As a designer and as someone adventurous, I didn't hesitate when I saw the opportunity to exhibit at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. It was such a beautiful environment, and I thought it would be fun. What would I lose exposing myself for the first time in a retail venue? The worst would be a bruised ego and a wasted week, if no one would appreciate my designs...but so what? I would learn from the experience.
So I embarked on the journey with enthusiasm while valiantly hiding my fear from every member of my family. They were not too keen on the idea. The show was taking place on Labor Day, and they wanted me to be around when they all came for the weekend. With trepidation, I set up my booth with furniture from RH and brought in a variety of pieces, mostly men's bracelets and cufflinks, including the equestrian inspired Blake collection born out of a drawing session with my daughter Chloe.
When women kept entering my booth asking for a bracelet, I insisted that they were designed for men, to which they would respond: "But I would wear it." My daughter Chloe, who was helping me that week, said: "Mom, just make the same pieces in women's sizes!"
Everything happens for a reason.
In one week I sold more than what I sold to Barneys in one year!
But the most important realization was that my brand was inherently and genuinely unisex, gender neutral, androgynous...whatever you want to call it, appealing to all genders! I was so ahead of my time without even realizing it.
By designing for my own number one customer (my husband) and out of a personal need, my brand was always an expression of my own personal tomboyish style, which appealed to most modern and discerning individuals attending the Hampton Classic. It was a discovery that brought me to where I am today, with a store in Southampton and a full fledged brand with a complete line designed for every and any generation: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z and generation Alpha! My grandsons all wear it!
ZADEH is ZADEH because of that week, 8 years ago.