Lina Zhang’s journey is one of passion, creativity, and a deep appreciation for nature and cultural heritage. Born in the countryside of Changchun, China, Lina moved to larger cities like Shenzhen and Hong Kong in her adolescence, but remained fascinated by ancient traditions such as Fengshui, medicine, Buddhism, and the appreciation of nature.
In 1999, Lina moved to New York City, despite not speaking fluent English, and fell in love with the city’s fashion and style. To make ends meet, she turned to her love of nature and began selling nature inspired handmade jewelry at local craft fairs and outdoor pop-up shows. Her first company, Lina’s Shop, quickly gained popularity for her wire-wrapped jewelry designs that were simple yet stunning, often featuring precious and semi-precious stones.
Lina’s Shop grew to become a successful wholesale and retail business, but after more than 15 years, Lina desired a fresh start. With a young family and a desire to stay connected to her Asian heritage, Lina moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut in March 2020 and opened CY Collective, a store that proudly displays her appreciation of the community and her love of her cultural heritage.
In the front of CY Collective, Lina showcases her collection of handmade jewelry made from 14k gold fill wire, resistant to tarnish, and featuring semi-precious stones such as labradorite, moonstone, carnelian, tanzanite, garnet, tourmaline, peridot, topaz, and more. Affordable precious stone designs are also available, featuring ruby and sapphire. Many of the pieces feature baroque pearls from South China, and Lina is always available to make custom pieces if desired.
The second section of the store is dedicated to local artisans who display their products for sale, ranging from soaps, clothing, home décor, dishware, gemstones, spiritual gifts, and more. Finally, there is an event room in the back available for rent for birthday parties or other events.
Lina’s journey is an inspiration to all those who seek to turn their passions into a successful business. Her dedication to her craft and her cultural heritage has allowed her to create a store that is not only a reflection of her personality but also a testament to her creativity and appreciation for nature. CY Collective is not just a store but a hub for the community to connect, learn and appreciate all that Lina has to offer.