Cyd Rowley works from her Kensington Maryland studio where she creates sculptural “vessel” pendants that are inspired by her fascination with containers worn on the body, and with creating pieces that can be personalized, that tell a story, and that provoke conversation and connection with others. She studied design and jewelry fabrication at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore.
As an independent studio jeweler, her goal is to do work that stretches her professionally, and that is meaningful for the wearer.
Here, she tells us more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I launched my brand, Cyd Rowley Jewellery, two years ago after years perfecting my skills at the jeweller’s bench. I felt excited about my line and thought that women of all ages could relate to it. The pendants in my line are small three-dimensional vessels that you can personalise by carrying something in them that is special to you. I think we’re all looking for things to wear that say something about who we are and that feel meaningful. That was my North Star when I was designing my line.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
The biggest challenge when you’re a solo-preneur is that you have to cover all the bases. In addition to designing and fabricating each piece by hand, I need to manage the business end too. There is a lot that comes along with running a small business, but the great thing is that in this digital age there are many tools and opportunities. You can make it work as long as your business is lean, agile, and focused.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I’ve spent my summers, on the Chesapeake Bay, where there’s a home that’s been in the extended family for generations. I love the Bay culture, including the colonial history, the boating, crabbing, oysters, swimming. It’s my spiritual home.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Definitely, meeting and connecting with my customers. The women who are attracted to my work are vibrant, lively, involved, passionate, and are looking for that one important piece that speaks to them on a deeper level. I feel honoured when one of these women is wearing my piece.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
I feel most at home in London because it was my home for 10 years. My twin girls were born there so they have British and American citizenship. When I was living there I fell in love with the Victoria and Albert museum which has the largest collection of decorative arts, including jewellery, in the world–not to mention it’s amazing café. I think you could live there your entire life and keep discovering new things about the city.
Style means discovering what makes you unique, special and different and then reflecting that in the way that you present yourself.
Best thing about London to you?
I love the quiet, out-of-the-way places you can find tucked around the city that are so magical and beautifully ornate. One of my favourite is Maison Assouline, a publisher of limited edition books on travel, design, and fashion on Piccadilly Street. It’s housed in the iconic building designed by Sir Edward Lutyens and inside is all old-world glamour with a gorgeously outfitted library and The Swans Bar where you can sit and sip a single malt or coffee while you look through a luxuriously bound book. It’s so quiet and elegant that it’s hard to believe that the throngs of people walking along Piccadilly are just outside the door. My other favourite place is the Honesty Bar on the first floor of the Covent Garden Hotel, also an amazingly elegant and calming space.
Statement or wardrobe piece?
One of the best pieces in my wardrobe is a calf-length jacket in a white silk herringbone with a gorgeous printed lining by designer Gary Graham. https://www.garygrahamnyc.com/
I was wandering through the ABC Carpet and Home department store in Manhattan and stumbled on his little boutique on the ground floor. It was a spontaneous purchase that I’ve never regretted.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
That was “stay outside your comfort zone”, otherwise you’re not growing, exploring, stretching yourself. If you get too comfortable, it’s time to do something to shake things up.
Listening to podcasts while I’m playing Spider Solitaire on my iPad. May favourite podcasts are Criminal, Desert Island Discs, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History.
Find out more…
You can find me here