Design Entrepreneurs NYC Spotlight: Marcia Budet

Our design entrepreneur Marcia Budet has an interesting story to tell on how she started her business. Her inspirational story proves that so much can happen in just a year.  And, like our other spotlights, you’ll get to read her fun fact.

Can you tell us about your line?

It is an international award winning line offering creative and innovative fine jewelry, directly influenced by our architectural training. Our collections are made in 18k gold and/or sterling silver with precious and semi precious stones and we also do custom work. We redefine effortless elegance and our work inspires women to embrace sophistication with an edge.

When did you start your line?


Why did you start it?

It was almost a happy accident. I was looking to buy a double ring for myself, but could not find one I really liked, so I decided to design it myself. A colleague saw the piece, sent me a link to an international design competition in Italy and encouraged me to submit my design. I did – and a year later I was at the Gala in Lake Como receiving a Golden Award for it. After that, clients started approaching me and I recognized it to be a business opportunity worth exploring.

What’s your brand signature?

Sophisticated boldness

Can you give us three words to describe the brand?

Elegant, bold and architectural

Favorite piece of your collection?

Asymmetrics + Diamonds, which is the first piece I designed and won an award in Italy.

Why did you apply to DENYC?

Because I knew I would greatly benefit from it. Learning from fellow designers and the training offered have surpassed my expectations.

What do you hope to get out of the program?

New friends, new skills and lots of fun.

Best part of being a NYC designer?

Access to a great variety of suppliers and raw material, great networking, and inspiration overload.

Can you give us a fun fact?

I am a huge, huge sports fan.

Design Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jacqueline Stone of Salt + Stone

Our latest interview is with design entrepreneur Jacqueline Stone of Salt + Stone. Learn more about her company, why she likes being a New York-based designer and check out her fun fact!

When did you start Salt + Stone?

We finished production on our line in May and will officially launch the collection on our website, in July.

Why did you start it?

We wanted to offer fashion forward fine jewelry that was available to our consumer at a reasonable price point. While we do have some high priced items, we believe that true design is priceless. We want our consumers and our fans to rethink fine jewelry and to start to fall in love with it again. We also recognize that behind every fine jewelry purchase is a story. Whether it’s a graduation gift, baby gift, wedding band, engagement or something beautiful for yourself, we want Salt + Stone to be the brand that helps you create that story.

What are three words to describe your brand?

Sophisticated, classic and whimsical.

Salt + Stone Diamond Castle

Why did you apply to DENYC?

Jewelry is our number one love, our passion. We understand that fashion is a business and in order to pursue this craft to our utmost potential we also need to be business-minded. We applied to DENYC to gain a better understanding about marketing, sales, public relations and finances. We wanted to help Salt + Stone grow.

What do you hope to get out of the program?

We hope to make new friends, write a killer business plan and have a stronger vision for where the company is headed.

What is Salt + Stone’s signature?

Our owl rings get us noticed, but it is our celestial chain necklace that achieves the most sales. We can’t keep it in stock!

Salt + Stone Owl Rings

Do you have a favorite piece?

The Celestial Bracelet. It is beautifully constructed and is reminiscent of the starry night sky. It’s a perfect example of our use of clean lines and chaotic stone placement. Beauty lies in the world’s imperfections and we hope to capture some of that magic in our work.

Salt + Stone Celestial Bracelet

What’s the best part of being a NYC designer?

It’s all here! There is more talent concentrated in this city than anywhere in the world. We are blessed to work with some of the most talented goldsmiths and silversmiths on the street (Diamond District).

Can you tell us a fun fact?

The company was started after our lead designer, Jacqueline Stone, came back from a life changing trip to Buzios, Brazil in 2007. This small beach village was made famous in the 1960s as it was a favorite destination of Brigette Bardot. There is a statue of her in the middle of the town. Jacqueline was inspired by the colors, creativity and the joie de vivre of the Brazilian people. She tries to incorporate that spirit in her work.

Learn more about Jacqueline Stone at Salt + Stone. 

Design Entrepreneurs NYC Spotlight: Ayana Evans of Yana Handbags

Ayana Evans

Today we’re spotlighting our Design Entrepreneur Ayana Evans for Yana Handbags. Learn more about her and be sure to read the entire interview because you will remember her three fun facts!

Can you tell us about your business? 

YANA is a handbag company that embraces high art aesthetics, whimsical humor and socially conscious business practices. Our designs merge artistic themes of women in love with practical function and luxury details, such as 18k gold plated custom hardware based on designer Ayana Evans’s favorite childhood earring and metal labels with hand sewn satin bow details. Special concern is given to creating light weight handbags, with comfortable straps, and easily accessible pockets. The label also always offers custom orders. Our customers like being having access to one-of-a-kind/limited edition products. We are fashion X art.

A portion of all YANA’s online sales are given to charity. Additionally, YANA’s eco-friendly snake skin bags are made of re-purposed leather and feature vegetable dyed linings. YANA supports local artisans and always strives to ensure that each worker at the factories the company contracts are paid fair wages and given safe, clean working conditions.

When did you start your line?

Technically YANA Handbags LLC was formed in 2007. The unofficial start was in 2004, but  everything was in my kitchen then and I mostly sold to friends back then.

Why did you start it?

I always loved fashion, bags especially. I wanted to have a job that I couldn’t be laid off from during the recession and I wanted to work in an area thatt was creative but wasnt exactly the same as working in the visual “art world” (my background is in painting). It may sound crazy because fashion is so volatile, but that’s why I started my business.

Can you give us three words to describe the brand?

Art, socially-conscious and beautiful.

What’s your signature?

The waist bag (e.g. the fanny pack.)

What’s your favorite piece of your collection?

The black quilted waist bag with a gold doorknocker.

Why did you apply to DENYC?

I wanted to grow my business and I felt I had hit a wall. I felt I would get the guidance and mentorship I needed from this program, so I applied.

What do you hope to get out of the program?

I hope to gain long lasting mentoring relationships, strong connections to other designers, and a business plan that I can use as a road map for the next two years of my company’s growth.

Best part of being a NYC designer?

You get invited to cool parties.

Can you give us a fun fact(s)?

1. I’m a performance artist.
2. My brother is a rapper.
3. Both of my parents are therapists and I was raised like a Cosby kid.

Learn more about the brand at Yana Handbags.