Our Blog

  1. Catbird Spotlight: Regina Yazdi

    Regina Yazdi is a fashion illustrator based in Los Angeles, though we first crossed paths with her in New York in 2014. We first met Regina ahead of our 10 year anniversary and launch of our first engagement ring line, The Swans. Naturally for the launch, we wanted to commission a swan illustration, and her fluid, swooping swan is still an illustration we treasure today - so much so that we wanted to reinvent it for our 2021 Holiday bandana.

    For this new design, Regina and our creative director Leigh talked about a closer look at our Catbird Swan, maybe crying some pearl tears or swimming through a pearl bubble, framed in black bows. The background Leigh felt should be a pale blue, and there would be an orange beak, she had been thinking a lot about bits of orange details!

    Read on to learn more about Regina, her art, and the Swans of Catbird.

    On becoming and being an artist..

    The Art life started young. The first images burned into our minds as children are book illustrations and animations so I naturally became curious and obsessed with drawing. I'd bolt home from school and plop my belly on the floor to practice drawing off the screen during my favorite shows. I'd even invent side characters and daydream them into the storylines. I was drunk off the power of creation at 6...stationed in the eye of my paper tornado. You just come out that way I suppose.

    As I grew, I dreamed about becoming a designer while poreing over the pages of Vogue, W, Mode Et Mode and streaming Tim Blanks interviews on Style.com nightly. I love the mechanics behind design- seeing what people can do with their hands and imagination is so moving. Fashion was a natural progression as I loved figure drawing so much.

    Working commercially as a fashion illustrator over the past decade has brought many beautiful experiences and people into my life. Creating in collaboration allows for experimentation and travel, simultaneously expanding and refining my taste. I have a stronger sense of my artistic vision now. 

    I look up to cultural polymaths like Dali and Cecil Beaton whose styles permeated seamlessly across mediums. I see myself being rooted in fine art, occasionally taking on brand deals and design projects that spark my interest like they did. I'd be perfectly content doing this for the rest of my life.

    On the Swans..

    I fell in love with Catbird at our first meeting. Swans are steeped in fairytales and represent eternal love, beauty and overcoming awkward childhoods. I'm on board with all that so the idea for the logo came easy.

    I saw it vividly in my mind as a fluid, swooping line and drafted it onto a piece of scrap tracing paper. I tried many versions after but never could recapture the spontaneity of the first draft so I went back and cleaned up the original. And that's how it was born...so happy and honored it's with you guys 

    On jewelry..

    I love jewelry for its beauty and ability to recall memories. Jewelry is small yet potent in all that it symbolizes... time, wealth, beauty and love - everything we hold precious.

    I keep all the jewelry I own in a ballet pink Aspinal box. I've really taken time during the pandemic to consolidate and edit  down my belongings. I'm really into investment pieces and started wearing larger stone rings and necklaces alone or mixed with minimal stacks. So I'd say my style is very curated and piece driven.

    On her culture and how it influences her creative process..

    I come from two ancient cultures and I've always felt like an old soul in my body.

    The Poets of Persia taught me how to grace my awareness onto the  fleeting moments and intimate details of life. Bending and expanding your perception is what art is all about.

    The Chinese calligraphers and painters gave me lessons on balance, restraint, and visual aesthetics. What you leave out of a piece is just as important as what you put in.

    I feel really lucky to be mixed raced. I inherited an openness to different possibilities of living early on. It's in that field of mental openness that creativity can thrive.

    Describe your work in three words.

    I'd like it to feel genuine, beautiful and eternal.

    Where do you look for inspiration in LA and NYC?

    It changes all the time since LA is massive but right now I'm on a floral kick with Little Tokyo, Flower District, Descanso Gardens, and the Huntington Library.

    In New York I love browsing through Neue Galerie, MOMA, the MET , Doverstreet Market, and of course Catbird!

    How will you be spending the holiday season?

    My favorite way to celebrate is low-key in loose clothing , cooking, eating and being completely unfiltered with my loved ones. 

    And the bandana! How will you be styling it?

