Q&A with Cristy Cali of Cristy Cali
When did you start designing?
I started designing for my mom’s shop, Sterling Silvia, when I was 16.
How have your designs changed?
My first designs were more literal – streetcars and pelicans – now they’re more contemporary. They are wearable and fashionable but still reflect my home state.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere: history books, architecture, everyday things. My favorite? Any local museum.
What’s it like being an entrepreneur in NOLA?
Amazing. It seems like almost everyone is one, one way or another. It’s a very supportive environment.
What’s your favorite piece that you’ve ever designed?
That’s tough. It’s a tie between my Sugar Skull and my Magnolia. I also love my Collage Cuff that Sen. Mary Landrieu often wears.
Where is your jewelry made?
The production takes place in Thailand. Everything else takes place in my home office.
What do you think makes it special?
I’m local and the money stays here. I’m active in the community. I donate a lot of jewelry and sales from certain pieces to local organizations. Also, everyone has a favorite local artist.
Why do you think people like gifts from New Orleans?
New Orleanians are a different breed of people. I think after Katrina happened we realized how blessed we are and we became 10 times more proud than we were before.
Is your jewelry affordable?
Yes, my jewelry starts at $10, with the majority averaging around $75 or less.
What is your most popular piece?
My Sideways Fleur de Lis necklace and some custom pieces I made for Aerosmith last year.
A couple of you have been asking for my ceviche recipie… so here it is. I eat ceviche as a healthy midnight snack if I get the urge to eat.
What You’ll Need:
- purple onions
- shrimp or lobster meat (or both)
- limes or lime juice
You can use your common sense to figure out how much you’ll need. I’ll take you through the process to make enough for 2 people to share over the course of 2 days. So get a small container where you want to store your ceviche, I use a tupperware. Squeeze enough lime juice to cover the bottom of the container, and fill it about 1/2 an inch. You’ll need to finely chop one handful of cilantro, purple onions and tomatoes. I like to put my seafood in first so it can soak in the lime juice. Then add your tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.
Now depending on how spicy you like it, you’ll add either 1/3 of a jalapeño or a whole one. I like mine spicy so I chop my pepper different ways and put a whole one in. My mom doesn’t like it too spicy so I only add 1.3 of a pepper. Add a dash of salt and pepper and you’re done Well, almost. You need to close the lid and shake it up and mix it well. Let it chill in the fridge for at least one hour to let all the flavors mix. Trust me, it’s worth the wait. I highly recommend that you try it with organic salted popcorn (from Wholefoods). It’s so good!!!
First, I’d like to apologize for my inconsistent writing. It seems like there are not enough ours in the day for me.
Last weekend, I appeared at the New Orleans Helen Brett International Jewelry Show. I debuted my new designs and got some great feedback and responses. My new designs will be available in stores soon. This includes pieces such as my large magnolia pendant, matching earrings, large Fleur de Knot pendant, pinecone set, Sugar Skull pendants and slide charms and much more…
I’m hoping to be able to introduce a few more new designs before Christmas, but I can’t make any promises. I did order some beautiful strands of crystal beads that I’m making some really cool bracelets with. I ordered enough to make about 20 bracelets, not enough for my retailers because I wasn’t sure how nice they would come out. But after I finished making the 3rd bracelet, I realized I made a mistake not getting more strands. They came out really, really pretty!!! So for now, you can only order them online. They are made for the sliding charms – so if you have a Pandora, and it’s full, or you want to start one as a gift, or whatever your reasons may be, check out my new bracelets. They are handmade (by me!) with sterling silver findings and clasps. They range in price of $35-40 depending on the length.
The last quick comment I wanted to make about work was this: during the month of December I will be spending some time at Adler’s Lakeside and Baton Rouge locations to personally help customers. Here’s the schedule below:
Adler’s Lakeside Appearance Dates: December 7, 12, 21, and 22 from 1:00 – 3:00 P.M.
Adler’s Baton Rouge Appearance Dates: December 6, 20, and 23 from 1:00 – 3:00 P.M.
In addition to just my work life, the newly wed life has been great! Jack and I purchased two motorcycles the day after our wedding reception. It was probably one of the best decisions we’ve made. With our busy and non-traditional lifestyle, we get to spend time together by jumping on the bikes and running out to get a bite to eat. To entrepreneurs under one roof is not easy, but it’s also not hard. It’s hard to explain. We each do not have set schedules; we do what we have to do when we need to. So there is no consistency and no routine. In a way, I kind of like it like that because I have the flexibility to do what I want and what I need to do at my convenience, but the only bad part is that Jack and I are in our own separate worlds, and for us to have time to spend quality time together is not always a snap. That’s why I mentioned the bikes were such a great idea because we use them 1-2 times a week and take a ride down to restaurants for a lunch date.
I’m also on a “get-super-fit” move right now. For the last two years I’ve eaten pretty healthy, but now I am watching what I put in my body very closely. Everyone should do that, and I feel for those that do not know how much bad foods there is out there. I won’t even get into that rant. But seriously, eating fresh vegetables, lean meats, and organic foods has made a difference in my life. Try it for a week and see the difference. You won’t feel bloated or get stomach aches, because it’s all natural. Natural organic foods make us feel good. While I’m on the subject I’d like to highlight my new personal trainer that I’m super excited to be working with. His name is Andy Huang and he’s a beast! If you live in the Baton Rouge area and you’re looking to transform your life for the better, give him a ring.
Below are a few pictures of some food that I’ve cooked, prepared, or tried out at some local restaurants. Enjoy! Try not to drool on your keyboard.
Also, if you don’t already, follow me on Instagram @Cristy_Cali and on Facebook at Facebook.com/CristyCali
Hey Ladies, a lot of you have been asking where you can pre-order my Cristy Couture Sugar Skull charm, which is compatible with all major brand bracelets, such as Pandora, Troll, Chamila, etc. As soon as I have a picture of the finished product, I will be posting that as well… probably in about a week or two. Make sure you check back!
Click on this link here to pre-order. I will be shipping them around mid-October. The retail price in stores will be $45. If you pre-order, you save $10. You still have to pay for shipping, though. If you have any questions, shoot me an email at email@example.com
Jack and I begin our wedding journey on Sunday, September 8 – when we leave for Florida. On Saturday, September 14, we will both finally say, “I do.”
It’s been a wonderful engagement period – short but sweet, nonetheless.
While I won’t reveal what dress I’m wearing until pictures are posted, I will say that it is by designer Anne Barge. It is a two-in-one dress, meaning it’s short with a detachable long skirt.
Although I highly do not recommend waiting until the last minute, I managed to do just that. I’m biting my fingernails because my seamstress said she won’t finish the alterations on my dress until this Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest. That’s 3-4 days before we leave! Yesterday, my best friend Julie and I went around town to look for a wedding sash to go with my dress. We found the right one at Bridal Boutique by Mae Mae, on Severn in Metairie. I ended up knocking two birds with one stone because I found a beautiful (an inexpensive) veil there, too.
So here was my finishing touches checklist that I managed to get together before the big day:
- Wedding sash – CHECK
- Wedding shoes – CHECK
- Wedding bands – CHECK
- Wedding Veil – CHECK