Written by The Strategy
Girl Boss. She.E.O. It’s time for the world to realize that the future is, well, female. There are so many female entrepreneurs who inspire us and we wanted to know more about how they got their companies off the ground. Welcome to our new series: The Future Is Female, where we sit down with inspiring female entrepreneurs and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how their companies operate.
Are you obsessed yet with Carbon & Hyde? If not, you soon will be. The fine jewelry brand, created by two sisters, Oren and Yarden Katz, is a favourite of Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, Sara Sampio, Taylor Hill, Yara Shahidi, and Jessica Alba, to name just a few. We were lucky enough to visit Carbon & Hyde HQ for a special behind the scenes look at how each piece is made, and chat with Oren about how she and her sister started this whole endeavour.
What made you start Carbon & Hyde?
We always knew we would be in the jewelry world, because we grew up in that world. Our dad has been doing bridal and engagement fine jewelry for forty years. Our mom was a fashion designer who would design custom pieces for us when we were little. We just had it in our blood. Both my sister and I lived in New York for three years working in fashion, and we realized it was such a grind and we wanted to come back. We were so inspired by the fashion world, and we both definitely knew we wanted to be in jewelry, but we wanted to do it our own way. We started the line. We designed the whole line and had a preview in the Hamptons, and ended up selling ten pieces there.
What inspires the design process of Carbon & Hyde?
We always love looking through vintage pieces, and there is always one thing we find and love. It can be like a theme, or a style. For example, for our Rosette collection, our mom had these antiques stud earrings that were in bezels, that was oxidized silver, and we just thought it would look cool if it was bright and shiny and rose gold. So we took that vintage look and exploded it into a whole collection. There is also always trends that come up that we want to catch on to.
What was the biggest struggle when you first started?
Definitely figuring out both our jobs. When you start a new company, you need to have all hands on deck; there are so many things that come up that we don’t even think about. With Yarden and I, we were both doing the same job for a while, and we figured out what she was good at, and what I was good at. As things come up, with just divide the workload by who wants to do what. We’re lucky because we’re so similar, yet whatever I’m good at, she’s not, and vice versa. Yarden ends up doing more of the production and back-end work with the office and shop, and I do the front end work, which is the presentation of the company and the website, the PR, etc.
What was the moment you realized you were making it?
It was in the beginning. You never really know how much you’re going to make it, until you try. We came into it not having any expectations. Our dad suggested we do this line that we wanted to do – to just try. So, we went into it just thinking ‘let’s see what happens’. In the Hampton, when we had the preview and saw people were actually buying, we realized we actually had this company and it exists. Also, when we moved back to LA, we tried to get into a bunch of stores and so many people were willing to jump on board and help us. Within the first month, we went to five different stores, and no one said no. Jaimie Geller Jewelry in the Palisades, Broken English and Traffic Los Angeles, were our first three stores.
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
They’ve probably heard this before, but it’s definitely possible to accomplish your dreams. I never really thought that I’d be where I am today. When I first started the company I thought it would be such a dream to get into Barneys, and then within 3 years, we were in the door. It’s about luck. It’s about perseverance. Reach out to your friends and ask for help. People are always willing to help, guide you and mentor you.