This Women-Run Company is Changing the College Jewelry Game

Meghan Shaffer ’20

Staff Writer

When you think about college jewelry, the first thing that comes to mind is bound to be the typical college class ring. Big, a little old fashioned, with a large colored stone on top, likely the same kind that your parents and even grandparents have tucked away somewhere in the back of a drawer. And while there are certainly some who are excited to get their classic college rings, a lot of upperclassmen likely don’t see themselves as wearing something so flashy. We all want to show off our school spirit and love of Holy Cross after graduation, but the classic class ring doesn’t always feel like the best way to do that.

Enter Kyle Cavan, a recent New-York based startup that is changing the way women celebrate their love of their alma mater. When founder Kyle Garcia attended her five year college reunion, she realized that there was a huge gap in the college jewelry industry. “My friends and I were having the best time reliving school together, and I thought it’s such a shame that we don’t have something stylish and cool to wear post-college that represents such an important time in our lives,” Kyle says. After doing a little research, Kyle discovered that the original college ring design was created in 1835 for men graduating from West Point–and it really hasn’t changed since then. “It’s the 21st century, more women than men are going to college now, and there is nothing better than this? Kyle says. “That was the beginning of it all.”

And thus Kyle Cavan was born along with co-founders Elizabeth Garcia and Elizabeth Shirley. Featuring feminine and classic designs for a variety of schools (including Holy Cross!), the company only continues to grow in new and exciting ways. Since their official launch they’ve nearly doubled the number of school collections they offer and are continuing to work to develop designs for new schools.  They launch their Greek collection soon, and are working on an exciting collaboration with Rent the Runway. “Our goal is to be change and keep evolving as a company,” says Kyle. “But our designs will always remain timeless.”

Founding a startup with a small number of employees comes with its fair share of difficulties. “Getting our doot in the door with new schools and tackling the licensing approval process [has been difficult],” says co-founder Elizabeth Shirley. “It’s long, arduous, and expensive.” But she credits the Kyle Cavan team’s passion and dedication to their recent success. “We’re real people behind the product, website, Instagram, and we care so much about our community of young women who support us,” she says. “Our goal from day one has always been to be more than just a college jewelry brand but to help young women achieve in life, and we will do anything we can to support and mentor them along the way.”  Kyle Cavan has taken on several interns over the past few years, many of them Holy Cross students, and remains dedicated to championing women both through their jewelry designs and their experience at the office. “What I’m most excited about these days is the next generation of women,” says Elizabeth. “You guys are badass! Smart, open-minded, hard-working, no BS, stylish, undefinable. It’s been amazing working with our interns and hearing from students all over the country.”

Holy Cross is lucky enough to be included in the designs of Kyle Cavan. Founder Kyle Garcia’s best friend is a former Crusader, and so Holy Cross has always held a special place in Kyle’s heart after visiting her friend on the hill. One of their favorite pieces is the Fenwick Bar Necklace, a unique piece that features the iconic Fenwick spires. Aside from that, the Holy Cross collection has six other necklace options, four of them featuring the Holy Cross crest in a variety of styles. One necklace features the classic HC logo, and then another unique piece is a pendant modeled off of the Holy Cross gates. This design also comes in a cuff-link option.

Whether or not Kyle Cavan is your style, it’s so exciting to see a group of young women forging a new path into an industry that has yet to be explored. Kyle Cavan is only just getting started.

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