Original_tumblr_inline_mqgliddfwq1qz4rgp

Rony Vardi


OF catbird

So how exactly does a person open one of best-known (and –loved!) jewelry shops on the main drag in Williamsburg? If you’re Rony Vardi, you definitely don’t take the most obvious path. Born in Israel, she started college at Rutgers on the pre-med track but quickly changed course after, as she says, “remembering that the sight of blood makes me faint, and recalling that I liked to make things.”

In 2004 at age 34, she was living in Williamsburg, in a tiny, rent-controlled apartment she nabbed from a friend. She decided to open a shop nearby when she scored the perfect spot—well, perfect post-renovation. “I seriously had no idea what I was doing,” Rony recalls. Not that that was evident from the outside. From the beginning, Rony was always stocking Catbird with the next big things. (The current first-knuckle ring craze? Rony was wearing a toe ring on her right index finger in the nineties.)

In fact, she has such an eye that it only made sense to start her own line. So in 2006, she made a series of necklaces with small trinkets—little crowns, seahorses, and rose thorns. Then came the alphabet studs. As these delicate creations began accumulating, the aesthetic of the Catbird line surfaced: easy-to-wear yet personal pieces—you know, everyday stuff, with lasting charm. —carly pifer

catbirdnyc.com

Behind The Scenes

  • Profile_tumblr_inline_mqgm3bqkvp1qz4rgp
    Check Out the Fly Catbird Studio in Williamsburg This is where the magic happens, kids.Catbird may have started with a retail store, but now so much of the action happens away from customers, in the workshop responsible for the brand’s amazing house jewelry line. “We have two spaces in this big warehouse building right near the Williamsburg Bridge, and it’s a total throwback to the old manufacturing days of this neighborhood. Plus, it’s just a five-minute walk from the store and is next-door to our web HQ and offices,” says owner-designer R... READ MORE »
  • Profile_tumblr_inline_mqglt54l9k1qz4rgp
    How Rony Vardi Assembled her Catbird Dream Team Get ready for some major girl power.When Rony Vardi opened her Williamsburg shop Catbird in 2004, she was calling in friends for favors. These days, Catbird has a whole team of rad women who keep the store and its so-good jewelry line rocking. “We place kindness over everything else. So many of the people I hired are now super tight friends, which is the loveliest thing to see,” says Rony. “We are still small enough to be nimble—but big enough to be serious.” Here are the chicks who help her ... READ MORE »