    I am packing my lunches now since the studio is pretty secluded...I'm thinking a Furoshiki for my bentos - practical yet beautiful for everyday use. I hope everyone loves theirs! 

    Regina's Shopping Edit


    "Let us drink coffee, the very best coffee, in Dresden china cups on a snow-white tablecloth!" — Spring Torrents, Ivan Turvenev

    A few years ago (okay, more) when I was first married, my husband bought us a set of Astier de Villatte cups to drink our coffees from. Drinking coffee from a fine (nearly china) cup is a great pleasure of the morning, especially when candles are lit and Beach House is playing. We've just added some Astier cups to our offerings, might I suggest you consider some for your morning pleasure? Oh I might!

    xo Leigh


    We made something new to slip into your packages. It is an unabashed homage to many things we love, including but not limiting to Untitled (Pink Palace) made by Joseph Cornell in 1946 from fiberboard, etching reproduction, mirrors, twigs, and paint in a glass-fronted wood box, humdrum materials likely procured from his local five-and-dime and neighborhood hardware stores. Three cheers for humdrum materials made sublime!

    xo Leigh

  4. Ten Years of Threadbare

    To celebrate ten years of the Threadbare Ring, we released the Threadbare Bangle. We've honed the Threadbare over years — it's quintessentially Catbird, deceptively simple, 100% recycled solid 14k gold and each one made one-by-one by Catbird jewelers in our Brooklyn studio. We've sold over 50,000 of them (!) including a stack to an American actress who married into a royal family. The other 49,997 or so, are worn by neighbors, visitors, and kittens around the world.


    We’ve asked some of our longtime friends, customers, Giving Fund partners, and our team to photograph themselves wearing the Threadbare Bangle. We wouldn’t be here without you.

    Lisa Lucas is senior vice president at Knopf Doubleday, and a former executive director of the National Book Foundation.

    Jewelry is just another way to express myself. I'm a little bit dramatic, a little bit girly, a little bit over the top, and layering on different jewelry--some vintage, some heirlooms, some just for funsies, is a way to tell a story about who I am, who I came from, and who I want to be on any given day. 

    On the day my father passed away, I wanted to get something that I would wear forever, that would always remind me of him. While he was in the hospital, he gave my stepmother a Catbird bracelet for Mother's Day, so I picked up (in tears) the Angel Hair Bracelet. I've worn it every day since and I'm so happy to think of him, always, when I look at my wrist. He would have thought it was beautiful.

    Rebecca Porcelli  is a jewelry designer and trained metalsmith, currently leading Catbird's design and product development team. She started her career as a Catbird bench jeweler in the earliest iteration of our in-house studio. 8 years at Catbird.

    My very first Catbird purchase was a yellow gold top knuckle Tomboy that I still wear in a little stack with a Mignon Memory ring and Twisted Stacker.

    Wing Yin Yau is a former sculptor and performance artist, and the creator of Wwake, a celebrated line of tonal and geometrically driven pieces made consciously and 100% women led.

    I've been working with Catbird since 2014 – that's 8 years! This was the year after I had started making fine jewelry, and I've always felt that Leigh took a leap of faith on my first collection. There were a lot of things I still needed to work out with my jewelry, and working together has made my work so much stronger, so much more purposeful because when we work together, we're part of a greater Catbird community. I've learned a lot about myself in the process – from how to be a stronger designer to how to run a company the way I believe it should be run. It's been a beautiful little journey, Catbird & I!

    Leigh Plessner is Catbird's creative director, shaping the brand narrative, design and creative direction since almost Day 1. 16 years at Catbird. 

    The Threadbare was born out of the glimmer of an idea, and we tugged at it, like silk from a spider’s web, until it was whole.

    I was 32 when we first launched the Threadbare, and now at 42 my hands do not look quite the same. It’s a gift to me to see how beautiful the stack of Threadbares I’ve given her over the years look on my mother-in-law, who celebrates her 70th birthday this week. To quote Paula Fox from her interview in The Paris Review, "Oh, I want to be used up. As Tennyson had it, Not to rust, but to shine with use."

