I have loved your jewelry forever. It is so personal and empowering, and I think we all need these sentimental talismans now more than ever. How and why did you start your business?
I guess you can say I have always been a storyteller. My roots are in fine art black and white photography. When I photographed my clients, I wanted to portray their stories through a special moment, rather than ask them to pose. My jewelry brand is really an evolution of that idea – capturing our special moments, our empowering stories, our aspirations. I try to design pieces which inspire women, empower them and makes them feel stronger. That is my goal. I want them to become a permanent part of their lives for generations. I love the idea of mothers and daughters sharing these pieces and all wearing them differently. All my designs have always been here to be sentimental and meaningful, however in these challenging times its nice to hold on to something that gives you the power to get through the day- whether it be a locket with inspirational quotes, or family photos to keep the ones we love near- or a charm that encourages you to have courage and be brave.
What are your favorite pieces right now and why?
Lately through this crazy time, I have been wearing a slim locket and my “Dorothy” medallion around my neck. It is a constant reminder that I have the power and I am in control of my own destiny. The locket is there to keep my family close! I do always wear my charm bracelet. Beth, if you and I sat down together you would know my entire life story if I started to share every charm with you. It's getting heavy, but it has kind of become a part of me! I make a lot of noise when I walk. You can hear me coming down the hall!
Where are you now and how are you spending your days?
I'm at home just like everyone else. I sit in my photo studio amidst all the things I love. My family photos, all my collections around the house from all the flea marketing and antiquing my husband and I have done over the years. It reminds me of all the fun places we have been to and that eventually we will have new adventures again! I am also cooking so much!
I know we are both busy mothers, and you are a busy grandmother too! Tell us about your amazing family.
My girls are my inspirations! They are total creatives who started “The New Potato” and run a creative office for our brand. I ask their opinions on designs and concepts all the time. They are just really smart. Most importantly they are good people inside, so they make me so proud. Laura just wrote and directed a new movie which she and Danielle produced, along with Stephanie March. It's a comedy called “The Social Ones.” It was released just before this whole pandemic happened. It's a fun watch. Danielle also shoots all our national ads. She's becoming a much better photographer than me. Okay, so if you want me to mention my little grandson I might go on forever. He has my entire heart and I am truly in love. I think my daughter would say “Mom is obsessed."
How would you describe your personal style and has it changed these past few weeks? What are you wearing daily at home? What signature pieces of yours do you always wear?
As I mentioned above, I am always wearing my charm bracelet, pretty much daily. It has just become a part of me. In terms of clothing, I have to say I have always been a jeans person. I must own 30 pairs (is that bad?) I love monochromatic tops and sweaters. I wear a lot of white. I'm also a bit obsessed with jackets and blazers. I have a “few." I love the ROW, Dries, and Khaite is a new favorite of mine. At home these days, it's pretty much jeans daily.
What is your best source of inspiration now that you are sheltering in place?
I have a ton of art books. I look at those a lot. I also have a lot of vintage fashion magazines that I have saved over time. I love all the European ones. I find myself sketching a lot more now and am always doodling in my sketch books. I must have 10 always piled up on my desk. I actually started playing my violin a bit here and there again. OMG I used to be good, now I sound like a cranky cat!
Any books, movies, tv shows to recommend?
Yes, every morning I try and get up early and read some passages from Campbell's “The Power of Myth.” It's so inspiring, especially now when we all need something to make us think. We have more time on our hands and I think in a way this time we are in has made so many of us slow down, appreciate, and cherish what we love most.
How will COVID-19 change us? How will it change your business?
I think more and more that people will be doing business remotely, even when this is over. I believe it has slowed us all down quite a bit, made us appreciate what we have around us, and realize how lucky so many of us are. Our brand, thank goodness, has faired well during this time because people want pieces that are timeless, make them strong, and keep them sentimental and grounded.
What women inspire you the most?
My daughters for sure, but really all women inspire me. We are so strong and determined. I truly believe we can do anything we put our minds to. I mean Beth, I have the utmost respect for you and what you have built with Kirna Zabete. I know what it means to be in business and I know how hard this pandemic is for all of us in our businesses right now. But we can get through this. We are all in this together.
Are you bored, busy, or both?
I am never bored. I make my own parties ( just ask my family.) I have been blasting all sorts of music in my studio and dancing in my seat while typing on the computer. I'm playing Earth Wind & Fire now as I am answering these questions!
What’s the first thing you will do, see, eat when this is over? What’s the first place where you want to travel?
I am first generation American, my parents are from Vienna and Budapest, so going back to Europe is important to me. It's in my DNA. I miss it so much when I haven’t been there in awhile. It is my happy place. Of course, Paris and Italy are my favorites, not quite sure when it will happen though. I can’t wait to see a Broadway show, stroll the NYC galleries in Chelsea, and of course eat out in our local go-to restaurants here in Connecticut.