Ethically produced and transparently priced fine jewelry and crafted from responsibly sourced precious metals and gems in Downtown Los Angeles. Starling Jewelry has become our latest obsession and our new favorite affordable go to gift for all our family and friends.
Starling is Chelsey and Tracy’s vision for timeless and affordable fine jewelry without the standard markups. It’s jewelry they want to wear, and invest in for their children, too.
We sat down with Starling's founders, Tracy Burnett and Chelsey Bartrum, to find out what inspired them to launch their brand and take on a transparent business model, what their biggest challenges are running their own business and their favorite go to gifts for everyone in their family.
How did you launch your brand? Tracy & Chelsey: We created the idea of Starling over a brunch in the valley almost three years ago and still feel like we are launching! But over that brunch we discovered we were both at places in our lives were we had been working for other people/companies for long enough and wanted to do something that was ours. Tracy has worked in large scale accessories manufacturing for amaing brands like, Micheal Kors, Tracey Reese and Pam & Gela, and Chelsey for high end jewelry designers and manufactures everything from couture to costume. We wanted to combine our two paths of high quality handcrafted jewelry and large scale manufacturing by using the direct to consumer model of other online only companies.
What inspires you? Tracy: My daughter Olive. She is so positive and optimistic, two things I am trying to be more of every day! One time around Christmas, after picking her up from school, there was this giant truck blocking her favorite decorated Christmas tree. I was disappointed and expected her to be as well (and prepping for a toddler meltdown), but instead she said, “Silly truck! It’s okay Mom, maybe it won’t be there tomorrow!” It was a moment that clearly stuck with me and inspires me everyday to look at the bright side of things. Chelsey: I love being around and learning from passionate people that are so into what they do, study or make. And mother nature always!
Favorite Brands? Tracy: True Botanicals an amazing skincare line that we just discovered and are seriously already obsessed it makes your skin so dewy! For clothes Ulla Johnson and Madewell are my favorites. Chelsey: Muji for trying to keep organized and live with less stuff. Amo jeans.
Biggest Challenge of running your business? Chelsey: There are no short cuts. Building a successful business takes time and perseverance, and we are still learning to trust our instincts. Tracy: Wearing every hat from product to marketing to finance is challenging but also exciting. It makes everyday a learning experience and constantly keeps us on our toes!
Best advice you've ever been given? Tracy: Always approach challenges from a problem solving perspective. Ask what you can do to help, instead of placing blame on other people. Chelsey: Someone once told me to get up each day without thinking. It was right after I graduated college and it seemed revolutionary at the time, to never hit snooze or spend one second fretting about the day in bed and just get up and take it on. It’s still my goal every morning!
What app changed your life? Tracy: Unroll Me! It cleans up your inbox so fast and has streamlined my entire life! Chelsey: Google Maps ... maybe lame but I would be pretty lost without it.... literally
One tip? Tracy: Don’t stress about stuff, it all works out in the end! Chelsey: Go towards the uncomfortable, don’t hide from it. It forces you to grow and learn.
Your biggest aha moment? Tracy & Chelsey: Starting Starling! Realizing we could create our own dream and didn’t have to continue working for other people.
Happiness is? Tracy: Enjoying an iced latte by myself. Chelsey: No traffic and pancake breakfast with my family
Favorite go to gift for your kids, bestie or husband? Tracy: Babies and little ones I love Jellycat Stuffed Animals. They are the softest and cutest perfect for new babies as a lovey. Toddlers: My toddler was just gifted a pair of Unicorn Vans for her birthday that we are all obsessed with. These are my now my new go to gift for kids this spring! Bestie: Girl time with a manicure at TenOverTen, or our new diamond stud earrings. Both are simple luxuries that are always appreciated! Hubby: vintage Lego sets. Always a hit with him (and with our daughter!) They love to build together.
And not surprisingly but I love to gift jewelry! The Starling Personalized Bracelet with a single or double initial is my favorite for new moms or brides.