Neely and Chloe Burch are bringing back the classics in business, at home, and in their jewelry boxes. We had heard the sisters have quite the penchant for adornment, especially costume earrings—after our own heart—and had to meet. The articulate and warm pair welcomed us into their light-filled homes, right around the corner from each other in charming Brooklyn Heights, for a summery style story.
Neely and Chloe co-founded eponymous accessories brand in order to fill a void in the market between luxury and accessible items they craved. Style and entrepreneurship is part of their DNA—just ask aunt Tory Burch. It was refreshing and real to connect on how they approach modern multi-hyphenate life, as sisters, daughters, friends, girlfriends (now, both fiancées!), entrepreneurs, co-travelers, you name it. We left, promising to meet up for drinks in the neighborhood.
Enjoy our candid conversation with Neely and Chloe, covering everything from favorite jewelry designers, to travel itineraries, to tips for new business owners, plus a look at their impressive jewels (which will make you crave vacation and a resort wardrobe). And PSA: they make a jewelry case that can be monogrammed. Seriously, what’s better than that? -Jenna Wise for The Stone Set
How do you describe your style? What’s a go-to look?
Chloe: Clean and classic! Both Neely and I like to buy investment pieces rather than trendy pieces. I am a huge fan of skinny jeans, a button down, and flats. And of course some jewelry to go along with it!
Neely: Easy and classic! (Or so I’d like to think!) In the summer you can usually find me in a flowy dress or skirt. All other times of year, it’s a safe bet I will be in Supergas, kick crop jeans, a striped tee and a trench!
How does jewelry fit in your life?
Chloe: I am a big jewelry gal! I have five or six pieces that I always wear and then when I’m getting a little more dressed up, I almost always throw on some fun earrings.
Neely: We’re both big earring girls!! I love that I can wear usual casual clothes and spice things up with some fun statement earrings. Then I have my go-to everyday pieces- pretty understated, simple pieces that go well with everything.
What are favorite pieces of jewelry and designers?
Chloe: I have a pinky ring that I got for my 25th birthday that I absolutely love! I wear it pretty much every day. I also have a gold link bracelet that I don’t ever take off unless I have to! I love Oscar de la Renta earrings so much! They are always so fun
and interesting and can make even the most boring outfit fun!
Neely: I wear two rings everyday- my class ring from high school and a Cartier Trinty ring. My other favorite is a bracelet from our mom—it’s a delicate gold bangle with a small diamond on each end from our local jeweler at home, Cooke & Berlinger.
Do you collect any types of jewelry?
Chloe: Big earrings! Both Neely and I LOVE interesting, big, statement earrings. We definitely get this from our mom. Growing up we always used to borrow hers. She always has the best fashion advice on how to accessorize an outfit.
Neely: We’re both guilty of a a bit of an earring habit! They’re so fun to mix high and low and always great to hunt for while on different trips and visiting new places.
How do you store your jewels?
Chloe: I have a jewelry box at home but recently, I have been storing them in our Neely & Chloe Jewelry Case. It has eight individual pouches so your jewelry is stored neatly and safely. We came out with it last holiday and it did so well. We both have them monogrammed and they are perfect to travel with or to just sit on your dresser.
Neely: I have these great floating frames from West Elm that I use as an earring case! They lay out on my bureau and that way I can see them all. I find that if it’s all put away, I forget what my options are!
What’s on your wish list?
Chloe: Well if you asked me a few months ago, I would have said an
engagement ring! But now… I would just love more statement earrings that won’t go out of style! I also love pendants.
Neely: I have been coveting a longer pendant necklace lately. Something playful and more fun to wear with a great crisp white top. I have also had my eye on the Lizzie Fortunato acrylic Postmodern Cuff.
How did life lead you to start your own brand? Tell us all about Neely & Chloe. What pieces do you wear the most?
