CELEBRATING "START UPS"
AND NOT ENOUGH TIME
CELEBRATING "KEEP GOINGS"
It was from an old acquaintance who seemed to be struggling to be recognized as a seasoned authority in the jewelry world.
It completely resonated with me, generating emotions I am a little nervous to share with you because it’s likely to expose my flaws and vulnerabilities. But what else is there to read about?
I think about my business all the time—to the point of being obsessed with it. The fact that it has taken me 25 years to build it is not something I regret. But when a patron said to me: “I don’t understand why you’re still such a small brand, nobody knows about you,” I felt a knot in my stomach … The journey has been fulfilling, indeed. I have learned so much about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses, but I agree with him: to this day I still struggle with the size of my business and the insecurities attached to it. What am I doing wrong, why is it that every start up is on the cover of magazines with little more than an idea, and I still struggle to get my brand out there?
Building ZADEH was a labor of love, building it one brick at a time. In my mind I always had 4 kids, my brand being my fourth. Now that my three kids are married, my 4th "child" is getting all my attention, deservedly so. My biggest dream is to “marry” ZADEH off to an entity that will be able to scale it.
Unfortunately, it’s getting increasingly difficult. I admit that I am no spring chicken anymore and, as such, may not be that novel. Even though I had the audacity and ingenuity to start in the men’s jewelry market at a time when most men did not wear jewelry, and the androgynous aspect of my brand's aesthetic is so of today, I am having a hard time getting recognized by a society obsessed with youth and "start ups.” My journey as an entrepreneurial designer is ignored, while stories about cash flow negative start ups are celebrated.
When I reach out to fashion magazines, they always ask: what’s new? Well, what’s new is that I am still here, stronger, better than when I started and more unique than most brands they cover! I know this may sound arrogant, but I’m proud of what I’ve built. I am not better, just different—and that is worth celebrating.
I feel terrible for the press editors who are overwhelmed with the pace of the industry. They tend to take the path of least resistance as their publication’s financial success is highly dependent on brands that can afford to advertise. They don’t have the luxury of time to find the "hidden gems" that would delight their readers. Most store buyers have numbers to crunch and often don't have the freedom to choose the small but talented designers. The result is that everything looks the same, because they end up focusing on big-name brands who can afford RTV's and can work on consignment.
I do salute the ones who are bold, passionate and who take time to find the “Hidden Gems.” I have had the incredible luck of crossing their path and I am forever grateful for the time they took to open my email, read the material I sent them and be confident enough to share their new found treasure with their audience.
And I am also grateful to you guys, my devoted followers. I never say it enough, but what would ZADEH be without your embrace and support?
There are so many jewelry designers out there whom you can choose from, but the mere fact that you choose ZADEH to bring into your mix gives me the daily encouragement to continue to pursue my dream.
Dreaming is a big part of my daily activity and today I dream of seeing my brand on the cover of all magazines, to celebrate this incredible journey I have been on. Yes, I just opened my first store in the village of Southampton, that's great news! I am already thinking about my next brick and mortar: Aspen, Palm Beach, and maybe St Barths?
You my friends are the pillars of ZADEH. You are my influencers, my ambassadors, my CEOs...You are real and authentic. No one is better positioned than you to share it with other friends, with magazine editors you may know, journalists possibly interested to write about it, influencers in your circle of friends, and stylists you work with.
I always hear from visitors to my store that they love to mentor and help young, up-and-coming designers...I may not be a "start up" anymore but here is your chance to celebrate the "keep goings”!
So if you believe in me, let's get the ball rolling. You will feel so good seeing ZADEH in the news and knowing you planted one of the seeds. 🍒