Carlye Morgan is the CEO and founder of Chalonne, a Los Angeles-based maker of luxury straps for all Apple Watch series. Each Chalonne strap is made in France with the finest leathers, gemstones, solid gold and craftsmanship and, with every purchase, a donation is made to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Learn about Carlye Morgan…
Hometown: I’m a proud Los Angeles native — this city is in my heart and my soul. My husband and I made our grand entrance at our wedding reception to Randy Newman’s “I Love LA.” Los Angeles is even imbued into my company name: “Chalonne” represents the lifestyle of Bel Air where the straps are designed; Chalon Road is an iconic street that winds across Bel Air.
First job: My first job was working as an assistant at McCann-Erickson in New York. I studied art history in college, but wanted to go into the business world, so advertising seemed like the perfect balance of both. As a woman working in the corporate world for many years, I wanted female empowerment to be an integral part of Chalonne’s DNA. My ideal is for Chalonne to help empower women and support them in ways that truly make a difference in their lives. I am so proud to be partnering with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and plan to add other nonprofits that champion women’s causes, in the future.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: Most of my free time is spent playing golf with my daughter. She’s been playing for about a year and can already outdrive me. I’m a foodie and love trying new restaurants. I also love visiting art galleries, museums and botanical gardens.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: I’d have to say my daughter, Emerson, is my biggest accomplishment. While I love being an entrepreneur, nothing compares to being a mom. It’s by far the most challenging and rewarding job that I’ve ever had.
The biggest obstacle you’ve overcome: The first few years of Chalonne have been exhilarating…and exhausting. It’s incredibly challenging to create a new business from nothing. One of the biggest initial challenges was finding the right manufacturer in Europe. After an extensive search, I found the perfect partner in Manufacture Jean Rousseau. Jean Rousseau lends Chalonne its 60 years of expertise and its artisanal heritage working with some of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands. They were incredibly enthusiastic and supportive of the line from the start. It was clear they could deliver a superb product which was paramount, but they have also been amazing collaborators, working with me to achieve the quality and aesthetic that Chalonne requires.
Someone who inspires you and why: Eleanor Lambert is an incredibly inspiring woman who has always struck me as a kindred spirit. She also started out in advertising and had a passion for the arts and fashion. She helped to found MOMA, New York Fashion Week and the CFDA. She recognized fashion as an art form and furthered that cause by supporting and celebrating designers.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in your field: I’m speaking to anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur: Just do it. If you have a great idea, take the risk and make it happen.
Favorite quote: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” –Audrey Hepburn
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am an introvert at heart. Although I cherish my friends, I am just as happy being alone, reading a good book.
What makes someone fabulous: In my opinion, passion and intellect make someone fabulous. People who have a true passion for something are intoxicating to me—doesn’t matter what it is. And intelligence is fabulous—being smart, having an innate curiosity and a desire to learn.