You created a successful jewelry company and now you’ve collaborated with CB2 on your first furniture line. Was this always part of the plan?
No. CB2 was a great opportunity that came to me out of nowhere and a great meeting with Ryan Turf, [president of CB2]. That was sort of the best thing that has happened in the last two years.
How did you apply your aesthetic in jewelry to furniture?
My aesthetic in jewelry is pretty clean and minimal. I wanted to take everything that I do in jewelry and make homeware easily accessible. Pieces that you’re not going to get sick of. That’s my thing. I try to make jewelry that you want to wear everyday that you don’t want to put in your drawer for six months after the first time you wear it. I wanted to take that same application into home. I am really picky about what I put in my house. I never want to buy anything for my home that feels like it’s going to be dated in the next year that I’m going to want to get rid of. I wanted to bring pieces to people that feel sort of the same way. Take it as a simple hoop earring or a simple gold chain, things like that that you’re not really going to tire of because they’re classic, clean lines and will always be in style.
What is most important to think about when decorating your home?
I’m not a decorator, I’m a designer, but my approach to home is to really try to collect things that you’re going to want to live with forever. Pieces that you can move around your home or if you end up moving you can use it in a different way. I made a clear wardrobe rack because I always overfill my closet. When I was packing for a trip I had this ugly industrial rack in my bedroom and it made my husband crazy. Especially living in New York, we don’t have a lot of space so I wanted to do something that you can have in your bedroom when you’re packing, have out when you have events for the week or wheel into your living room as a coat rack when you have company. You know, things like that. I really tried to think about the entire collection that way. You can move things around. Like this sofa, this ottoman, you can move them to different places in your house.
The acrylic dog gate is so chic.
Tito, my dog, had to live with this hideous dog gate forever. With CB2 I was able to make my dream dog gate which I think people are already liking today. I’ve been getting these DMs all day from people like, “Oh my God, you made a clear dog gate. Thank you.”
Were you nervous about what people would think of the line?
I’m definitely nervous. This isn’t my thing, you know… I’m a jewelry designer so this is something that was really a fun project and something I loved doing. But it’s something new.
From stylist to jewelry designer, and then parlaying into creating products such as seasoning salts and now furniture— What’s the through line in everything you do?
I try to make everything easy for everybody. It shouldn’t be something that feels so fussy that it’s not attainable. For me, it’s really important that people feel that they can connect with you as a person and the things that you make. I never want to feel too fancy for anyone or feel like it’s things that you can’t use … That’s why we did performance fabric on the white sofas. Everybody wants white sofas but everybody’s scared— especially parents and even someone with pets. Tito’s been sitting on these for the last two weeks and he loves it. There are no marks on it at all, it’s great.
Why do you think you’ve successfully been able to create a lifestyle brand and expand beyond jewelry?
I think part of it is that I’m a real person. I’m a mom, I have a family, I’m just like everybody else, I’m no different and that’s really something that I try to make sure is conveyed to all of my clients. I get home from work at night and my kids have to eat. I don’t have a chef. I cook for my family. I think that’s really important in this day and age— you have to be transparent, relatable and authentic. I don’t like using that word because it’s so overused but it’s something that’s really important. We should just be ourselves.
What is the key to working with your significant other?
It’s really hard. And it doesn’t end when you get home. We made it a rule to commute separately to and from work when we first started working together. That has been great and super helpful.
When else do you get alone time?
I started taking the train again which has been the best alone time. I’ve been listening to music and podcasts and that’s been the best “me” time that I can get in my day. I also feel like I was missing the energy of the city by not taking the train so that’s been sort of a great thing. And back to Kevin [and the key to working with your spouse], we don’t share an office. That’s really important. He’s on a different floor. I think communication is really, really important. We’ve gone through a lot in our relationship and we’ve been together a long time. We’ve almost been married 20 years. It didn’t come easy working together in the beginning but it’s gotten a little bit easier.
When you say communication, what exactly does that look like?
You have to be brutally honest with each other. We try to keep a lot of that stuff out of the office but at night or on the weekends when we’re talking about work it’s important. If he’s unhappy with how I speak to him in a certain way or vice versa, you have to talk about those things to make sure that you don’t build a wall. You have to make sure that you still make time to be a couple outside of that. Because at the office we are such a couple but it’s a working couple and it’s not really the same as when we’re at home. I think parenting children keeps it super real. We have two teenagers at home now so it’s crucial we’re a team. That’s what he always says, “One team, one dream.”
How did you grow professionally during this collaboration with CB2?
