Today we’d like to introduce you to Carlye Morgan.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in Los Angeles and from as young as I can remember, I had a passion for art and design– I loved drawing, painting and learning about art. I graduated from Harvard-Westlake and studied art at Vassar and the University of Pennsylvania. I then worked in advertising and brand management in New York City and Los Angeles, climbing the corporate ladder.
Although I loved the business world, I always knew I would return to art and design. The idea for a line of ultra-luxury Apple Watch straps came to me when I bought my first Apple Watch years ago. I wanted a strap that was truly luxurious – one that could replace my Rolex and look good with the rest of my jewelry. But I couldn’t find any truly high-end options – there was nothing that featured precious materials like real diamonds or 14k gold. I founded Chalonne to bridge the gap between fine jewelry, luxury and technology.
While the market for wearables focuses on technology, it falls short when it comes to luxury straps that are well-designed. I don’t think a woman should have to compromise style to wear the latest tech on her wrist. Rather, she should have a strap that elevates her overall look and personal style. I believe the tech industry could use a fresh, female perspective from someone who understands that tech can be functional, fashionable and luxurious.
Having worked in the corporate world for many years, I spent a lot of time thinking about Chalonne’s culture and am committed to making female empowerment an integral part of Chalonne’s DNA. I want Chalonne to help empower women and support them in ways that truly make a difference in their lives. I am so proud to partner with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and intend to add other non-profits that champion women’s causes in the future. All of my straps are named for women who have been a source of inspiration for me and I am grateful to have the support of a team of amazing, talented and dedicated ladies who work with me to ensure the success of Chalonne.
Has it been a smooth road?
The first few years of Chalonne have been exhilarating… and exhausting. I’ve loved designing straps and seeing them come into reality—there is something so gratifying about that. When I first started designing, I had so many ideas that I had to really work to narrow it down for the first collection. I planned to work with precious materials but I also wanted to work with some non-conventional materials like shearling and denim. I intentionally launched with a range of designs and styles that would appeal to the aesthetic of different women– and based on the feedback, I believe that I have accomplished just that. Everyone seems to have their own personal favorite.
The Frances strap (which is named for my mom) is very special to me. It features eight 14k white gold bars encrusted with real diamonds (1.12 carats total). The bars are slightly off center to allow for a single stitch of thread made from real platinum. The Frances strap is the epitome of Chalonne and is the finest Apple Watch strap currently on the market.
One of the most important pieces to the puzzle was finding the right manufacturer and collaborator in France. I knew from the start that I wanted to manufacture in either France or Italy, and I found the perfect partner in Jean Rousseau. Jean Rousseau lends Chalonne its 60 years of expertise and its artisanal heritage working with some of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands. They have been enthusiastic and extremely supportive of the line from the start. It was clear they could deliver a superb product which was paramount, but they have also been amazing collaborators, working with me to achieve the quality and aesthetic that Chalonne requires.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Chalonne – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I’m most proud that Chalonne is delivering the finest Apple Watch straps on the market. Designed here in Bel-Air and hand-crafted by leather goods artisans in France, our straps offer a luxurious way to express individuality and style. There is nothing else like it on the market. Every one of our straps is meticulously crafted with the finest, ethically sourced materials available including diamonds, freshwater pearls, lustrous 14k gold and rich leathers. In order to add the jewelry pieces to the straps, we had to develop technology of our own. Together with Jean Rousseau, we devised a method to lock the jewelry inside the lining of the straps to ensure stability while maintaining suppleness. This was one of the key challenges we needed to overcome in order to have the best quality product. The moment you insert metal into leather, it stiffens. So we spent a lot of time researching and developing a design for the jewelry to ensure it would be strong enough to withstand daily use yet still allow the straps to be as supple and comfortable as possible.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
As a native of Los Angeles, this city is in my blood and in my heart. I love so many things about LA it’s hard to know where to start: the culture, the arts, the food, the location, the weather…I could go on and on. My husband and I walked into our wedding reception to “I Love LA” by Randy Newman blasting (which took place at Cicada Restaurant in DTLA). Yes, I love LA. Everything I design is a reflection of my life and upbringing here. LA is even imbued into my company name: “Chalonne” represents the lifestyle of Bel Air where the straps are designed (Chalon Road is an iconic street that winds through most of Bel Air). Like everyone, I hate the traffic… especially on Sunset in the evenings. It was not quite this bad growing up. It used to be that you could get anywhere in LA in 20 minutes. Now I can’t even get across the 405 in less than 30 minutes!
- Chalonne straps reflect an uncompromising focus on luxury, quality, and craftsmanship. Our jewelry straps like the Frances are the only straps of their kind on the market and are priced accordingly:
- Michele: Brown Napa Leather Strap with Indigo Denim Cuff: $600.00
- Penny in Cream: Taupe Calfskin Leather Strap with Genuine Shearling: $700.00
- Aimee in Onyx: Black Galuchat Stingray Leather Strap: $750.00
- Lin: Red Napa Leather Strap with 14K Gold Confetti Studs: $1,750.00
- Perle: Ebony Napa Leather Strap with White Freshwater Pearls: $1,750.00
- Elizabeth: Metallic Silver Lizard Leather Strap with 14k White Gold Pyramids: $1,995.00
- Frances: Ebony Napa Leather Strap with Diamonds: $5,900.00
- Katherine: Black Napa Leather Strap with Diamond Encrusted Pyramids: $6,500.00
- Website: www.chalonne.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @ChalonneDesigns
- Facebook: @ChalonneDesigns