New Kid on the Block: Featherstone Design

After years of being based in Soho, Deirdre Featherstone couldn’t take it anymore. “It was in May—I remember it so clearly. One morning, the tour buses pulled up, and then the black Israelites started hating everybody. And I said, ‘I can’t do it, not another minute.’ And I called a friend who’s a broker.” Her friend found what he said was the perfect property, but they had to wait till Sunday to see it. “On Sunday morning, “I told my husband that I was going to look at a new place to live. Of course, he was wondering if he was moving, too!”

An example of Featherstone's custom work: The piece at top is being reworked into the piece at bottom

By early September, Deirdre, her husband, and their daughter had moved into 431 Washington. They live upstairs; the ground floor, most recently the Number (N)ine boutique, is now the headquarters for Deirdre’s jewelry company, Featherstone Design. “I love it here,” she says. “The neighborhood is so conducive to conversation.” In case you can’t tell, Deirdre is very outgoing.

It has been 15 years since she quit her other jobs to focus on jewelry. (Previously, she had been in the antiques business—an interest that’s evident from the studio’s rococo furnishings—and she still occasionally acts as an auctioneer.) Featherstone Design is an appointment-based, word-of-mouth business, which is why the gate is usually down, although Deirdre plans on adding a window. “Clients carry my business cards to hand out!” she says proudly. “They tend to bring their friends by.”

Interchangeable pieces can be used in pendants or as earrings.

She describes her style as being informed by the craftsmanship and techniques of 1890–1920, “with a contemporary scale and a massive use of color.” There are three main lines of business. The first is custom work: A lot of women have older pieces—that are “maybe a bit grandma-ish”—that get reworked to be more modern. Second, Featherstone Design has interchangeable pieces that can be purchased à la carte and combined according to the wearer’s taste or outfit. (This video shows it better than I can explain it.) Third, Featherstone specializes in engagement rings: “We try to educate buyers, and we’re not big pushers,” says Deirdre. “It’s not like going to 47th Street. But we make them do research. And we ask lots of questions, such as what are the three words that come to mind about your girlfriend?” After the men propose, they often bring their fiancées into the studio.

They’re planning a monthly open-studio day, perhaps timed to a stone dealer’s visit. And they’re envisioning an art show with the jewelry of Amy Tichenor and Katie Butler (two of the four “Featherstone girls”), the photography of a client and Shel Canadi (also a Featherstone girl), the paintings of an artist who lives nearby, and whatever else moves into the Featherstone orbit. “Come to hang out with creative minds,” says Deirdre. “And there will be champagne from Vestry Wines. But they don’t know that yet!” To be added to the email list, contact

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1 Comment

  1. what a nice surprise! How is life in tribeca? I was up at St, Barnabas to see Marie who was admitted for a wound infection. She is doing better as I see you are too. Give a call soon. xoxo V