We had the good fortune of connecting with Carlye Morgan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carlye, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My inspiration and thought process for Chalonne emerged when I purchased my first Apple Watch a few years ago. I loved my watch, but wasn’t satisfied with the accompanying silicon band. Luxury Apple Watch brands simply didn’t exist at the time and I didn’t want to sacrifice style to sport the latest tech. Hence the inception of Chalonne.
The design process came very naturally to me as I’ve always been artistic. There’s truly nothing like seeing my sketches become a reality and holding the finished product in my hands—it is so gratifying. When I first started designing, I planned to work with precious materials, but also wanted to work with some non-conventional materials like shearling and denim that would appeal to different aesthetics of women. Everyone has a personal favorite, and every strap is inspired by my personal experiences.
Another considerable part of the thought process behind Chalonne was empowering women. I founded this brand to give a fresh, female perspective to a tech product with beautiful, luxurious designs that elevate women. Hand in hand with this mission, Chalonne has a long-standing partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)—but this is only the beginning. As Chalonne grows, I intend to work with additional nonprofits and organizations that support women in a variety of different ways.
What should our readers know about your business?
For my entire life, I’ve always had an artistic mind and a passion for design, beauty, and luxury. As a child, I loved expressing myself through drawing, painting, and learning about art. In college, I studied art history at Vassar and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a semester abroad in Rome. A great deal of Chalonne’s designs are inspired by these years of following my art and travel dreams.
While I loved the arts, I ultimately decided to pursue advertising – where I could marry my creative side to the reliability of a business career. I quickly climbed the corporate ladder in New York where I was able to stretch my creative muscle on ad campaigns for brands and products.
Although this granted me a breadth of invaluable marketing and strategic business experiences, I always had an inkling I would return to my artistic roots. The moment presented itself when I identified a creative business opportunity and white space to design Apple Watch straps.
Today, I’m very proud that Chalonne is delivering the finest Apple Watch straps on the market. Designed here in Bel-Air and hand-crafted by leather goods artisans in France, our straps offer a luxurious way to express individuality and style every day. Every single strap is meticulously crafted with the finest, ethically sourced materials available including diamonds, freshwater pearls, lustrous 14k gold and rich leathers. As much as I love designing, I’ve also spent a lot of time researching and developing the straps to be strong enough to withstand daily use, yet still be as supple and comfortable as possible. It’s through the integration of visionary design and the highest quality of craftsmanship that truly sets Chalonne apart.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Our first stop would be to take a leisurely stroll and see the beautiful jacaranda trees lined up on North Whittier Street in Beverly Hills. It’s only fitting to begin the trip marveling at the purple trees that have been such a source of inspiration for the Chalonne brand and motif! Then we would go to The Getty, and view its gorgeous architecture, outdoor spaces, the picturesque view of the city, and its robust collection of art.
Since I’m also inspired by botanical gardens and nature, I’d love to visit The Huntington and their heavenly gardens. From there, we’d head downtown to see the modern art collection at The Broad and hopefully get to see Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. Afterwards, we’d walk across the street and appreciate the amazing architecture of the Disney Hall Concert Hall. Then we’d cap off the day in Chinatown with a meal at Yang Chow where we’d gorge on slippery shrimp, while catching up.
On the last day, we’d play nine holes of golf on the westside and drive up PCH for brunch at Joffrey’s. We’d enjoy a gorgeous LA day, overlooking the ocean. We’d relax for a while, before going on a long hike in the Santa Monica Mountains. The day would end with a burger and a beer at Father’s Office on Montana.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
From my personal experiences and a long-standing partnership, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) deserves full dedication of this shoutout. One of my brand missions is to give back to organizations that empower women and women’s health. For every Chalonne purchase, we donate 4% of retail sales to BCRF all year-round. At Chalonne, we firmly believe that our own success is reflective of what we do for others.