Antonelli Diamonds is a mission-driven brand with a charity focus on cancer patients, particularly children. Casey Antonelli founded the brand, which has been performing private sales for some time, and this week opened an e-commerce site.
Antonelli discusses the company’s objective, the reasons for its formation, and the organisations it supports.
WWD: What inspired the creation of Antonelli Diamonds?
It all started with a bike ride, according to Casey Antonelli. I initially joined up for the Pan-Mass Challenge, a bicycle event benefiting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, when I was 16 years old. My parents gave me a Tiffany blue Cannondale, and we trained all summer. I didn’t like it, but I continued getting on the bike and pedalling. Something deep within me compelled me to follow through on my vow.
We took a right turn on Cherry Street a few hours into the 192-mile trek. This venue was magically decorated with balloons, signs, music, and bubbles. I was watching the celebration and people cheering when I noticed a small boy holding a sign that said, “I’m five and alive because of you.” I became numb. This ride had nothing to do with me in the least. I still have this after eighteen years and 18 PMCs. That tiny guy was the first of many who would take my breath away while keeping me pedalling.
Antonelli Diamonds was founded as a tribute to the cancer warriors who have influenced my life and the lives of those close to me. All of our ready-to-wear designs are named after these heroes, and a portion of all revenues are donated to charities that not only work to find a cure for cancer, but also care for the warriors who face it every day.
WWD: Do you mean that the company’s purpose-driven mission is at the heart of its operations when you say “doing good is in our DNA”? Could you please explain?
C.A.: We are a purpose-driven brand that believes that purchasing diamonds can be both glamorous and philanthropic. Doing good is our primary motivator and core value, and it pervades everything we do. Our items are ethical and of great quality, our pricing are reasonable, and we donate a portion of all sales to charity. This is an extension of who I am for me.
Furthermore, this is a family business; my husband, Nick Antonelli, is a partner who oversees our private sales. Our angel investor comes from a family of 45-year-old private jewellers. They take care of their consumers by providing high-quality diamonds at reasonable pricing and exceptional service. They have only relied on inbound recommendations to run their business, which speaks volumes about the importance of doing good. He is the appropriate partner in this humanitarian enterprise since he always says “do the right thing.”
WWD: Can you tell us about the collection?
C.A. : The very first pieces we sold were in 2012 for a PMC fundraising. We designed a sterling silver jewellery collection and arranged a party at my parents’ house. We raised an incredible $854. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and decided that I wanted to pursue a career in fashion. A few years later, I took a job as the communications director for NewStore, a retail technology start-up. I had the privilege of working with some fantastic worldwide brands over the next few years, including Anine Bing, Burton Snowboards, Ganni, Marine Layer, Outdoor Voices, and Untuckit.
We now have a selection of gold, platinum, and diamond jewellery. Our company specialises in engagement rings, wedding rings, and ready-to-wear fine jewellery. The Cathy Diamond Hoop Earrings are named after my mother’s dearest friend and business partner, Cathy McGrath. She converted her ordeal with breast cancer into a non-profit that has assisted tens of thousands of cancer patients. She prepared the business strategy for “A Little Easier Recovery” while in the hospital recovering from a double mastectomy. Her objective was to help the next individual who had to go through cancer treatment and recovery “a bit easier.” She invented “The Jacki,” which conceals drains.
Another best-seller, The Ryan Interlocking Hearts Necklace, is named after a boy I met through the PMC. Ryan fought neuroblastoma for nearly eight years before passing away at the age of twelve. He emptied his piggy bank twice to donate the money to paediatric cancer charity, since he was always eager to help cure cancer.