Jewelry industry veterans are doing their best to keep up with the demands of the market as well as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. One such person is jewelry designer Lorraine West, who sat down with JCK to discuss how the pandemic has affected her business and more.
When asked how the pandemic has affected her creative drive, West said, "the pandemic boosted my creativity and focus to realize some dreams I manifested over the last nine months. I had a virtual exhibition called Glimpse, launched a fine jewelry capsule collection with [influential New York jewelry retailer] Greenwich St. Jewelers and multiple partnerships with new retail partners, and had my work placed on dream clients in leading magazines."
"The pandemic has altered the business because there are so many restrictions in person with suppliers and/or shipping delays," West explained further regarding how business has changed due to COVID-19. "Some suppliers and production partners have gone out of business or reduced hours. My son homeschools, so there are times I have to tag-team with my husband to work around his schedule at the office and our son’s homeschooling hours. The shutdowns for the first three months put all my custom work on pause. When things opened back up it was full speed ahead."
"The silver lining has been the new audience the brand gained from the support of small businesses and black-owned brands during the pandemic," said the designer when asked about the future and any positives. "The tremendous amount of work was unexpected, and came with challenges due to COVID. However, I pushed through and learned to flex a new muscle, dealing with hundreds of clients at once, balancing production with customer service while the world turned upside down."
When asked about how business will change due to the pandemic, West said, "the pandemic blessed me with a massive amount of orders [placed at] light speed. Now that I know what that looks like, my business partner T.K. and I have implemented a new plan for 2021 to bring more work-life balance while growing the brand. I personally haven’t had a break in nine months. I’ve never worked this hard. I’m proud of pushing through in a positive way during one of the most challenging times in history."
Information originally sourced from JCK.