Catbird $500 Giveaway

by Grace Bonney

DesignSponge Catbird Giveaway
One of my favorite parts about planning our D*S 10 Year Anniversary, was coming up with ways to give back. In addition to the charities we’ll be donating to and the downloadable wallpaper series, we thought long and hard about the 10 shops and businesses we trust and frequent the most as shoppers. These are companies we, as a team, spend time at the most and invest in on a regular basis. I was so thrilled to start our giveaway series with Schoolhouse Electric and was just as excited to follow up with a shop that Amy and I practically live in: Catbird.

For those outside of NYC, Catbird may not be as familiar, but if you read fashion magazines, you’ve seen Catbird’s jewelry– namely their stacking rings– all over the place. In addition to incredible jewelry made by cutting-edge independent designers (I bought my wedding ring there), Catbird carries beautiful stationery, artwork, bath and apothecary goods and all sorts of small-scale home decor like trays, plates, glass shadow boxes and more. When I need a gift, I always start at Catbird. It is my go-to for anyone that needs something special and my favorite place to go when I want to reward myself with something nice. I am so thrilled to be announcing them as our February Giveaway Sponsor! Whether you’re looking for a beautiful art print, jewelry or something shiny for your home, you are bound to find the perfect piece here. Thanks so much to the Catbird team for donating this $500 gift certificate to a lucky D*S reader. xo, grace

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below by February 28th telling us about your most memorable Valentine’s Day. Did something wonderfully romantic happen? Or did you have a first date so bad it went down in the history books? Whatever the memory, share yours here and Catbird will pick their favorite for the $500 prize!


Click through for contest details and an interview with Catbird founder Rony Vardi!

D*S: What inspired you to start Catbird?

I was antsy in my job and was living pretty cheaply in Williamsburg, and I had a vision for a store that sold the type of things I wanted to buy. Pretty soon after opening the store on Metropolitan Ave – which sold both clothes and jewelry – I realized how much I love selling jewelry. Generally speaking, no one is in a bad mood when they’re buying jewelry! (Can you say the same thing about anything else – clothes, food, furniture…??)

D*S: What was the hardest part of starting your business?

Throwing caution to the wind, without much of a safety net, was pretty scary. But the most difficult thing at the start ww surviving the very lean, early years – both financially, but even more so – emotionally. Those slow days, or weeks – can really wear on you at the start. My friend Anne said that watching your business struggle is like watching your child perform badly at a piano recital. You want to believe in them, but you’re really biting your nails – wondering whether they’ll make it.

D*S: What are you proudest of (or your biggest success) as a business so far?

I am fascinated and floored by how much I see knuckle rings everywhere. I started wearing one in the 90s (it was a toe ring from the East Village) – and after a lot of compliments I started making and selling them. And… now they are on so many hands. There’s a bit of a thrill there. But hands down, I am proudest of my team. No way would Catbird be where it was without them.

D*S: What are your next big goals or projects coming up?

We have a new, secret ring collection we will be launching very soon that is super exciting. No one has seen it yet except for us! It has been in the works for a long time and we can’t wait to share it!


PLEASE NOTE: Shipping within the continental US. Must be used within one month of issuing. Online only. Not redeemable for cash or other tender. Cannot be combined with any discounts or promotional offers.

Catbird from the back
About Catbird: Catbird has been the go-to jewelry boutique in Brooklyn since 2004. Both the store and the site are filled with a carefully curated selection of oddities and dainty jewelry from New York’s most exciting designers including their in-house line of jewelry as well as candles. Catbird aims to provide people with endless opportunities to mix and match their favorite styles of jewelry from different designers to create their own personalized way to wear it.

About Catbird’s Jewelry Line:

Rony Vardi started the Catbird line with the hope to create something personal – that you would want to wear every day and that could have a deep meaning for the wearer – but would not necessarily be a once in a lifetime purchase. Each piece can be a glittery heirloom to layer over time to commemorate milestones – marriage, new child, graduation, a death of a loved one. We design, create and produce the line ourselves in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


Suggested For You


  • Hi Grace, here’s a story of my most memorable valentine’s day. I had the biggest crush on her and we had been friends for over a year at this point and I really just wanted her to like me back. We were both living in a small land locked country in West Africa. I lived 4km away from the Malian border and she lived a 12 hour bus ride through dirt roads and the blazing african sun. We spoke over the phone almost ever night before heading to bed talking about anything, it was just nice to be able to speak to someone in your native tonuge after a whole day trying to decipher which of the four different native languages people were trying to communicate with you. She had mentioned in one of our telephone conversations that she wished she had some flowers in her small barren courtyard. My courtyard was full of flowers, so I decided to the a sapling from the prettiest flower growing in my courtyard and plant it in a pot. I went to the local market 7km away and bought a clay pot from the clay makers. I had to travel to the capital city for a meeting that weekend and her village was along the road just 30km away from the capital. So everyday for three weeks, I woke went to the pump and got water to water the flower in the morning and afternoon. On valentine’s day I woke before dawn, my bus left at 6am from the market 7km away on a dirt road. I loaded the small flower on the back on my bicycle, using strips of old tires to tie it down safely to the bike rack. I rode my bike just in time to grab the last seat at the back of the bus. For hours I held the flower in my lap, as we bumped around along the road, and watered the plant with water sachets sold by children along the road and major stops. We were about 12km away from her village, and pleaded with the driver to stop the bus along the road so I could give someone a gift in a village he had never heard of, although he had drove by it many times before. He agreed and we stopped the bus, I jump out with the flower in it’s pot in my hand, run across the highway and find the first child I see, wave him over. “Do you know Ashley the nassara?” I asked in my broken french; nassara is the word for foreigner in the native tongue. The small boy nods, I give him the flower pot along with 500 cfa about a dollar, a lot of money for little kid in that village, and tell him to give her this flower. I run back on the bus and my heart is racing, all the Africans on the bus are yelling at me asking me “What are you doing in this small village nassara?”, I let them know my love lives there.
    About an hour later I arrive into the capital, and a text message that reads “How’d you do that?”. She had gotten the flower.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.