A Morning Story: Sarah Bayot

Sarah Bayot is such a special, shining light. My first encounter with her and her brand, Kicheko, came when we were booth neighbors at a market here in D.C. almost exactly two years ago. (I remember that only because I was very, very, very pregnant at the time.) In retrospect I remember a few things clearly though: how kind and warm Sarah was, how beautiful her work was, how enthusiastically she shared Kicheko with everyone who crossed her path (and how her husband, James, miraculously untangled an epic knot in my own necklace). On a Wednesday morning this spring we were lucky enough to join Sarah at home in LeDroit Park and get a peek at how she starts her days.


 
 

Sarah is the founder and designer of Kicheko, a line of jewelry handmade here in Washington, D.C. When I look at her work, I see Sarah reflected right back: eclectic, unafraid to experiment and full of positive energy. The collection is not only beautiful and unique (check out a few of my faves), but it also invests directly in education. Each piece of jewelry purchased funds a child's schooling for one month in the Democratic Republic of Congo. What I especially love about this initiative, is that unlike so many brands that keep the details of their economic and social impacts vague, Kicheko pursues transparency relentlessly, with reporting, stats and infographics to answer every single question one could have. Just another layer of authenticity to love about this company (and its founder). 
More from Sarah about her morning story...

 
 

On striving for ritual...

Funny you should mention this because ritual has been something I've circled in my journal over and over for this year. I'm not good at it over a long period of time but I can be very disciplined for a season. I would like to study it some more or more realistically, read about its roles and benefits in our lives - there's something beautiful about having an anchoring process and a spiritual practice to guide and center.

My morning routine starts at 7:30ish. Usually I'll sit in my armchair or if it's warm out, my hammock chair and do some form of meditation or prayer. I find that centering myself before allowing the internet has been super helpful to not go down toooo many rabbit holes or get crazed by the news. After that, I'll do a quick scan of the morning paper and then listen to NPR news summary and the NY Times Daily podcast while commuting to the jewelry studio. Once there, I'll open any packages/mail while a pot of coffee brews and then have a banana before sitting down to work. And then after that, who knows what the work day will look like! It's different every single day.

 

On "typical" days, and starting each one without work...

I try to take an hour of personal time before starting work which includes the whole getting ready routine, some light reading, intention-setting and then heading to work. First thing when I get to the studio is make a pot of coffee and eat a banana. Then, my work day begins and I check email, prioritize orders and begin making jewelry and preparing for shows/events if there are any on the calendar. I usually leave the studio around 6 and either go out to dinner, get drinks with friends or attend an event. I like events and try to get out there to meet new people, enjoy some cultural thing or other or learn something. Then I'll wind down with my husband with a cup of tea or glass of wine and read before bed.

What's in her bag...

Typically these usual suspects: my laptop, always ready for those emails, designing collections and working on Kicheko's website! iPhone - needs no explanation right? #lifesaver. A wallet for all my purchasing needs (and really stows away all my punch cards for free drinks and food around the city). Aveda Lip Saver—I love this natural lip balm. I need only apply it four times a day and it leaves my lips feeling nourished without being cakey or glossy. RMS Un-Cover Up - in recent efforts to detoxify more of my skincare products, I'm enjoying the RMS line and can't believe how well the un-cover up concealer/foundation does its job and the ingredients list contains items that aren't toxic to your skin longterm. Printed Wild slim clutch- this catchall is perfect for slinging around carrying everything from my phone to pens and pencils. And an Ink & Volt planner - trying this organizer out. it's a hardcover notebook that provides framework for laying out goals for the week/month/year, a calendar view and sections to reflect, celebrate milestones and also journal a bit.

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Sarah is styling the Prima tote in matte black.

Photos by Laura Metzler.

Carolyn Misterek