Michelle Obama’s gorgeous VOTE necklace caught everyone’s eye when she spoke at the Democratic Convention on Monday night. The necklace was made by the company ByChari, which is founded and owned by Cari Cuthbert.
Chari Cuthbert Founded ByChari in 2012 & Designed the ‘VOTE’ Necklace in 2016
ByChari was founded in 2012 by Chari Cuthbert, Time reported. She wanted to sell exquisite jewelry pieces at a more affordable price point. She focuses on making simple, high-quality pieces that might be passed down through generations, the business’s webpage explains, noting: “BYCHARI is more than a jewelry line –– it’s a way for women to share and create their stories.”
The pieces they sell are “handmade sustainably in Los Angeles.”
In a statement about Michelle Obama’s necklace to The New York Post, Cuthbert wrote: “I was honored when Michelle Obama’s stylist asked for one and am thrilled she is wearing it!”
She told The New York Post that she designed the necklace originally in 2016 and is planning to sell another that says VOTE for the 2020 election. You can create your own version by choosing the letters in either size small or large.
According to Cuthbert’s LinkedIn bio, she worked as an executive assistant for Dana White of the Ultimate Fighting Championship from 2008-2012, before starting ByChari. In 2005 she was a talent coordinator for MTV, and before that she was a photo assistant and office manager for Mark Vaughn Productions in Hollywood, Florida. She has an associate of science degree in photography from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
Cuthbert has a team of five people working for her out of Los Angeles, and they were able to shift fairly easily to an online-only approach when the pandemic hit, Yahoo reported. Cuthbert recently started letting workers come back to the office if they wanted to, but only with regular temperature checks and barriers between employees’ desks. She said it’s all done with the consent of the team, and they’re able to operate however they feel most comfortable.
“One of the most important things right now is being able to provide quality pieces at any price point,” she told Time. “Especially with the uncertainty of income and spending at the moment, we really focus our concerns on pieces that are attainable to anybody.”
If you’re interested in the VOTE necklace, you can buy it in either size large or size small. Or you can get a different message on your necklace. Here are some examples.
According to ByChari’s Facebook page, Cuthbert was born in Jamaica and settled down in Oahu, Hawaii. The site notes: “The line embodies her trademark style, dainty-edge and a straight forward mission: to create modern, delicate and versatile pieces that layer, stack,mix and match effortlessly at an approachable price point.”
ByChari Has a Webpage with Links to Supporting Activist Causes
ByChari, the maker of the VOTE necklace, has a webpage devoted to helping the community, including links to petitions for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and links to where you can donate to their families. It also includes links to where you can donate to Black Lives Matter, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, NAACP, the Equal Justice Initiative, and where you can register to vote.
ByChari put the page up in June, accompanied by this note:
When this was first posted, ByChari also said they were donating 25% of their profits over that weekend to the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and other organizations.