    Phyllis Smith holds the all time highest attendance rate for Catbird events - including our book club! She wears her Catbird pieces so thoughtfully and is a fellow snail enthusiast.

    My jewelry is such a part of who I am and always gives hints of the story that is me… I literally have NO idea what my first purchase from Catbird was, there have been so many lovely pieces. I would have to say the most significant was my 20th wedding anniversary ring. And the little charms which I adore. Still waiting for my snail charm..lol

    Natalia Rodriguez is a jewelry designer and trained metalsmith who brings her expertise in production process and fine jewelry education to Catbird as head of our jewelry studio's training department - where each Catbird jeweler works with her team to develop their skills. 8 years at Catbird. 

    My first Catbird purchase was the (now discontinued) Alphabet Ring: 3 of them-  my husband's initial, my initial and a heart! It's a romantic stacking ring that I still wear.

    Robin Adams is the founder and creator of Bittersweets, where she designs from everyday objects, love and loss, darkness and light. For almost as long as there has been Catbird, we've carried Robin's pieces - linked in our business and a deep friendship from the start.

    Bittersweets NY had been open for about a year on Broadway, near Kent Ave in Brooklyn and I used to walk past Catbird on my way to work from the L train. It occurred to me, that maybe Catbird would be open to carrying some of my pieces even though I had a shop so close by. I sent Rony an email in January of '07, and she was so sweet, & easy to work with from the very start. I used to deliver every order myself, and chat with the Birdettes, where Leigh became an instant friend! Over the years, Leigh & Rony have been instrumental on shaping how Bittersweets NY grew, in tandem with the stratospheric growth of Catbird! I'm so proud of them and their success!


    The Bittersweeties are Catbird's biggest cheerleaders! There is no other shop we'd rather work with. I came across an email I wrote to Rony, just after I had dropped off my first delivery, that simply said, "I'm so happy to be in your beautiful store! xoxo Robin" I couldn't say it better, now, after all these years!  MWAH! -R

    Genne Laakso is a jeweler and metalsmith. She currently leads product knowledge & education for every Catbird team member, and launched our first accredited apprenticeship program aimed at creating diversity within the jewelry industry. 9 years at Catbird.

    My first Catbird purchase was Ballerina Earrings for my amazing mom! I mailed them to her for the holidays - she was floored!

    Jill Kargman is an author, writer, actress. Her assured personal style and bawdy humor make her a dream Catbird woman - and she is in fact one of our first and lasting customers.

    Jewelry is a way to add a little sparkle and that’s why I love Catbird: it’s restraint. I’m not a flashy huge cocktail ring girl with lots of metal - it’s the dainty stuff that makes me swoon not some Kardashified chunk.

    My first Catbird purchase was the Chained to my Heart Earring - it’s been knocked off by a thousand losers but I’m happy to have the original.

    Becky Straw is the founder and CEO of The Adventure Project, a Catbird Giving Fund philanthropic partner and a visionary in creating impactful jobs for women in developing communities.

    As the Co-Founder of The Adventure Project, I have been lucky enough to see Catbird's impact firsthand. Catbird's Giving Fund has helped hundreds of women and children in Uganda and Togo gain access to lifesaving health care and critical medicines. Your generosity has done this by training dozens of women to become health care workers, making them essential to their families and society. The health needs of pregnant women and children living in extreme poverty are often ignored and put last. So it is incredibly humbling to see Catbird put women and children first.

    Rony Vardi is the founder of Catbird - she opened the business first as a tiny Brooklyn shop, where early lessons on point of view, conscious design, and jewelry as a joyous experience continue to guide our growth.

    The Threadbare is so easy and personal. Like a beautiful secret to yourself. My memory in creating the Threadbare was that we wanted the slimmest flash of gold - like a single strand of hair gleaming in the sumer sun. It's unfussy and casual, beautiful and restrained. It’s deceptively simple. Also, of course, it’s handmade in our own Brooklyn studio with recycled gold.

    Nancy Kraskin makes each handworked piece of jewelry in her Brooklyn studio - which also happens to be her kitchen! A favorite tradition is that she still drops off every package to the shop in person.

