Interview with Nathalie Rollandin, founder of ‘the little things NYC’

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Nathalie (Nat) is an Italian jewelry designer based in NYC.

She grew up in the Alps and moved to the city in 2014. Passionate skier, sailor and traveler she finds inspiration in the world of nature and geometry. Lover of jewelry as means of self expression, she started to design and handcraft her own collection, the little things NYC.

the little things NYC, for little moments and little actions.

Pieces of jewelry are little things to celebrate an event, a moment, ourselves. the little things are designed as a statement about you and your personality, your style and what you stand for and to remind you every day to appreciate the little things and little moments.

Inspired by nature, geometry and textures, they are mindfully designed and hand-crafted in NYC.

Made with recycled silver and conflict-free precious metals, the little things have the planet in their heart. 1% of proceeds is donated to support the planet and one tree is planted for each purchase to balance the emissions of shipments of our products. Our packaging is compostable or designed not to be single use.


When did you first realize you wanted to launch your own label?

I started metalsmithing and jewelry designing after my sister gave me a class from the NY jewelry studio by Carolina Iwanov in Williamsburg. She knew I was attracted by local jewelry artisans every time we were traveling together and that truly opened an unexpected passion for me.

I immediately loved it as it was a way to use my hands and create, while distracting my brain from my day job. It was creating things from scratch and learning new techniques every time. It was finding a creative zen zone and bringing things to life. After a while I noticed that my creations were getting good feedback from friends and family and decided, why not, to start a brand, building on the collections and expanding my audience. 

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be? 

Dedicate energy to what gives you joy.  I would say find the time to explore new things, learn new skills and do not limit yourself to a pre-made idea of what is possible vs not. Connect with people. Allow space for surprises to happen. Once you find something that makes you feel good and full of energy, do more of that.

Too often we make choices to maximize monetary return and stability, but nothing has given me the satisfaction of creating my own creations, my own brand, and seeing it grow little by little. It is not easy and certainly the rest of my career taught me things that I apply daily in my brand building adventures.  It’s about finding the right balance and recognizing different chapters. And taking risks sometimes.

How do you want your clients to feel when wearing your brand pieces and in what occasions can they be worn?

the little things are designed as statement jewelry for your everyday little moments. They are little things that can have a much bigger meaning in defining your personality, your style or just reminding you of a special moment. I would like the little tribe to feel a more confident version of themselves when rocking our products. I never ever take them out, they are part of me, but I may be biased 😉

Can you tell us how your collections make a difference to help more the environment?

As a sailor and skier, sustainability is a topic very close to my heart. 

One of the main reasons that I like making jewelry, and you will see I only use solid metals vs plated (mostly solid sterling silver at the moment), is the idea that if one day you will get tired of your jewels you can always decide to melt them and turn them into something else of value, they will never end up in a landfill.

Also, all collections are inspired by a theme and support different organizations fighting climate change or plastic pollution. For example, the Peaks collection, inspired by mountains (I was born in the Alps after all) supports Protect our Winter, an organization fighting climate change. The Accartocciati collection, inspired by crumpled paper, supports Take 3 for the Sea, an organization fighting plastic pollution. Every collection has its own theme. In designing our packaging we also tried to use compostable or reusable materials. Little steps of course, but it is a topic we care about.

There is one important person, in your life, who pushes and motivates you to believe in yourself?

I would say my husband. Despite the total mess I leave around our studio apartment, he has been supporting my passion from the beginning, pushing me to dedicate more energy to it and injecting the self confidence I needed to keep investing in this passion and turn it into something more.

Describe yourself as a creative in your personal life and how your feelings influence the creativity process?

Every moment in daily life can lead to inspiration. I believe that my subconscious does a lot of the work in getting inspiration and slowly formalizing it in creative ideas. A lot of my collections are inspired by textures (e.g. crumpled paper), sceneries (e.g. peaks, horizons), moments (e.g. sailing), architecture, geometry (e.g. facets) or just feelings. A feeling I want to have when wearing a piece of jewelry, confidence, uniqueness, respect of nature.

My daily feelings probably also drive my patience in doing some of the creative tasks. Low patience days are not for sanding or filing!

Would you like to involve other creatives in your future projects and what do you think is the main mission of the CO-BRANDING concept? 

I am very open to different collaborations and would love to connect more with other like-minded creatives. I would love to partner with other brands to grow together, partners whose values I share, whose style I relate to, with whom to have fun mostly.

Co-branding would allow to enhance consumer value by bringing together each brand strength and creating new experiences, while expanding the audience in a targeted niche. I believe there is a lot of opportunity for independent designers to network and grow together.

What is the slogan of your brand? 

Find beauty in the little things. Meaning the everyday little moments. Pieces of jewelry are just a reminder of that. Every collection truly has its own soul and message. You will find more on our website

What are the next steps for your label, in order to grow more?

Growth is a tricky word. It has many meanings. 

It does not have to mean top line growth necessarily. At the little things we want to grow the reach and impact of our art, connect with more people, learn more every day, expand our mission, while enjoying every day what we do.

We want to experiment with new channels, new products, new partnerships, connecting with like-minded creatives, finding the balance of different activities. Being a small business means wearing many hats and that makes us grow as professionals, creatives and humans. Above all we want to have fun while doing all of this.