Q & A with Rony!

Hi - it's Rony (the Founder of Catbird). This is the first time I've ever done an Ask Me Anything, and I'm so excited! We had a LOT of incoming questions on Instagram, so unfortunately I wasn't able to answer them all. But we will definitely do this again -- transparency is a top priority here at Catbird. So stay tuned, and without further ado - let's get to it!

Q: Please tell us the story behind the name “Catbird?”

A:  I was a graphic designer and wanted a name that looked good and could change with time. I got it from this beautiful Audubon poster and thought it was such a sweet name.

Q: How many people work at Catbird?

A: 140 right now – it’s extra because of the holidays!

Q: Is it possible to work at Catbird? Need experience? How can we do it?

A: Check out our careers page! Hot tip - at the bottom it says “If you are interested in interested in joining our team but don’t see a position listed that you are suited for please email us!”

 

Q: How’d you fund early prospect designs? How’d you get into fine jewelry without training?

Q: How do you balance your personal self with your public and professional image?

A: My personal, public, and professional image are all one and the same. Despite the fact that I don’t really have to put myself up front much, I only have one image. Anything else sounds exhausting!

Q: How the h*ck did you create this incredible company that I feel so much love for?

A: Slowly!

Q: What pieces do you wear every single day?

 

QHow many piercings do you have?

A: A humble five! 2 on my right ear (Petite Angel Stud and Snow Queen Hoop), 3 on my left (Snow Queen Hoop, Baby Pearl Hoop, Snow Queen Stud).

Q: What advice do you have for someone wanting to quit their job and start their own business?

A: Do your homework before quitting, consider working part-time while you’re starting. I started when I had a rent-stabilized apartment, no debt, no kids - I didn’t have much to lose. But I still worked part time when I started. Prepare for lots of hours and no money.

Q: What would you tell 26 year old you at this point in your life?

A: Relax. Trust yourself more.

Q: Will you be expanding your ring sizes in the future to be more inclusive?

 

Q: How do I get a job as a jewelry maker? 

A: The basic things we look for in a bench test is soldering skills, prong setting skills and following specs. We also require good communication and listening skills, ability to take feedback well and a good interview. A strong portfolio is helpful. Laser skills are great but most people don’t have those coming in. And of course, a lot depends on our current studio needs!

Q: What is your favorite book? Where do you get inspiration from?

A: I don’t have a favorite book but I did just re-read Olive Kitteridge which is sublime. So is The Shipping News. Also, Anne of Green Gables is way up there. 

Inspiration is everywhere! People on the street, songs, overheard snippets, dreams, thunderstorms, everywhere. 

Q: Do you use consignment or wholesale approach for the jewelry you carry from others?  

A: When I started I did almost everything on consignment (even stationery!) but now we buy at wholesale and only do consignment in a few rare cases where it works for the designer as well. 

Q: How did you find Leigh? And how did you know she was the right fit for Catbird’s vision?

A: I found her in my dreams! Kidding, but it almost feels that way. We met because I carried her beautiful stationery line in 2005. When I had my daughter, I needed people to work in the store and she was one of the people who answered my email. I wasn’t thinking much about the vision then - her role has evolved over 13 years as we’ve grown. I am so so SO happy that I get to work with her every day.  This is a photo of us from when Dore came to visit our studio!

Q: How do you organize your jewelry collection? 

A: Messily. 

Thanks for reading! Want to learn more about our studio and brand? Follow this link!