    I came across the first Catbird shop when it was on Metropolitan Ave. on the southside in Williamsburg. Back then, I lived a few blocks away and it was a time where there were a few cool boutiques that dotted the area. 

    I was working freelance jobs while making jewelry in my apartment, so in my freetime I was able to take walks and check out new shops.  The original Catbird shop on Metropolitan Ave had a cool mix of clothes, jewelry and clothes - cute things. This is where my journey with Catbird began.  

    Being a part of Catbird’s migration to Bedford Avenue and witnessing the evolution from the early beginnings to present day has been nothing but enchanting. 

    I have made friendships with so many of the different iterations of staff members over the years of dropping off parcels of my work and having conversations.

    That’s my favorite part, the live convos and getting to know people.

    I love the light glimmer and delicacy of the Threadbare bracelet. It reminds me of the sun making sparkles on the ocean with lightest breeze.

    I can look down and have that at all times when I’m wearing it.

    Sriya Karumanchi started at Catbird as our first in-house publicist, and now leads our marketing & communications team - alongside partnerships for The Catbird Giving Fund. 7 years at Catbird.

    My very first purchase was a Sweet Nothing Choker - just as it was released. We’ve sold so many since but in my memory, I purchased the very first one as soon as it went online. My style has evolved a few times since but this choker always fits in.

    Jennie Kwon is a classical violinist and attorney turned fine jewelry designer. Founding her namesake line shortly after the birth of her twins, her designs reflect her desire for a rebirth of creativity. 

    Catbird was my very first retailer and found me within a month after I started my jewelry line, 8 years ago. This was in the era of blogs. I was written up in a tiny little blog based in Oregon and through that, our relationship was born and we've been together ever since.

    I emerged from nowhere- from a background in law and music, without a single connection to anyone in the jewelry world. I came in naive and fresh, designing without any influence from the industry, and Catbird embraced this and believed in me as a designer. It's been a truly beautiful journey growing together and watching our relationship continue to deepen and evolve.

    Shop Threadbares

  5. Meet Our Stylists



    Overall my style is very laid back, but I go all out with my jewelry! I am usually wearing a mix of vintage and new jewelry.


    Always earrings, a necklace I made with my mom's and my name written in Mongolian, and a ton of rings!


    So many to choose from! My top two favorite ring pairings are my stacks with the Marrakech Ring, Pas De Deux, Beacen Ring Mother of Pearl, and Three Step Triangle Ring, and my stack with the Famous Letter Ring, Demi Circlet Band, Braided Ring and the Secret Garden Ring.


    Snow Queen Ring in yellow gold


    I love mixing metals! Most of my jewelry is made in yellow gold but I love mixing a little silver and rose gold in there for a little contrast.



    Colorful & out there - a mix of Catbird and vintage pieces.


    So. many. stacking rings. Top knuckle rings are a must!


    Twisted Stacker ring with anything: Grand Mignon, Threadbare, and Classic Hammered rings.


    Painter's Ring, Aquamarine Choker and Bracelet.


    Fasten your necklaces a couple of inches in between when you layer them, like the 1976 Choker, then the Greco Lariat, then a longer one like the Adjustable Sweet Nothing Chain. This can help with tangling! 



    Vintage and colorful.


    8+ stacking rings and Grand Cygnet ring, earrings (bigger the better) and two chokers.


    Chained to My Heart Earrings + Diamond Greco Earrings.


    Baby Deco Emerald ring, Angel hair Necklace, Baby Grand Mineral Hoops.


    Always add texture to your stacks to create a more unique look + add weight (charms/pendants) to your necklaces to avoid tangling.



    My style is classic, colorful, fun and durable (I almost never take my jewelry off!)


    My Sparkler Earrings with a Scoop of Turquoise Stud, Tinsel Chain with The Met Souvenir and 18th Century Bow charms, and my three welded Forever Bracelets twinkling together.


    I love my Little Disco Ring between two Classic Hammered Rings and my Twisted Stacker on top of my Tomboy is my newest ring combo.


    The Leo Black Snake Hair Pin and the Cassi Namoda Red Moon Necklace.


