In life, it isn’t always the first dream you have as a kid that would end up making you the happiest as an adult. That’s the case of Rony Vardi, the founder of Catbird, a whose dream of becoming a doctor someday replace with an undying passion for jewelry pieces. He brand is now based in Brooklyn, a store that houses a wide range of jewelry collection, some affordable, some quite pricey, but all in all beautiful and aspirational.
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The story of the founder’s journey
The hardworking attitude of Rony has manifested ever since she was young and started working during the summer at various jobs: she has been a lifeguard, a bookstore personnel, and a futon shop employee. She experienced a lot of other jobs other than these, but the most memorable and experience-filled one was that with the futon shop. She had a big role in that place, that she was even in charge of hiring and firing, ordering, and basically every single thing needed to operate the place. She was young then, yet she had learned to somehow run a business on her own.
Her next job and serious career path afterwards was in graphic design, and while she worked as freelance, she was able to learn different business structures and operations. She had worked for Bliss Spa as well, at a crucial time in its operations: the acquisition by LMVH. In such a great timing, Rony was able to see a business booming, as well as the transformation of people’s jobs. It was also in the midst of that freelance career that she started her own business that she called Catbird.
From a fashion boutique to a jewelry store
It was a sudden opening of a space to rent near her apartment that prompted Rony to open up her own store in 2004. The inspiration behind the name of her business was from an Audubon poster she owned, featuring a species of birds named Catbird.
Catbird started as a boutique shop that offered various kinds of items, which include home goods and clothing, and other things she got from various local designers. While that was going on, the founder started creating pieces of jewelry at her own home and also started to hire local jewelers. Through that effort, Catbird started to shift its focus on a more jewelry-centered selling. After more than three years of booming sales and proliferating business, Catbird opened a second store. It was driven by the idea of its own founder that people get more joy and fun when shopping for jewelry; and that is experienced by both the buyer and the seller. The second store then only sold jewelry and Catbird found a great community of jewellers in Williamsburg to help its business.
Throughout the years of its existence, Catbird escalated from a small and struggling business into a huge jewelry brand with 35 jewelers among a total of 80 employees.
What made Catbird a popular and successful jewelry brand, aside from the resilience and great management of its founder, are their highly sought pieces of great style and quality. Of the great pieces from the brand, the most popular are their rings that are best worn by stacking up with other rings. One of these is the threadbare ring made from yellow gold, which has an alluring look that reflects Catbird’s careful creation of the jewelry. Even with the wedding ring line of the brand shows the delicateness of Catbird in its pieces, highlighting that the beauty showcased by the brand is not the bold kind, the soft and silent kind.
From the brand’s “Ballerina” collection is the pair of earrings made from gold, featuring a single bar and a beautiful chain that is wrapped at the back, a simple yet really beautiful piece. For necklaces, the stackable “You Are My Moon and Stars” pendants are a total standout for the brand, their charm added with a personalized touch with the initials engraved in the pendants. Even from the beginning of shift into a full jewelry store, Catbird already had very promising pieces, including their Alphabet Rings. These rings started the theme of simple, small and stackable rings in the brand.
Catbird has proven its jewelry-making prowess throughout the years, and it started to explore making other pieces as well. Just recently, it has came out with candles, perfumes and other goods to its collections—pieces that will fit into the brand’s mission of doing things that they love. But aside from that, Catbird ensures that all its decision comes from the consideration of what customers love. Afterwards, the brand ensures of a local crafting and creation of the pieces, captivating their support for local art. With the continued excellence of the brand paired with its plans for expansion, we’ll surely hear and see more of Catbird in the jewelry and fashion scene.