In 2004, Rony Vardi took $16k from her personal savings and launched Catbird, a demi-fine jewelry brand. Now sixteen years later, the Brooklyn-based is a cult-favorite, with delicate pieces that are beloved by the fashion set. Every Catbird piece is designed and manufactured in their Brooklyn Navy Yard studio, and made with recycled or fair-trade gold and conflict-free stones. Plus, the mission-based company commits 1% of all annual revenue to non-profit partners that support women and children–Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Citizen’s Climate Education, and more. (They’ve donated over $1M to date.)
A true powerhouse, Rony is one to be inspired by. Below, she tells us a bit of her backstory and what she has planned next + in the slideshow, find images of the Brooklyn HQ and get a peek at her beautiful home.
MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT:
I have more of a dimmer switch so my light bulb takes a while to turn on all the way. I take my time with decisions! But taking a leap in 2004 and starting a business without really knowing what I was doing with the realization that it will all change anyway was a good jumpstart.
I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
I gently nudge at least 2 or 3 cats off of my bed.
Not always thinking about work.
YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
Mascara, my hair up and a Clare V. fanny pack. (What did I do before it?)
MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN BROOKLYN:
Big Sur. And Fire Island, the Big Sur of New York.
WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
I go on a bike ride or take a walk with no phone.
ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
I am a slow decision maker and I wish I had had the confidence to know that I need to say “I need to sit with this” before making a decision.
IN 5 YEARS, FIND ME:
Gardening in the south of France.
ABOVE ALL ELSE:
Be kind. Be honest. Be curious.