Explain a little bit about your brand.
ZADEH is a luxury brand of handcrafted, gender-neutral jewelry created to inspire a sense of peaceful wellbeing and effortless confidence for the aesthetes of the world who have an appreciation for the unexpected and the original.
When did you realize there was a need for your business?
Men, in general, would be insulted if their wives would make a fuss over the jewelry gifts they received. Well, my husband David, the gentleman that he is, tolerated it with humility and instead of being offended, found the perfect solution: “Why don’t you design your own pieces?” At the time he was in the diamond industry and encouraged me to “express my creativity through a medium that would make me happy.” I think he just wanted to keep me busy as I was getting restless in life. “I will supply you the diamonds, will introduce you to a jeweler, and you’ll take it from there.” I just came up with designs I would wear myself, that I could not find anywhere…
What was the idea behind the brand?
I started by designing accents for the discerning modern gentleman. With thousands of designers focused on outfitting women, I identified a niche and built a reputation with men as my chief focus. Our branding, our website, our history, and our future are all shaped by him: “Jewelry for the man who doesn’t wear any.” Modern women are now craving the cleaner, more casual, no-frills aesthetic typically associated with menswear. They have been donning our men’s designs for years. “Precious jewelry that is not precious…” We steer away from the overly ornate or generic pieces that dominate the jewelry market today. ZADEH’s natural materials yield a consistently refined and unique product.
What has been the overall impact of the brand on equestrians?
I think that the equestrian community is attracted to ZADEH because it has a unique point of view; they have never seen anything like it. They appreciate the artistry and the creativity but also the quality and how wearable it is. Equestrians are very strong and passionate athletes, and our jewelry fits well with their very active lifestyle. They don’t have the time nor the desire to change their jewelry. Our jewelry is thoughtfully designed to be worn always.
What would you say is the most unique feature behind your brand?
Our sturdy and luxurious materials stand up to our clients’ active lifestyles. Colors are fade resistant so the jewelry can be worn in the shower or the ocean. Our unique blend of unfussy and sustainable materials mixed with precious metals yields a cool blurring of formal and casual, classic and modern. It’s precious jewelry that is not precious. The result is sophisticated accent pieces that fit seamlessly into the lifestyle of the modern and discerning aesthete.
How has your brand helped riders and those in the equine industry?
Our jewelry makes riders feel strong, confident, authentic, sophisticated, sporty, worldly, original, bold, playful, sexy, cultured, irreverent, daring, happy, witty, unexpected, one of a kind!
Why do you choose to have your products made in the USA?
We are a small boutique brand and since 1995, the year we were established, we have worked with the same team of artisans based in NY. They are like family! We are on top of our manufacturing and want to make sure that we stay nimble. We offer a lot of customization, and we could not do that if our jewelry was made abroad. And we love America…we have great artisans here!
What has been the greatest challenge to building your business and what did you do it overcome it?
Being a mother and an entrepreneur at the same time is a difficult balance to achieve. I am also a control freak and I micromanage every step. I have a huge issue with delegating so growing my business has been very challenging. I don’t have any regrets; I have been able to develop intentionally, passionately, and deliberately. It is what it is because of my intense focus on every aspect of it.
How has your business shifted during the pandemic?
I was very fortunate; it was the best thing that could have happened to my business. I closed my NY atelier and instead opened my first flagship store in Southampton NY.
How do you see the future of the brand?
The past few months have been very exciting. Opening my flagship store in a luxury destination resort is a dream come true. It is a template for me to replicate in other markets—I am hoping to open my next store in Aspen and then Palm Beach, where all my customers travel to. Ultimately my goal is to partner up with a strategic partner who can help me scale my business nationally and internationally.
What advice do you have for aspiring equine entrepreneurs?
My advice to all aspiring entrepreneurs: find something to do that excites you. Be passionate, driven, and hopeful. Enjoy the journey and have fun. If you dread waking up in the morning, change your work. As Confucius stated, “You only have two lives. The second one starts when you realize you only have one.”