Made in NYC Spotlight: Snake Bones

It’s Made in NYC week here at Maker’s Row and we are celebrating the brands that prove that New York City is a great place to start a business! Every day this week, we will be sharing interviews with New York City factories and brands and giving you insight into what it’s like to be an NYC creative. 

Anton and Ilya Startsev, sons of Anatoly, joined their father in his jewelry line, Snake Bones, focused on a high-end product with a rock n’ roll flair.

What was your background before you started Snake Bones? Did you have any experience in the industry?

Snake Bones brand is a creation of two generations of craftsmen, founded by Anatoly Startsev and his sons, Anton and Ilya. This endeavor draws on many years of industry experience and our passion for the art of jewelry making. Before focusing on jewelry design, Anatoly worked in a variety of mediums – painting, mosaic, metalwork, stained glass. Anatoly’s experience includes working with high-end jewelry brands and designers on developing original jewelry lines.

Why did you decide to start Snake Bones?

We established Snake Bones brand out of the desire to create a well-crafted designer jewelry line that feels luxurious but at the same time has that distinctive rock ‘n’ roll feel. After working for many years with other jewelry brands and private clients, we wanted to share our ideas and aesthetic with a wider audience.

What steps did you take to get started? Did you find a mentor or seek out any education?

For us, it was a natural progression from working with various brands and private clients to establishing our jewelry line. Having spent years working in the industry and acquiring a broad range of skills set us up to take on the challenges associated with developing an own brand and working with production partners.

Why is New York City a great place to start a brand? What does it mean to be “Made in New York City?”

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We consider the phrase “Made in New York City” to be a badge of honor. New York City is a tough place to succeed, but being here is an opportunity in itself. This city is a center of many industries, and the breadth of resources makes it one of the major advantages. From the sourcing of materials to manufacturing and access to specialized talent, to access to news media and industry insiders, New York is in a league of its own.

What are some of your plans for growth for Snake Bones?

We’re looking into expanding our jewelry line, as well as working on related products such as leather goods and apparel. And we’re seeking to take full advantage of the local manufacturing capabilities.

Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs looking to start a business specifically in New York City?

You have to be focused and take full advantage of what New York offers. Being physically here, you have an opportunity to interact with suppliers, manufacturers, designers, and influencers on a daily basis. You can cut down the number of mistakes you make along the way and find a better path for success.

Snake Bones Maker's Row

What’s your favorite thing to do in the city?

Museums, flea markets, and specialized shops for sourcing materials.

What borough does Snake Bones call home?

Our workshop is in Manhattan, and since we’re at the center of the jewelry industry, we can find everything we need here, from raw materials to specialized talent and equipment.

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