Designer and founder of BYCHARI.
Chari Cuthbert is the amazing and talented designer and founder of BYCHARI, a jewelry brand designed and made in LA. Chari, who was born and raised in Jamaica, founded BYCHARI in 2012. In fact, Chari explained that she initially started with only $100 in the bank without any prior experience, but she was “determined to work for [her[self and build a brand [she] could be proud of and, in return, empowered other women.” Chari started her brand as a side hustle, working after her 9-5 and on weekends... Today, thanks to her tireless hard work, BYCHARI is a household name, and one synonymous of chic and timeless pieces.
BYCHARI's talented team and Chari herself.
BYCHARI has unique, effortless, and modern pieces, handmade and designed for women, not just designing everyday jewelry, but also providing custom, fine luxury pieces (ranging in price from $20 to $500). The jewelry brand has been chosen by the likes of fashion mavens like Kate Hudson and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama wearing the VOTE necklace at the DNC.
This past August, during the DNC, Michelle Obama wore a custom BYCHARI “VOTE” necklace. Meredith Koop, Michelle Obama’s stylist, had originally reached out to Chari in July saying "I'd love to have a necklace made for Mrs. Obama" -- to which Chari proudly and promptly complied. As Chari shared with Forbes “I was beyond excited and surprised to see her debut the necklace while watching her deliver one of her most historically relevant speeches to date at the DNC.”
We had the honor of connecting with the incredibly talented Chari Cuthbert and asking her some questions about her journey with BYCHARI:
When did you first get the idea to start BYCHARI and what were your first steps to make it a reality?
BYCHARI was in the works as my weekend and after-work project for many years. In 2012, I was finally ready to take the plunge and commit to BYCHARI as my full time job. It was a major risk since I only had $100 in my bank account but I knew I was up for the challenge and that there was never going to be a better time.
What do you wake up looking forward to?
In the past month I’ve been waking up every day excited about the new audiences we’ve been reaching that were made accessible to us through the VOTE necklace’s debut at the DNC. It’s been an amazing month and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store.
Beautiful, effortless and chic BYCHARI pieces.
How would you like BYCHARI to evolve?
I would love to see the custom fine jewelry division of our business grow. I take on special requests to design engagement rings and wedding bands and I always find the projects inspiring. I view jewelry as a way for women to share and create their stories and one of the most significant stories to be a part of is someone’s marriage story since it’s such a special and defining moment.
Do you have any words of wisdom for fellow entrepreneurs? Or something you wish you knew before you started BYCHARI?
For fellow entrepreneurs: Be prepared to fail. It’s not about the result of the first (second or third) attempt, it’s about how you handle the failure. Because failure is inevitable, focus on what you learned from the experience and how you will apply that to the next attempt. When starting out I wish I had felt more confident with the numbers side of the business. I’m lucky to have found great team members who are experts with the numbers, but when starting off as a one woman show I could have really benefited from feeling more confident in that area.