Catbird is about to embark on its own California gold rush. The Millennial-favorite jewelry brand and retailer will pop up for one month in Los Angeles, at the Platform retail complex in Culver City, Calif.
The shop will run through the entire month of April at 8840 Washington Boulevard, open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
"Los Angeles is our biggest market outside of New York. Creating a pop-up when you don't have a team devoted to that — it's kind of a challenge and we wanted to tackle it and see if we can try this more than once," said Catbird founder Rony Vardi. In the last year, 18 percent of the company's online sales came from California-based shoppers.
Catbird has a 250-square-foot shop on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Vardi maintains that this small brick-and-mortar outlet will remain the brand's only unit. "I am still sticking by my guns. This is a one-month pop-up — it's not about testing the waters for a permanent store. It's just about this particular experience, meeting our customers in L.A. It's hard to do online — not everyone can come to Brooklyn," she said. Sixty percent of the brand's sales come from its e-commerce site.
Catbird has been praised for its authentic attitude. Its in-house line is made by a small staff of Brooklyn jewelers. The company wholesales to just two outlets — Bird, Net-a-porter — and maintains an element of transparency with its consumers.
Vardi said her intentions to pop up in Los Angeles were more related to building consumer relations than reaping profit. "Sales are not my motivating force — this is actually costing us a lot of money to do. It's more about meeting our L.A. people. I think it's really nice to let people try things on in-person, help them figure their preferences, ring size in person. It's a nice opportunity," she said.
Throughout the month, the space will play home to a string of events. Popular piercing artist J. Colby Smith will take up residence in the shop for two evening piercing parties, using Catbird jewelry.
Special items will be stocked in the shop. Catbird has produced a special tote bag and candle for the occasion. A selection of vintage clothes from A Current Affair will also be on offer.