Women of Substance

Woman of Substance: Jenny McHugh of Campbell + Charlotte.

By: Jen Shoop

A couple of months ago, I crossed (digital) paths with Jenny McHugh, founder and designer of jewelry line Campbell + Charlotte, and we wound up on a stimulating phone call talking all things entrepreneurship, jewelry, and motherhood. At some point in the conversation, Jenny said: “Part of the reason I’m building this business is to show my daughter that just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible.” The sentiment and its careful phrasing have stuck with me, redolent as they are with a lovely mix of reality (building any business is, frankly, really hard), determination (keep going, keep going, going), and optimism (nothing is impossible!). I knew then that I had to profile this tough and bright entrepreneur in my Women of Substance series.

Jenny’s love for jewelry was born at an early age, when, as a two-year-old, she waged a nightly war when asked to remove the dozens of plastic bracelets, necklaces, and earrings she wore each day. Over the years, her taste matured from plastic baubles to fine jewelry and eventually resulted in the launch of her collection, Campbell + Charlotte, which she characterizes as “serious jewels for those who don’t take themselves too seriously.”

The namesake Campbell + Charlotte is deeply meaningful to Jenny. Campbell is the name that belongs to her first child, a daughter who Jenny describes as “the push I needed to leave the corporate world and take a chance on my dreams.” Meanwhile, Charlotte refers to Jenny’s current home town, where she lives with family and launched her initial collection (though all jewelry is hand-made in New York City!).

Jenny and her team work with clients in a number of ways. They have an extensive ready-to-wear collection but also frequently work with brides for custom engagement rings and other bridal jewelry. They have also worked with jewelry-lovers on completely custom and one-of-a-kind pieces, whether they are collaboratively designed from scratch or reimagined using unworn or forgotten-about pieces clients already have in their jewelry boxes.

And, exciting news! Jenny has generously offered us 15% off any online purchase between now and January 22nd with code MAGPIE. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, if you want to casually pass the word along to your loved one…!

jenny mchugh campbell and charlotte

You can keep up with Jenny on Instagram here and learn more about her reading her answers to my questions below.

Your favorite qualities in a woman.  Compassion, hustle, not taking herself too seriously, and willingness to be vulnerable with others to build a real connection.

Your favorite heroine. My mom.  Sounds kind of cheesy but she has taught me so much about how to treat others, how to be a mother, and how to listen to the best parts of your inner voice.  

Your main fault. Impatience.  I want everything to happen now.

Your greatest strength. Empathy.  Sincere empathy truly helps you forge deeper relationships in both your personal and professional life.  

Your idea of happiness. Two extremes: Either an intimate dinner party with my closest friends where we get dressed up for no reason and drink too much wine or sweatpants on the couch watching a movie with my family.  Also, pretzels and hummus.  

Your idea of misery. Paperwork.  I hate anything administrative that requires filling out lots of tiny boxes and making sure it is all right — it gives me major anxiety.  

Currently at the top of your shopping lust list. Always jewelry!  Anything from Daniela Villegas; her designs are so unique and insane.  I love this skull ring from Polly Wales.  I’m also always shopping for cool vintage finds — vintage is a good source of inspiration for my designs, too. 

Desert island beauty product. Comfort Zone Tranquility Body Lotion.  I discovered it on a trip to Napa a few years back with my husband and it still reminds me of how amazing that trip was. 

Last thing you bought. Vintage gold snake chain from The Moonstoned.

I feel most empowered wearing…Something feminine with a dash of sparkle.  My recent go-to has been a floral or brightly colored dress and fun belt with some sort of power blazer or leather jacket.  

Favorite Magpie post. I love the Sale Snacks series!  The name makes me smile every time and there are some amazing finds.

P.S. May need to update my post on gorgeous everyday jewelry to include some of these fun C&C pieces!

P.P.S. If you’re recently engaged, some thoughts for brides here and specifically some notes on being a bride in the age of coronavirus here.

P.P.P.S. Chic bath mats.

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