The business, owned by Rony Elka Vardi, will relocate its operations to a new 2,400-square-foot facility on Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.
Vardi said the move will help the label refine its operations and create “more efficiency.”
Evicted from its last corporate building amid a landlord exchange and subsequent building renovation, Vardi said it was “difficult to find space still in Williamsburg; it’s not so much a manufacturing neighborhood anymore.”
Though the new space is technically smaller than Catbird’s prior corporate outpost, it is being built from scratch with streamlined operations in mind – whereas the last space was the byproduct of a gradual, per-needs expansion.
Among the amenities Vardi intends to add to the new space is an additional laser welder. “It’s super high-tech. We make really small delicate jewelry and this allows us to make them really strong,” Vardi said. She employs anywhere between 18 and 22 jewelers to manufacture Catbird’s diminutive designs, with that number fluctuating depending on the time of year.
Despite its soon-to-be streamlined manufacturing operations, Vardi is “adamant” to cap Catbird’s retail operations at a single brick-and-mortar unit. “I think expansion comes from the Web site,” she said of the company’s sales, 58 percent of which could result from online transactions in 2015.
“The model we have where we stock the store with what it needs allows us to price so fairly, and run really lean — and our customers benefit from that. I think retail expansion would adversely affect that,” she said.
In 2015, 67 percent of Catbird’s overall sales were items from its private label (the label’s Web site and store also stock third-party merchandise). In 2015, the brand’s in-house line increased its year-over-year volume by more than 13 percent.