Love at first sight is when Kelly Mittendorf (@kelly_mittendorf) first discovered Catbird (@catbirdnyc), a 11-year-old boutique in Williamsburg that’s famous for their well-crafted, dainty jewelry. The Arizona native said she’s the kind of person who’d get a new piercing just for a specific piece of jewelry that catches her eyes — which easily makes her the best candidate for our first Field Trip series!
For each Field Trip, we will bring our talents to a local NYC establishment, ranging from boutiques, restaurants, salons and everything in between, and we will share their experience with you here. Scroll down to find out from our Q&A what Kelly’s favorite pieces are, the trends she’s coveting at the moment, and if she approves of mixing metals!
Established at one of downtown Brooklyn’s busiest corners more than a decade ago, Catbird’s founder Rony Vardi said the original store was on a different block, where they also sold clothes and crafts. Over the course of the first five years, the shop eventually turned into the popular jewelry spot it is today.
When asked about her vision and reason behind curating small delicate pieces, Rony said It’s what she always wore. “It’s not fussy, you just throw it on, it’s delicate but also 14K gold, you can just live in it,” she said. “It still lasts forever and has great value. If you want to dress it up you still can — but on an everyday basis, who has time for that?”
“Kelly’s so beautiful and has such a simple style. A pared-down stack of rings just looks natural on her — it looks like she’s just born with the rings on. It really suits her style and personality.”
“It’s really cool to have quality jewelry but also keep it non-fussy. It’s easy but still kind of feels like luxurious — I call it understated luxury,” Rony said.
Kelly! We know you’ve been a fan of Catbird for a while, when did you discover it and what do you like about the brand?
I found out about Catbird through friends and social media a few years ago, and I love the minimalism of the pieces that makes you feel done and dressed without overbearing. It feels contradicting to my style if I wore a bunch of huge jewelry.
Catbird is all about living minimally, how does that apply to your personal style and aesthetics, whether it’s fashion, beauty or lifestyle?
I feel my absolute best when I’m living simply and when I can see myself — I work in a industry when being genuine is very important.
What’s your favorite Catbird jewelry and why?
I really love the stacking rings (Threadbare) and the twisted (Twisted Stacker) ones! I can wear them to casting without being too distracting, and I would wear them every day to pair with all kinds of clothing — these kind of jewelry are so versatile and make my hands “feel” pretty.
Is there a piece of jewelry that means a lot to you or your family?
I got a really beautiful white strand of fresh water pearls on my 13th birthday — it’s a family tradition and pearl is also my birthstone, so that meant a lot to me.
How do you make wearing pearls cool?
The pearls I got in the 80s were so amazing but also very heavy — I’d pick pearls that are smaller and more delicate like this one I’m wearing on my neck, so you can layer them. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to stacking!
Is there any jewelry you regret buying?
Nope, I believe everything has its time and its place — for example I would wear statement pieces on special occasion, and for Governors Ball I layered necklaces, which I usually wouldn’t do.
Any trends you’re loving right now?
I love that people are starting to play with portions and lengths. I have a long torso, so I like wearing high-waisted shorts in the summer, especially when you don’t want anything to touch your body. I would also wear a long tunic with long necklaces and lots of small earrings.
What are some of the symbolisms of rings that are interesting for our readers to learn?
The Claddagh ring (traditional Irish ring) is a huge thing in my hometown, Phoenix in Arizona. It symbolizes love, loyal and friendship. If the ring faces out it means you’re single (on right hand) or engaged (on left hand); if it faces towards you means you’re in a relationship (on right hand) or married (on left hand).
What’s a staple piece of jewelry that every girl should have?
Whatever makes a girl feel beautiful, special or has a sentimental value for her.
Do you prefer simple metals or colorful gems?
Metals. Whenever I wore studs with gems, I tried to transition back to simple metal hoops as soon as possible.
How do you feel about mixing metals?