I think with business we’re worried about growth and expansion and where’s the next store. This [furniture project] gave me a really nice opportunity to just sit with it and to enjoy myself for a little. I think that also helped me as a designer. Because now going back to jewelry, I’ve had this great creative outlet that now I get to go back and really rethink my design process.
You seem to have a very joyful and full life. When you are feeling stuck and need to push through, what do you do?
I do have a joyful, fun life but I’ve been through a lot that has made me appreciate what I have. I think that’s part of why I’m so happy in everything that’s coming and that has been here because it hasn’t been the easiest path in the world to get here. People think it’s so easy to go into this, but it’s not. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and it’s been a lot of hard work and it just gets harder in certain ways everyday. It never gets easier and that’s what’s cool. You’re challenging yourself personally because it’s my baby — other than my children — and you don’t know where it’s going to go. It’s just really cool to have opportunities to take risk and go in different directions.
Is there anything you’re always striving to be better at?
I think one of the hardest things you’re always working on is you have to sort of have blinders on. There’s so much negativity out there that you see and hear and you just have to push above all of that. It’s important to know that at the end of the day my family’s the most important thing no matter what happens. We always have them to go back to. So focusing on them instead of other people has been really powerful. Even in the last year, I really changed that. Maybe it’s because my kids are teenagers and I feel like there’s a little more time that I need to take at night to make sure they’re okay because as they get older, things change. It’s always hard but it changes as they grow. You’re trying to teach them how to navigate. Especially living in New York City. It’s not the easiest.
What’s it like raising kids in New York City?
It’s great. We had this deal that we were going to move back [to California] when the kids hit four feet on this growth stick that we have at the house and then they surpassed that and went up the wall and… we’re never going back. Yeah, our kids are city kids. We’re city people. We started the business here. We never want to leave. We’re in the West Village right now, this is the neighborhood we want to grow old in.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your business?
Starting it. I was a mom who had a six-month-old kid and I started a business in my bedroom. I was 33. It began with an idea when I had my son Shane. I had difficulties getting pregnant because I had gone through chemotherapy. We tried some different ways and it was not successful, but I finally got pregnant naturally. When he was born I was given gifts that didn’t really represent me or what I wanted to wear to represent him and my family, so I made a simple dog tag that had his full name spelled out, and I wore it on a long gold chain. I was a wardrobe stylist at the time and I’d wear it onsite and everyone was like, “Oh, my wife’s going to want that. Can you make that?” And I said, “Sure, I can make whatever you want.” And I started making them and started a website selling jewelry direct to consumers, not to stores which is before a lot of people were doing it. And so I attribute that to some of our success now is that we sort of kept it… I studied business marketing, and I really wanted to make sure that this was going to be a viable, successful business if we were going to start it. One day in my bedroom, I’ve got Shane and the phone is ringing and I’m trying to take orders and Kevin’s like, “This is a business, I think that you should stop styling and you really need to do this.”
What was the next defining moment for the business?
There have been multiple moments … my first cover was a necklace that I had made for Uma Thurman and she wore it on the cover of Glamour. It just so happened that my friend was a hair stylist, passed it off to her the day that she was shooting the cover and she wore it on the cover.
Do you remember the day you saw the cover?
Of course I remember that day. Of course I do. We lived in Soho and I walked down to this really cool magazine store that’s still there on Sullivan Street and I got a copy of it. It was the coolest thing.
In your wildest dreams, did you ever imagine you’d be living the life you live now?
What’s kind of funny is that I was a serial entrepreneur when I was a kid. I always thought that I’d be doing something because I was always reinventing businesses and thought, “One of these is going to work.” My dad is an an entrepreneur, so it was the way that I was raised. I knew I was going to do something on my own. I was like, “I’m going to do it and I’m going to do it my way.” I just wasn’t sure what it was going to be that was going to hit. I always had ideas.
So when you started out styling, you always knew there was something more out there?
Yeah. I had a business, I made baby blankets and burp cloths and bibs and I private labeled them to department stores in Canada.
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
Without a doubt I know who it would be. It’s not a celebrity, it’s my grandmother. She left us way too soon and she was someone who I still look up to because she was the coolest. I have the best memories of her. If I could go back and ask her questions about family… She was also a businesswoman and was very into fashion. I was young so I never had the opportunity to speak to her as an adult. I would have asked her so many things. She started three different companies after she had kids, so I’d want to know, “How did you do it back then? What can I do differently now?” All of those things, and coming from a family member it would be amazing.
Thank you to our partner CB2. View the collection here.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Did you enjoy this feature? Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss a drink, we promise we’ll never spam you!