Fortrove News

While it seems that the pandemic is slowly but surely coming to its natural end, members of the jewelry industry are rebuilding and reflecting back on the past year or so of challenges. One such person is New York-based jewelry designer Mimi So. In an interview with JCK, she talks of the pandemic and business in general.

When asked how the pandemic affected her, So said, "It was really tough, because this is not something we’ve ever experienced. I was one of the few people out and about at the beginning. There was a small fire above our store around the first of April [2020]. I had to go down there to check on things, and I just thought, “This can’t be happening.” But even with all the craziness, New Yorkers don’t quit. I’m a big believer that when things get tough, we roll up our sleeves even higher and persevere. You have to be the leader of your team, whether it’s your family or your company."

Mimi Chester Cowboy

"We were able to rely on the audience and the partnerships we had built through the years. That made it possible to adapt, to be frank, because there was no retail business [in the early months]," said So regarding business strategy throughout this tumultuous time. "But when you have good name recognition, and when people respect the integrity of the brand, they will be comfortable and confident purchasing it [online]. That also helped our partners, because they were not hesitant to recommend something to their clients on the basis of a photo. They were relying on us to come through, and boy, did we come through. We were doing whatever it took to turn things around, if they needed pieces to be sized, things like that."

Wonderland Ballerina rings

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When it came to her work as a designer, when asked how the pandemic affected her work, she said, "It pushed me! I’m not someone who believes in designing something new every year. I’ve always designed from a personal space, from the chapters in my life. If I feel that something hasn’t been done or [I create] something I would like to share, I introduce it, and my collectors understand that. One woman came in and bought a pendant from the Piece collection [inspired by So’s childhood bedroom window and featuring three rectangles representing past, present, and future]. She said, “I just went through a divorce, and now I’m celebrating me!” I do have something in the works that we will unveil this fall. It’s quite special and meaningful, and I look forward to sharing it."

Information originally sourced from JCK.