What do you do when you sell your insanely-successful first startup to a major international conglomerate? You plough forward! Such is the mentality of Lindsey Boyd, anyway. After co-founding and ultimately selling game-changing detergent brand The Laundress to Unilever (if you’re not familiar, please spoil yourself with these chic cleaning products immediately!), Boyd returned to her fashion roots. Her heirloom-quality new fine jewelry brand Rondel recently launched with a focus on charms, storytelling, impeccable craftsmanship, and sustainability. The entrepreneurial mom tells The Daily about how this second act came to be and what the future holds.
What was your very first job and did you always intend to get into fashion?
My first job out of college was with Brooks Brothers in Product Development. I loved menswear at the time, and this position allowed for me to be hands on with everything from fabrics to samples to sales. I have always loved fashion. In fact, my childhood best friend and I would do our own version of “Rent the Runway“ with each other swapping clothing and accessories in garbage bags every month.
How did you land at Chanel and what did you do there?
I found an ad in WWD. This was my bible at the time! I still read it religiously. At Chanel, I was a manager in the RTW division in corporate sales. My accounts were key Chanel boutiques and wholesalers like Bergdorf Goodman and Hirshleifers.
You have a background in textile studies. How long was the idea for The Laundress in your head for?
We [co-founder Gwen Whiting] did two years of research and development. I always knew I wanted to do “my own thing.” I had a lot of ideas (still do). It’s just a matter of timing!
When did you know it was time for you and Gwen to go out on your own? Were there a lot of learning curves?
When we got our SBA loan, I took the first leap as my background in sales and marketing enabled us to secure our first clients and sales, which had to be a top priority when you are self-funded! There were a lot of challenges and learning curves, but there was always a solution or a way around them. When it is your own and you are on your own, you have no other choice but to figure it out!
What was the period like for you after you sold The Laundress? Did you have a next step in mind?
There are always next steps. I’m wired that way. I love moving forward!
Was jewelry something you were always taken by?
Fine jewelry was never something I thought I would pursue, similar to starting a detergent company. It’s born out of a need, a love, and passion for something you want and think others will want too. I have definitely come full circle with my jewelry brand, hence the name Rondel (derived from the French word for “round”). It combines my love of design and fashion with preservation and the idea of passing down an heirloom. This just felt right. Designing quality jewelry with meaning.
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Tell us about the offering you launched Rondel with.
We launched direct to consumer at rondeljewelry.com with 100+ charms and two signature chains in 18k gold. Rondel is committed to impeccable craftsmanship and high-quality with ethically sourced materials, the finest gemstones and hand-poured, high-gloss vitreous enamel in an array of vibrant colors. The “Build Your Own” section on our website has been the most popular so far, and I love that we offer engraving on most of our charms!
What’s the inspiration behind the concept?
My grandmother’s charm bracelets that I inherited inspired me to reimagine her charms into a more modern, wearable piece. I loved how charms told stories of her life journey. I also love the ability to mark a moment in time with personalization on the charms.
Why is “storytelling on a chain” important to you?
I love the way the charms keep people connected and spark conversations with others. It is a really beautiful form of expression.
You launched in 2020….which was obviously a crazy year! How did lockdown come into the picture and what challenges did it present as you endeavored to reveal the brand?
It definitely presented new challenges, but we worked around them and were able to launch for the holidays last December. I feel the timing really couldn’t have been better to launch Rondel especially since since personalization and sentimental jewelry have become so important right now.
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The heart charms are so cute, and very Valentine’s Day-ready! What can you tell us about them, will they always be a part of the collection?
Yes! The heart is a signature charm for Rondel. I love hearts and have been hand-drawing hearts on letters and cards to friends and family for as long as I can remember. We offer them in many different styles—from our large Caged heart in 18k gold to a carved moonstone heart to a number of colorful hearts with hand poured vitreous enamel set in 18k gold.
What lessons learned from building The Laundress were you able to apply this time around?
How to manage and lead, and of course, letting go and having patience.
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What’s next for Rondel and what does the future hopefully hold for you?
I want Rondel to be worn by women globally and to hear their stories and share with others through our Rond Table. Our give back is very important as well. A portion of all sales go to Roots & Shoots, an organization I learned about through my nine-year-old daughter Chloe (she did a book report on them in school). Their mission is to empower young people to use their voices and actions to lead change in their communities.