Meghan Markle helped to sky-rocket sales of an independent Brooklyn-based jewelry brand after she was seen wearing a budget-friendly ring from the company – prompting 20,000 people to snap it up.
The Duchess of Sussex, 38, has been wearing New York brand Catbird’s half-millimeter Threadbare ring since long before she had a royal title, even writing about her love for the style back when her lifestyle blog The Tig was around.
However, since her relationship with Prince Harry was made public, Meghan and her closet have become the subject of much intrigue and interest – and the founder of Catbird says that has resulted in a huge boost in sales of the brand’s simple $44 design.
Look like a royal on a budget: The jewelry brand behind Meghan Markle’s favorite thin stackable gold ring revealed 20,000 people have snapped up the band
Mix and match: Meghan’s omnipresent gold ring, seen on her pointer finger above, is among her most often worn jewelry styles
Spotlight: The $44 half-millimeter ring was seen on Meghan’s hands in January 2018 for her second official appearance since becoming engaged to Prince Harry
Speaking to Women’s Wear Daily, founder Rony Vardi said back when she opened the doors of her multi-brand boutique in Williamsburg, there wasn’t much of a demand for thin, stackable rings.
Yet, fast forward 15 years later and the Threadbare ring – which is made by ‘hands that are employed under ethical standards’ in New York – is undoubtedly the thriving celebrity-approved brand’s best seller.
And just in case prospective customers hadn’t seen the ‘barely there, glimmering and delicate ring’ snapped on Meghan’s hands umpteenth times, the product page teases: ‘PS – This ring is worn everyday by a certain American turned princess with the initials M.M.!’
The former Suits star has worn the ring countless times since mentioning it on her now-archived blog in 2015.
In 2018, the then-newly engaged star was pictured wearing the rings either alone or styled with others at the Anzac Day commemorations in London, during a visit to a radio station for her second official appearance, and as she watched the U.K. team trials for the Invictus Games in Sydney a few months later.
When she stepped out in a plaid Burberry coat last February, she kept her outfit simple but evidently didn’t neglect to put on her favorite rings.
In recent throwback photos posted to the Sussex Royal Instagram account, an image shows that Meghan was wearing her Threadbare rings during a 2017 trip with Prince Harry to Botswana to carry out conservation work with Elephants Without Borders.
It’s goes way back: Meghan first mentioned the rings in 2015 when she had her lifestyle blog The Tig
Twice as nice: The royal wore two of the Threadbare rings for the Anzac Day commemorations in London (left) and at the trials for the Invictus Games in Bath (right) in 2018
Throwback: When the Sussex Royal Instagram account shared a picture dating back to 2017, it showed Meghan was wearing the Catbird rings on a conservation trip to Botswana
Of the simple, unassuming ring, Rony said: ‘It’s so easy to wear and effortless. You can just leave it on, it’s not fussy.
‘It’s a tiny, easy spark of gold and luxury, it’s a lovely treat you can have your yourself that’s not super flashy and feels personal to you.’
Speaking about how her boutique became a multi-million dollar brand, Rony added that it stems back to her decision to produce ‘first-knuckle rings’ in-house in 2008.
Popular: The $44 Threadbare ring, pictured, has proved to become a staple for the New York-based brand
At the time, she herself was wearing an inexpensive toe ring on her finger above her knuckle, but she wanted a more stylish and permanent alternative.
Lo and behold, stacking rings became a major trend and young shoppers rushed to snap them up.
Longtime Co-creative Director of Catbird Leigh Plessner said it wasn’t long before they realized they had a hit on their hands.
‘I was working in the store and this woman came in from Ohio to specifically buy a first-knuckle ring from us,’ she said.
‘It was so far outside our typical customer and made me realize “This is rippling beyond our typical Brooklyn confines, I think we are becoming a little more than a 225-square-foot shop.”‘
The mother-of-one notably opts for brands with values that align with hers.
Accessories: Meghan wears her two Threadbare rings with a gold signet ring ($110) from London-based brand Missoma on an outing in October 2018
Jewelry: The former actress gave Vargas Goteo a turn in the spotlight when she wore two of the sustainable brand’s rings during the One Young World summit
Ethical: The 38-year-old royal wore a pair of 22-karat gold earrings by ethical jeweler Pippa Small during her trip to Fiji with Prince Harry
Meghan is an advocate for many conscious jewelry lines, routinely shining a spotlight on them during her own moments center stage.
Rony explained that Catbird’s in-house line of jewelry is mostly produced from recycled gold and diamonds and is crafted by hands that are employed under ethical standards (with jewelers offered full heath insurance, stipends for continuing education and free childcare to attend after-work events.)
Last month, a female-founded jewelry brand that supports charitable causes was thrilled to find Meghan had worn two of its designs.
Meghan brought Montreal-based Vargas Goteo to the fore during her outing at the One Young World Summit’s round table discussion.
The former actress and mother-of-one opted to wear two gold rings, one of which raises money from every sale for U.K.-based endangered animal charity Manta Trust.
The royal has also worn ethical jewelry brand Pippa Small on on many occasions dating back to 2016.
Meghan has opted for various earrings and bangles from the ethical London-based jeweler, including a pair of 22-karat Gold ‘Peepal Leaf’ Earrings ($4,084) and Herkimer Diamond Stud Earrings ($636) and Nosheen Stud Earrings ($64).
Another favorite is the brand i+i, which donates 10 per cent of all profits to a charity in India that helps free women and children from sex slavery.
Favorites: Meghan is often pictured in blink-and-you’ll-miss-them pieces from conscious jewelry brand i+i, such as a tiny stackable ring worn for the 2019 Commonwealth Day service
Diamonds: The Duchess debuted her sustainable lab-grown diamond earrings by Kimai during her first public appearance of 2019
Meghan has worn sustainable lab-grown diamonds by Kimai, proudly showcasing the $806 18-karat gold Felicity earrings to visit the London office of Smart Works during her first public appearance of 2019.
Her conscious choices have helped to distinguish Meghan’s unique personal style.
Royal jewelry expert Ella Kay of The Court Jeweller previously told Harper’s Bazaar that Meghan, who clearly prefers dainty stackable pieces like the Threadbare ring, independent designers and sustainably-sourced jewels, is unlike her other royal counterparts.
‘People compare her a lot to Kate [Middleton] obviously, and Kate tends to wear slightly larger, more colorful pieces,’ she said.
‘Kate really likes matching sets of je