    We love mixing a white gold bracelet into our yellow gold welded bracelet stacks in Soho, it adds such a fun extra sparkle to your wrist!  



    Second hand everything.


    A flowy dress, my Sweet Nothing Adjustable Chain with my Letter Cutie Charm (engraved with a J for my beau), my Tomboy First Knuckle Ring (I always feel so naked without it), I like to wear dangly earrings in my second and third piercings because they stand out with a mask! I like my Hoop Dream with my Tiniest Key Charm and a Chime earring for fun.


    Lately in my first piercing I’ve been wearing a Full Heart Charm on a Big Hoop Dream in each ear and it’s so so fun.


    Diamond Fizz Ring, Sparkler!!! I just can’t decide where to wear it! Or a Snow Queen Hoop!


    I like to mix some clasp bracelets with charms on the same wrist as forever bracelets! I’ve been wearing my met souvenir charm and a mermaid treasure on a clasped tinsel bracelet and I love how it looks layered with my forever sweet nothing & 1976 bracelet!

  6. Autumn In New York


    I always make a point of walking through the astonishingly beautiful Elizabeth Street Gardens when I am walking to our Soho store. If the timing works and I can sit there with a coffee, that’s automatically a good day.


    Rockefeller State Park Preserve (in Westchester County) - It is an amazing trail where you can see beautiful foliage and I get to bring my fur babies.


    The Met Cloisters when the leaves change have such pretty fall foliage views!


    My birthday is in September and it’s my favorite tradition to go to Jacob Riis to celebrate. A half-empty beach is so serene.


    I love going to Achilles Heel in Greenpoint to cozy up by their small fireplace with a cocktail and a snack. (Their bread and butter is extraordinary — something not often said about bread and butter)


    Renaissance Festival in Fort Tryon Park (right near the Cloisters) that's fun for all ages.


    Mud in the East Village is my favorite fall cafe! They have the best dirty chai, it tastes like fall in a cup - plus their mugs are the best!


    My four year old just started big kid school — every morning we are going to ride on the subway together while we hold hands and whisper through our masks (she is shy) and watch the city we love, and let our lives get a little bigger after a year closer to home.


  7. Catbird Spotlight: Cece Jewellery

    We are so excited to announce the international debut of CECE JEWELLERY. A collection of 18k gold necklaces and rings featuring the finest enameling, as if painted by a single kitten whisker.

    We chatted a bit with Cecelia Hughes aka Cece, an art historian turned jeweler, to find out more about her process and inspiration behind her pieces - including a very special Catbird exclusive.

    What is your first jewelry memory?

    Travelling around India with my family and becoming obsessed with all the jewellery sold in the markets - packs and packs of gold and multicoloured sparkly bangles… a little girls heaven!

    What does jewelry mean to you?

    It's my form of expression. Being a jeweller who works from home, means 90% of the time I'm wearing comfy leggings and an oversized T-shirt, jewellery is my way of making me feel fabulous (even in PJs).

    What originally sparked your interest in pursuing jewelry design?

    I was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness after leaving university, which meant I couldn’t live life at the same pace as other 20-something year olds! This also put a lot of pressure on my mental health. After taking a year to slow down and soul search, I found jewellery making! Being able to create with my hands was so therapeutic that I fell in love instantly… I have now recovered fully from my illness, but wouldn’t have changed it for the world, as it led me to where I am today.

    What historical jewelry / art are you inspired by?

    Both Byzantine & traditional Indian jewellery!

    What has been your favorite design to make from this selection?

     I would say the Catbird exclusive The Swan & Reed. It was my first time creating an enamel design based on someone else’s idea and it was so exciting to be able to bring it to life!

    Can you describe the process of making these pieces?

    There are 5 crucial steps to the making of each piece, all meticulously thought through and carefully executed… 

    Design. All my pieces start at my kitchen table surrounded by books such as ‘V&A Jewels & Jewellery’ and the ‘Grimm Brothers’ fairy-tales, a colourful array of pencils & watercolours, my laptop of course, and a candle or two to get me in the zone.