Chloe: Neely and I started our brand almost three years ago! I can’t believe it’s been so long. We sought to create high quality bags at an attainable price point. Our leathers are from Spain and Portugal and we have been so happy with our quality. We launched the company with 12 silhouettes of handbags and have grown tremendously since then! We continue to make fun, new, innovative products—like our jewelry case!
Neely: We grew up in a household where design and business concepts where pretty typical dinner conversation. After just under a year in the real world, my entrepreneurial side got the best of me. I launched a mobile retail concept on my own and spent about a year and a half doing pop-up shops up and down the East Coast. After finally convincing Chloe to come join me as my business partner, we started work on our own brand- and everything unfolded from there!
How do you divide and conquer? What are your favorite aspects related to being entrepreneurs? Challenges? What have been standout moments?
Chloe: Neely and I are SO different which makes us work so well together! I would say Neely handles more of the “big picture” concepts while I handle the more detail-oriented projects. We both design together and make big decisions as a team.
Neely: Chloe and I have very complimentary skill sets, which makes splitting up the workload pretty seamless. We make all major decisions together, but on a day to day basis, I handle larger, bigger picture tasks, Chloe is the executor of the pair! I’d be lost without her…
I find that I accomplish the most during moments of stress or chaos. Luckily for me, that happens on a super regular basis when you’re trying to get a business up and off the ground. We both love that every day is different and that being an entrepreneur has given us the opportunity to work with so many creative, innovative individuals. It feels like there are a lot of pinch yourself moments—even coming into our own office every day! A few others include opening our own pop up shop, being featured on Vogue.com, and being selected for Oprah’s Favorite Things!
Being an entrepreneur is amazing! Every day is different so you
never know what to expect. That is something I thought I wouldn’t
like (since I’m pretty regimented) but I love it! Don’t get me wrong, it’s so hard and every day is a challenge but it’s so worth it. I think the hardest part is always needing to have a Plan B. Pretty much nothing goes the way you think it is going to, so you have to come up with a new plan (pretty quickly too!).
Words of wisdom you live by? What advice would you give new business owners?
Chloe: “Remain flexible!” As I just mentioned, things are always changing! You need to be able to go with the flow and roll with the punches. Also, don’t get too fixated on the small things! They aren’t important in the long run.
Neely: Celebrate the little victories as well as the big ones! Chloe and I have made a point to get excited when we have little wins. That way, when things get a little more challenging, you can hold on to those small victories!
You both love to travel. What are favorite destinations?
Chloe: So many places! My family has been going to Palm beach and Montana forever so those are my happy places. Besides that, I love London, Italy, and France! I also went to Montreal last November and loved it. It’s SO close to NYC and you feel like you’re in Europe!
Neely: My biggest issue is I like to travel almost anywhere! I like to pick a new place, rent a car and drive from city to city or town to town. This works very well in Europe, where you can cover a ton of ground. This September, my boyfriend and I are heading to Copenhagen and will hit the road from there, working our way around northern Europe—through Germany, to Amsterdam and wrapping up with a trade show in Paris. Any route recommendations are welcome!
Describe a dream weekend.
Chloe: I just went to the Soho Farm House in England and I’m pretttttyyyy sure I was in heaven. I think I had my perfect day: amazing breakfast, gym, sauna, pool, lunch with a little wine, hike, nap, cocktails, dinner, and early bed. I was with Neely, my best friend, and our moms so it made it the perfect girls weekend!
Neely: Ideally this would be a weekend smack in the middle of vacation, or a little getaway weekend would do. It could be at a cozy little cabin outside the city or at a little boutique hotel in Provence. I’d have a few fantastic meals, including big breakfasts both days (I’m a breakfast gal). Lots of good wine with dinner, but miraculously would feel good enough to pop up and go for a run the morning after. A little bit of exploring- whether it
be a hike or discovering a new town. Finally, with a little bit of down time to relax and read a good book—maybe a good little historical fiction novel.
Photography by Emerald Carroll