- Catbird is a jewelry brand loved by celebs.
- Catbird handmakes all of its jewelry at Brooklyn Navy Yard.
- We got a peek behind the scenes to learn how the jewelers make it.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: Catbird has become a sought-after brand known for its delicate, minimalist jewelry and engagement rings. While other brands have been trying to jump on this delicate-jewelry trend, Catbird founder, Rony Vardi, was ahead of her time when she opened up her first shop in 2004. Originally, the shop sold a little bit of everything until Rony realized her love for jewelry.
Rony: Jewelry sort of became something that I accidentally fell in love with. I didn’t know that I loved it. I also sold clothing at the time. I didn’t know that I hated that, and I did, so jewelry became a focus. I would make it at home. I would work with jewelry designers, and it just became kind of an evolving store, and then over time, jewelry really became the focus.
Narrator: Fast-forward to today, and Catbird jewelry is worn by everyone from Meghan Markle to Lena Dunham to Jessica Biel. Narrator: The brand’s most popular item: the Threadbare ring. All of Catbird’s jewelry is handmade by a team of talented jewelers in Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Rony: We make everything ourselves. We have so much control over it. We don’t have to order 10,000 of something and try it and hope it does well. We can make 10 of something or 40 of something or 100 and really sort of gauge interest and not bloat ourselves with inventory.
Narrator: We got a peek inside Catbird’s Brooklyn studio to learn specifically how the jewelers make the engagement rings. The shank, the part that goes around the finger, and the setting of the ring are laser-welded together. The parts are sanded and checked for accurate sizing and shape. The jeweler then cuts the seats for where the stones will be placed. It’s then polished all over. From there, the ring is placed into an ultrasonic bath for several minutes to be cleaned. The ring then gets a quick blast of steam. Now, the jeweler sets the stones. The prongs are then pushed all the way down to secure the stones. Catbird proudly recycles all the diamonds in its jewelry. The recycled stones are reclaimed from vintage jewelry.
Rony: Our gold is recycled. Our caster uses electric ovens. I mean, we really go deep into sustainability at every angle, which jewelry is not known for. It’s been a priority for a long time, and it’s been something that we now have really devoted ourselves to.
Narrator: The prongs are then shaped. One more final polish is done, followed by another quick bath and some more steam to make the ring extra shiny. The jeweler signs a card with their initials to guarantee Catbird authenticity. The ring is ready to be packed in Catbird’s signature way and shipped out. This beautifully handmade ring is ready to wow someone and be placed on their finger.
Leigh: Because we make everything ourselves and because we’ve really been at this for quite a while, which I think is something that makes us special. We’ve been doing this for nearly 15 years. We have time on our side.