Jewelry

Shopping Small

Etsy has been my favorite platform for discovering independent artisans for many years, but lately I’ve been browsing the site more than usual. Supporting small businesses has become even more of a priority for me since the start of quarantine. I recently purchased a pair of 14K gold stud earrings from Teeny Tiny NY; they’re officially my everyday studs.

What makes shopping small so special? When you support a small business, you’re making it possible for the owner to earn a living. But, the benefits of shopping small extend beyond a pat on the back for a philanthropic job well done. When you buy a product from a small business, it will most likely be unique. It may even be handmade by the owner. If the business chooses to source their products instead of making them, the selection will still be curated in a unique way. There are so many independent sellers out there to discover, so keep your eyes open, and don’t be afraid to expand your horizons. You’re bound to discover something exceptional.

Works Sighted

Teeny Tiny NY 14K gold stud earrings // J.Crew slim perfect shirt in Baird McNutt Irish linen (previous season) // Warby Parker Durand

Everyday Stud Earrings

I had my ears pierced about a year and a half ago (thanks Infinite), which means that if I don’t keep my earrings in, the holes may close up. Up until recently, I’ve been wearing my starter earrings, the ones I bought from the piercing shop. But lately, I’ve been searching for other studs that would be appropriate for everyday wear. (As I write this, I’m wearing my J.Crew pearl studs.) Here’s what I’ve found thus far.

Works Sighted

ILA princess studs // Catbird diamond studs

Adina Reyter single stack baguette posts // Catbird x The Met bow studs

Jennie Kwon mini baguette studs // GLDN staple studs // Jennie Kwon baguette studs

Catbird petite diamond studs // Crislu cubic zirconia studs, 4mm

Lightbox 1/2 carat diamond stud // ILA baguette studs

Catbird

As I stated in the previous post, August 2019 was a pivotal month in my journey as a jewelry enthusiast. It was then that I bought real gold for the first time. I’d purchased a few costume pieces in the past, but they weren’t sentimental or of lasting quality. I became an official customer at GLDN (which I’ve previously discussed) and the New York brand Catbird. The latter was started in 2004 by Rony Vardi, a determined woman who made her dreams come true. A CFDA article that was published in 2019 opens like this: At age 34 with $16,000 of savings and a desire to be her own boss, Rony Vardi launched Catbird.

The number of shops has grown from one to three since the company’s inception, but all of the jewelry from the brand’s own line is made in the Brooklyn studio on Bedford Avenue. Although other brands are represented on the website, I usually spend the most time looking at pieces made by the Catbird crafters. The gold is ethically sourced, the stones are conflict-free, and every piece is suitable for daily wear.

The collage above features items that appear in my personal collection and some that beckon to me from my wishlist. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in marking my successes with jewelry. May you look back at the end of 2021 in awe of how much you’ve accomplished. Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way.

Works Sighted

homespun ring; classic hammered ring; angel hair diamond studs

smallest love letter charm; adjustable sweet nothings chain

twisted stacker ring; tiny corsage bracelet; threadbare ring

GLDN

I started my jewelry collection in August 2019. Advancing age had finally compelled me to consider what heirloom-worthy items I was going to leave my future grandchildren. I hadn’t been a jewelry wearer prior to that noteworthy month, but I immediately took to a few pieces whilst browsing online. One of these was a necklace from a company called GLDN. Chrissy, the brand’s founder, started her business on Etsy in October 2012. The Etsy shop is still active, but I prefer to browse the impeccably-designed independent website. It wasn’t difficult to select my first piece from the handmade offerings.

My GLDN journey began with the Yue necklace. Since I didn’t know what length would flatter me or if I’d like the product, I ordered it in 14k gold fill with a disc void of personalization. When the package arrived, I opened the padded mailer to reveal a grey box. The dainty necklace inside had a brilliant glimmer, and I knew in an instant that I was meant to have the 14k solid gold version instead. After trying on the initial piece, I was able to determine the appropriate length for my neck. I also came to the conclusion that the necklace wouldn’t be complete without an engraved letter M. Returning the product to La Conner, Washington was simple, as was reordering the Yue necklace to my specifications. I also acquired the pleine lune necklace in 14k solid gold. Each necklace arrived with a special handwritten note from their makers, and I still admire them from time to time.

Dear Reader, I hope that you make 2021 special in your own way. May the year ahead shine brightly for you. Bonne année.

Works Sighted

GLDN Yue necklace