Designer of Michelle Obama's 'V-O-T-E' necklace in stirring Democratic National Convention speech: "quite the surprise"

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Chari Cuthbert said she got a message from her mother Tuesday morning, showing her a zoomed-in screenshot of Michelle Obama's speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

"It's your necklace," said Cuthbert's mother.

The LA-based jewelry designer and founder of the ByChari label, would be flooded with other texts, news headlines, and orders for her 'V-O-T-E' necklace that was an overnight sensation across the country. Cuthbert said she knew the former First Lady wanted to wear the piece at some point, but didn't know it would be on national television. She joined ABC7's Midday Live anchors Reggie Aqui and Kristen Sze to explain the story behind the phone call she will never forget.

"Her stylist, Meredith Koop, who is absolutely amazing, asked us if we could have the necklace made for her," said Cuthbert. "So we shipped it out immediately, but we had no idea when she was going to wear it. So it actually came as quite a surprise that it was last night."

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Cuthbert says she first made the piece for herself a couple of years ago, but then started marketing it more during the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections.

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Click the video above to hear more of Cuthbert's newfound boom in business, and why she thinks jewelry is such a crucial piece of empowerment for women everywhere. Be sure to watch Midday Live, every weekday at 11 a.m. on ABC7.

If you're wondering where you can get your hands on the same 'V-O-T-E' necklace worn by the former First Lady? The piece starts at $295 on the ByChari website.

If you aren't all that into the price, look no further than San Francisco designer Peggy Li's $59 version, here.

Watch ABC7's Midday Live every weekday at 11 a.m., after The View. You can also stream it live or watch it on the ABC7 News App.
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