    Make. All the signet rings and pendants are handmade from my jewellery bench at home, forged from the deep and rich recycled 18ct yellow gold.

    Enamel. I then send the pieces to my enameller who engraves and hand paints each design in miniature. As every different layer of enamel paint is applied, the piece must be fired in a kiln. This process is repeated until the finished painting comes to life!

    Diamonds. I then pass the jewellery on to my wonderful stone setters in Hatton Garden, the diamond district of London, where they star-set teeny tiny glittery diamonds to complete each miniature scene…

    Finish. Finally, the pieces are back with me, where I give the overall surface a matte finish. This results in a buttery, frosted surface - bringing out the beautiful deep colours of the enamel paintings. 

    TA DA! 

    Describe a perfect day in London.

    It would start off with a long Saturday morning sitting in bed with my boyfriend Dan and our sweet little fur baby, Lucky. A tray of croissants, jam, butter and coffee from our local bakery in the middle of it all…  

    An afternoon spent in Notting Hill visiting my all-time favourite haberdashery called The Cloth Shop, I could spend hours sifting through their various striped French linens, or Indian block print cottons. Always an inspiration.

    The evening would be spent with friends in a cosy, fairy-lit pub garden. Somewhere local, sharing bottles of wine until I decide it’s way past my bedtime and jump in an uber home. Ready for a sleepy Sunday! 

    How did you begin your journey with enamel?

    In some ways, my journey has just begun! While researching ancient jewellery in the treasure trove that is the Victoria & Albert Museum archives, I fell in love with an old Victorian wedding band, enamelled with pink flowers all the way around. I decided to begin experimenting with my own designs, and through lots of (expensive!) trial and error, I finally created a collection I am happy with! I can’t wait for the journey to continue…

    Can you tell us a bit about the enameller you work with?

    My London enameller is wonderful and works effortlessly on each design I send his way! He is a Master Enameller and a member of the Goldsmith Company, Freeman to the City of London – which is a prestigious title that has been given to those with excellent goldsmithing craftsmanship for over 700 years. 

    Did you face any challenges in getting the collection going? And, have you encountered any obstacles that you have learned from?

    Yes!! I came across quite a few hiccups along the way. Enamel is a very particular material to work with. In order to bring out the richness in colour you must choose 18ct gold as your metal (75% pure gold), which you can imagine becomes expensive when you get a design wrong… 

    The Shark & Anchor (my favourite design) was one of the hardest to create, as it was imperative to get the expression right. One tiny dot for an eye in the wrong place and we have to do it all over again!

    Have you been to New York? If so, what do you think of it?

    Yes – I LOVE New York. I think I love it so much because it feels very similar to London. (I’m a bit of a home bunny). The energy, the pace of life, the culture, the weather (!!)… I can’t wait for the world to open up again so I can come and visit once more.

    Shop Cece's Collection

  8. Three Looks - Morgan

    We have always admired the way Morgan stacks and styles her Catbird pieces to be so quintessentially her! She is a longtime customer and we have enjoyed connecting with her (via Instagram!) over the years. We asked her to show us how she styles her Catbird for three different looks in her day-to-day life down in Florida!


    Getting ready for lunch after a long swim at the beach.



    After lunch and a nap, walking with my little gal Amelia. She loves looking at flowers on the island.



    Getting ready for date night, after walking and more swimming at the beach.



    "The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year - the days when summer is changing into autumn - the crickets spread the rumour of sadness and change." — Charlotte's Web, E.B. White


    It's that time, swans — the time it always is (oh! change) but sometimes, like a frog in a pond, that time is clearer to see. 

    xo Leigh 

  10. How We Wear It: Summer's End Bandana

    Shells, strawberries, snakes, spiders — a gathering in bandana form to celebrate the soft swirling skies of summer's end. Like the sweetness of summer, this offer won't last forever. But (always a but), after every end comes a new beginning. 

    This limited edition bandana is 100% cotton, produced in the US and printed in Brooklyn, New York. The custom illustration is by Jasmine from our design team. 

    The bandanas are 100% cotton and we recommend washing on cold water and to hang dry.

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