NYC Jewelry Week Roundtable Recap

Our second annual NYC Jewelry Week Roundtable participants knocked the rings right off our ears and fingers! The discussion got SO transparent and real. These incredible entrepreneurs talked about money, first jobs, tough stuff from vendors and from clients, and fearless projections of what's to come in their business trajectories. 

 

Jen Mankins of Bird Anna Sheffield Dana Bronfman and Michele Varian

Select quotes from the NYC Jewelry Week Design Talk Roundtable participants

On Brick and Mortar Retail

The in-real-life experience is so important, especially because of the tactility. -Anna 

On Atelier Alchemy, Dana Bronfman’s co-retailing venture: Physical space works better when you have digital space, and vice versa. The power of collaborating, of being able to share expenses, space and time has been incredibly beneficial. And the feedback we get from our customer in person is really valuable as a designer. -Dana

I like the idea of how you can share retail – and share risk. It creates community -Jen

I really love what we’re doing now [with our stores], having the physical brand for storytelling. Where in such a digital world you’re [otherwise] having your brand narrative threaded through your Instagram. -Anna 

On the Wholesale and Vendor Relationship

Very serendipitously, I decided to open my own store. As one does, you meet other creative people. And I’d say, sure! I’ll carry your jewelry. Now we carry over 70 jewelry brands. I also started inviting some of my retail neighbors in to retain the flavor and character of SoHo. The longevity of these relationships has been incredible. -Michele

My wholesale retailers all have a very strong point of view. They’re the ones I trust as a designer. -Dana

Anything that’s going to take longer to sell requires a higher margin for retail. That’s just the reality. -Michele

 On Creativity in Business

There are two sides to the coin: technology is eliminating the middle woman. On the flip side, people need guidance, they need curation [from stores like ours]. -Jen

Jewelry is talismanic. It’s personal expression. -Anna

As times become more uncertain, the more certain I become about focusing on something higher end. -Dana

I think the answer [to saturated markets] is to go more micro, to be more niche. -Jen 

On Youth vs. Experience, NYC vs. Los Angeles!

The millennial generation has more openness to new materials, which is great for me as a designer, versus a generation that’s more used to a status quo. Millennials have also been very loyal to our brand, which they’re not often given credit for! -Anna

The Los Angeles creative community is bigger than ever, including my designers. They’re finding studio space, and accessibility to be creative. Though, in LA, you’re fighting people being pulled in tons of different directions. It’s harder to get them into the shop. -Jen

  

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