ICYMI, we’re on the verge of launching our own podcast (hello, The Select Sessions!), so we’re somewhat obsessed with everything having ot do with the medium at the moment. Turns out jewelry designer Sophie Ratner is, too, and she’s sharing her 7 faves with us. Ready, Set, Download.

Photograph by  Lilly Winter

Photograph by Lilly Winter

I have an obsession with podcasts. It all started back when I was an undergrad at The Rhode Island School of Design. I majored in jewelry and metalsmithing, which meant long studio hours with very little supervision. We were technically allowed to listen to music while we worked, so I wasn't breaking any rules. Podcasts allowed me to escape into many different worlds at the touch of a button: from dark murders, to thought-provoking interviews, to quirky personal stories, to sharp political analysis. I have listed some of the my favorite podcasts below that have helped me get through long hours of jewelry bench work. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

1. This American Life
A classic filled with life changing stories that will make you laugh and cry. My go-to for a solid story that is easy to follow and always entertaining.

2. Slow Burn
An insider’s look into some of the most amazing scandals in modern times. My favorite is the series on Monica Lewinsky because I grew up hearing her name, but never fully understood her story and the complexity of it.

3. Caliphate
Dark and chilling: The New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi takes us into the hidden world of ISIS. I love this podcasting because Rukmini is such a badass. She goes into some of the most dangerous places in the world and is able to do her job with such grit and grace. Her reporting is top-notch and it is fascinating to gain a deeper understanding of ISIS.

4. Gladiator
A deep look into brain injuries caused while playing football told through the lens of Aaron Hernandez’s tragic and disturbing life. As someone who doesn't follow football, but loves drama, this podcasting is very captivating and sheds light on the unspoken realities of brain trauma through sport.

5. Embedded
There is nothing to not love about Kelly McEvers, the host of Embedded. She is witty, thought-provoking, and tells great stories about subjects like police shootings, the opioid epidemic, and suicide in Greenland. My favorite season is season two which covers police shootings.

6. HappyFace
There are endless podcasts on murder and crime, but none told from the perspective of a serial killer’s daughter. I love how personal this podcast is and the journey it takes you on as the narrator comes to terms with who her father is.

7. LadyGang
A lighted-hearted, fun and a politics-free zone. I always enjoy this podcast because it makes you feel like your hanging out and gossiping with your funniest group of girlfriends.

about sophie

Sophie Ratner was always drawn to the arts, but it took her some time to find her true calling. Born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, she studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, initially majoring in painting. Unsatisfied by an art form admired only at a distance, she longed for a medium that was both tangible and intensely personal. She switched to jewelry design, attracted by the high levels of craftsmanship required and the essential connection between art and the human form. 

In 2016, Sophie founded her namesake line in New York built on simple premise: Fine jewelry is meant to be worn every day, in every setting. With this mantra, Sophie developed a carefully curated collection with her customer in mind, developing pieces that women want to wear and that best suit their lifestyles. The collection is exquisitely handcrafted in Sophie’s New York studio, built with the finest materials like ethically-sourced fourteen karat gold and conflict-free diamonds. Elevated, yet possessing an amazingly lived-in quality, Sophie’s designs are delicate and airy in design yet strong enough for the women that own them. Every item is a wearable piece of art—and one that you actually wear, not one that you keep in a box that grows dusty with time—and priced consciously, because women should be able to afford quality pieces. 

Sophie believes that every piece of jewelry has a story. It can be passed down between family members, gifted for monumental occasions or worn to make a statement about who you are or a cause that you believe in. More than just a beautiful collection, the line is a vehicle for change. For instance, Sophie designed the brand’s unique 1973 necklace in collaboration with Physicians for Reproductive Health, commemorating the 45th anniversary of the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision. 30% of the proceeds will be donated to the organization to help them continue their important work. Committed to the cause and social change, Sophie believes this is the brand’s first of many pieces to benefit and empower women. Because at its best, jewelry not only enhances the way you look, but changes the way you feel about yourself.