an amulet, or protective armor for me. That moment translated into the manifesto of the brand. Shortly after, I taught myself how to wire wrap and choose crystals as my medium because of the healing component that the crystals provide.

As I said, a huge inspiration in my life and for INDA is also traveling. So to me, “Enchanted Armor for the Gypsy Soul” derives from those two experiences. I hope the pieces I make will serve as armor and protection to others on their own personal journeys and paths.

The Kind: You must have always been a creative person. What other creative ventures are you working on?

Caroline Mauro: Super pumped to spend the winter in Nicaragua, dedicated to taking a pause (e-comm holiday burn out is real), setting intentions for what's next and developing the expansion and blending of jewelry making, wellness practice, traveling, and creative consulting (art direction, styling, event styling, and producing photo shoots and creative retreats). Living in Playa Marsella and San Juan del Sur, I will continue to make and sell jewelry and develop INDA, explore local artisans work, do some volunteering, and partake in a Yoga Teacher Training to further deepen my practice and teach and share with others. Hoping to get back on the surfboard too! My next journey will bring me to the west coast this spring. Looking forward to exploring more of L.A.!

Each week "Women's Lib" checks in with amazing ladies and we make them fill out a feminist Mad Lib.