Meet Chari Cuthbert: The Jamaican Jewelry Designer Behind Michelle Obama’s ‘Vote’ Necklace

Meet Chari Cuthbert: The Jamaican Jewelry Designer Behind Michelle Obama’s ‘Vote’ Necklace

By Mary Campbell

Michelle Obama’s fashion and speeches always capture attention and admiration. At her recent DNC appearance, once again, her address caught the attention and respect of viewers along with a simple ‘vote’ necklace which took the internet by storm. Guess who was behind the ‘vote’ necklace? Jamaican-born jewelry designer, Chari Cuthbert of BY CHARI.

Cuthbert custom made the necklace for Obama at the request of her stylist, “Meredith Koop. Cuthbert says, “I was beyond excited and surprised to see her debut the necklace while watching her deliver one of her most historically relevant speeches to date at the DNC.” Although Cuthbert knew Obama had the necklace, she was pleasantly surprised to see it being worn live at the DNC. The necklace was so impactful with Michelle’s message of the importance of voting.

Of course, throughout her years as our forever First Lady, Michelle Obama always wore upcoming and emerging designers putting them on the map and the road to instant fashion success. Remember, Jason Wu’s dress she wore at the inauguration? 

Since the ‘vote’ necklace debut, BY CHARI’s sales and exposure have skyrocketed beyond expectations. “The response has been tremendous. We are very grateful to have a massive influx of orders and press inquiries. I’ve been receiving non-stop text messages, emails, and phone calls since Mrs. Obama took the stage,” Cuthbert shared. She hopes that the ‘vote’ necklace will allow people to express their voice silently through their style. “I feel lucky to express my voice and the voice of the people through my art. It’s amazing how one word worn in the form of jewelry can help people express themselves and inspire others to express themselves too. I hope that our vote necklace will empower and inspire people to rock the vote since our democracy depends on everyone getting out and voting.”

The custom necklace is now available for purchase and offered in various chain lengths in small, large, or even diamond-encrusted letters. It’s also available in 14K yellow gold, 14K rose gold, or 14K white gold and will take up to three to four weeks for delivery.

We rounded up five other great pieces that also spell out V-O-T-E for those looking for budget-friendly options.

Chari, the creative director and founder of BY CHARI, realized her American Dream when she started the brand in 2012 with only $100 in her pocket. The 36-year-old Cuthbert is a self-taught artist. In 2012, she quit her job and moved to Hawaii, and later Los Angeles.

“I started BYCHARI with only $100 and had no business starting a company,” she said. “Yet, I was determined to work for myself and build a brand I could be proud of and, in return, empower other women.”

Her designs are expressions from the spirit of her elegant, island roots and her global travel experiences with a touch of warmth and effortlessness. BY CHARI is how one can express their personal story and style to the world. 

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