The Hampton Classic is the place where Zadeh came to life.
I discovered it by chance, invited by a friend to stroll the grounds and experience the phenomenon that it was. When I walked the boutique garden I immediately felt at home and loved the vendors lined up selling their wares.
Being a men’s jewelry designer, I instantly recognized the opportunity to introduce my brand to this sophisticated and discerning clientele so I applied to be a vendor and after few trials I was invited in. Yes, it’s very hard to get in!
Working for so many years with high end department and specialty stores, I was looking forward to creating an environment reflective of my aesthetics, and not be dependent on their merchandising team. With some Restoration Hardware furniture and few display cases, I was in business.
It was exhilarating but then I was gripped by fear the first day of the show: and what if they don’t like it? It was a moment of truth: I was going to experience people’s reaction to my designs, live, with no filter.
Surprisingly, besides men, women kept on entering my booth, asking to try my jewelry on. Warning them that I did not carry women’s sizes, they were baffled until I explained that they were men’s jewelry…not women’s. That week not only turned out to be the catalyst I needed to launch my women’s line, but was also a turning point in my career: for the first time I could hear direct praises from my patrons, words of encouragement, words that fueled me and gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself. My jewelry was worthy, I was worthy. Since then, the Hampton Classic has opened so many doors and has been the most important event to catapult ZADEH where it is today. The highly sophisticated attendees, individuals who have seen it all, look forward to stopping by my booth. They relish in discovering new designs that are not seen anywhere else. The unusual and unexpected materials I use intrigue them. But most of all, I think they appreciate my passion, honesty and sass. When one patron said to me: “Catherine you make jewelry with soul” I knew I was making a difference.
I am so glad to have opened a permanent store in Southampton, but the Hampton Classic will always be dear to my heart and a home where I will make new friends and mostly catch up with old ones.
I will not be selling…I will be sharing, with warmth, passion and sentiment.
I look forward to seeing you there!