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Meet Cedric Chevalley of Cbijou in West LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cedric Chevalley.

Cedric, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As long as I remember, I always felt to be an artist. Growing up in Switzerland, I was always steered to take the technical path instead of the artist path by my parents because it was the “safer route” and because of that I studied precision mechanic machinery.

I never really knew how to channel my creative energy, I just wanted to hang out with my friends, skateboard, and snowboard I wasn’t interested in my studies and it wasn’t until I was headed down a dangerous path years later of substance abuse that finally found a way to channel that energy into art! My mother put me into contact with a Glass Blowing school in the Czech Republic, it’s also where I created my first vase, a stylized “Ducky” wine decanter: I had a revelation: I realized I could make beautiful things, that I’m gifted. So it became a certainty, I could feel where my path was.

Two years later, I made the move to the Vallée de Joux (watch valley) where I was employed by a watch factory, followed by a technical school for jewelry making where I graduated with the Swiss federal certificate of abilities as Jeweler. In 2001 directly launched my jewelry company Cbijoux which specializes in creating custom made wedding and engagement rings.

In 2004, I launched a new ground-breaking collection of interchangeable rings titled “Mood Collection” and was a best-seller until 2013 when it was sold to new management. This company now has 30 employees and sales reach 5 million annually.

I was and I am still pretty successful and reknown tru these brands, but, on the flip side, most of the time I struggle to do art instead of design and management, but it’s good problems, I’m a bit spoiled, actually, I’m not complaining.

For the past seven years, I have been working on creations under my own name “Cedric Chevalley” of unique, contemporary art jewelry, made of the wood of recycled skateboard decks, as well as opening my first Los Angeles based gallery and studio in Los Angeles on Pico. It will be home to Cbijou, which is Cbijoux in the U.S. and “Social Media”, an Artist Co-Op where artists of all kinds can come both to socialize and create! If you are in West LA stop on by!

Has it been a smooth road?
Nope! Not at all, there was a bunch of traps on the track, and dumb as I am, and always looking for anything what could be special, I didn’t avoid them, nope, I jumped in almost each I could find. But luckily I am strong, full of life and resilient so I could eventually grow and build my life.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Cbijou – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I’m known for my work of contemporary jewelry, custom wedding rings and a brand called Mood collection (a minimalistic design but a smart system allows the owner to personalized it. I have sold this brand (mood) in 2013 and since it’s managed by two great businesswomen it growed like crazy, they reached multi-millions a year, working 30+ employees full time on my concept, that a huge honor for me!

Currently, I’m working on custom rings, only one-of-a-kind, I have people working for me in Switzerland, I kept the European company working, Cbijoux, simultaneously launching Cbijou (without X, correct) in LA. For my creation of custom rings, I’m using very rare material, add with technology, precision and design that made my reputation in Europe since 2001. As, for example, I was one of the first in the world to really propose black jewelry using Tantalum.

Another side of my energy shift to create Art (with a capital letter), this is a very different kind of research, it doesn’t have to be weared or doesn’t have to be used, but has to express something, has to disturb, to inspire, I love that … I feel very free in this field of no rule instead the ones I wanna create.

My goal is to inspire my public to improve, improve themself, as much as helping others and to work together for a better future.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
LA is fantastic, it’s another planet, it’s very, very inspiring! I like to quote that there is everything, everything and more. There is the best as much as the worst and more of the best and more of the worst as I’ve never seen. I’m far away of my comfort zone, and that what I was looking for. Understand that I’m coming from a so tiny country, all the country is as big as the people living in Downtown, another world, I’m learning so much, it’s a huge human experience.

I love also the extravaganza here, nothing is bizarre, people can look and do whatever they want, without being judged, that’s a very pleasant feeling.

Another “plus” is that, in LA, there is Art almost everywhere, that’s so cool!

A “cons” is that I cannot ride my bike 2 hours without cars and without a red light as I used to do, in Switzerland (not Sweden…).

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