This is the time of year we give thanks- in a downward shaky economy what do I have to give thanks for, I ask myself? Let me start with the garden I created a couple of years ago. It is kind of a secret garden filled with trees and beautiful flowers. In the summer it was one of the most magical gardens I have ever seen, the fruits of mine and the labor of an extraordinary friend of mine Ted, who taught me everything he knows about gardening. So as I sit and look at all the bare branches and the flower bushes cut down in anticipation of next year I am so thankful for this bit of outdoor space in Manhattan. That garden truly transformed my life in many ways.
What else...well business has been very very challenging this year. We have all had to work extra hard and to think extra hard on how to reach our customers when their pocketbooks are much less than ever before. It hasn't stopped us though...and I am extra grateful for the amazing women who work with me, they have remained buoyant and creative even though they haven't seen any bonuses or raises in a long time. I am forever thankful for their humor, creativity and hard work. Each and everyone of them inspire me everyday and makes me think extra hard how we are all going to keep our livelihoods....so a huge thanks to all of these women.
Thank you to Tenzin, she treks up to the platers at a moments notice in rain, shine or snow. Thank you to Rinzin who makes the most extraordinary cluster earrings I have ever seen. Thank you to Sangmo who although very shy has an amazing sense of style and humor. Thank you to Tsering, our bench worker who has the most amazing skills to cut into metal and make extraordinary designs...and can wrap a hoop like no one else. Thank you to both of the other Tsering's whose jewelry skills are daunting and skillful, yes we have three Tserings. Then there is Tomo, a wonderful jeweler who loves tomatoes. She recently took a trip to Nepal to visit her family and came back with wonderful scarves and wallets for each and everyone of us. Then there is Yeshi who makes almost every special style for our website, before you can say boo. Her speed and skill makes us all take a deep breath in awe. These women sit at a table every day and turn out the most magnificent jewelry, each day I am thankful to them as I would be nowhere without them!
Let me move on....there is Lobsang, she recently took over the job of production manager. She is like an octopus with so many arms moving at once and makes all of the new samples I give her, she works with all of our vendors and can negotiate like no one else. She also manages all the jewelry production and prices all of our jewelry, to name just a few of her tasks. I think she may be the first one in my 25 years of business who has been able to actually get decent prices for us so that we might actually see a bit of profit. I also think she can read my design mind. I give her scraps of ideas on paper or with materials and she turns it into magic. I am forever thankful to Lobsang.
Gena, wow what a year. She can design, make and rush samples to a client faster than we can eat lunch....and boy does she love lunch and great food! She can be extremely funny not to mention having an infectious laugh of her own, recently she starting wearing her hair up which we all in the studio love.
Diana thank you for recently joining our wacky team, you seem to be handling the personalities and multitude of tasks well....that is no easy feat!
Anja...thank you for coming all the way from Germany and landing in our company with your vast jewelry experience and expertise. We love your extra attention to detail and your ability to take on our most recent project which has caused a bit of panic and anxiety....making us feel you are handling the minute details with a microscopic eye!
Erin, we call her 'air'...and I gotta say she has a lot of air to find and work with all of our customers old and new. I thank her for hanging in there with our sales in a very tough market and a tough time. I so appreciate her good spirit and tenaciousness to keep the sales moving forward....recently she, Gena and Lobsang have become a bit of a team and have been accomplishing even more together, so thank you air- I mean Erin.
Let's move on to Ms. Amy from New Zealand....can't beat that accent. She does all of our PR, marketing and website with such finesse and a great deal of humor, the rolling on the ground in tears type of humor. I am thankful to her for taking my website from a little seed to a full blown chatty, beautiful place to go for our long and loyal customers who buy our jewelry on a very regular basis...I know her attention to each and everyone of them keeps them coming back for more. Thank you for putting our pieces on the map and in some of the most prestigious magazines out there. We are also thankful for her extraordinary outfits each day, should really be documenting all the vintage, keep your eye on her and her outfits!
Susan- my longtime friend and colleague...we sold art supplies together in college in Santa Cruz California. She keeps an extra special eye on everyone and the money, she loses sleep at night for all of us, but then arrives on our birthdays with the most incredible home made cakes...each one specific to our personalities and tastes, she continues to blow our socks off with those cakes, I think Gena has documented all of them (hopefully), thank you Susan for hanging in there and knowing me the best through thick and thin...literally and figuratively!!!
Deborah, a numbers magician! her focus and attention to detail is parallel to her amazing skills as a painter. She is truly an inspired artist...leaving everyday and going home to paint....I have two of her paintings myself and love looking at them. Thank you Deborah for fitting us into your painting schedule, maybe not a first choice but thank you.
Let's go to the store for a minute...aside from wholesale, as you know, we have a store on the LES run by Cerena. Another one of those very artistic women who draws on our front windows, the most recent a chalk fireplace! She recently also created a menagerie of birds in the back part of the store which is pretty special, I thank her for the special details which are slowly transforming the store, a place very dear to my heart....and we have a wonderful new gal from Texas working at the store on the weekends.... Kelley, a tall drink of water who can really sell jewelry! Thank you Kelley for looking so great in the jewelry- especially the enormous tassel earrings!
We work with many vendors all over the world who do a beautiful job for us...and I thank them all but especially one, our friend and colleague Ursula in Peru. She works with wonderful artisans and makes us the most beautiful filigree and metal cut-outs. These pieces have enhanced our line for the last six years. Not only does she send us amazing jewelry but she brings each and everyone of us a personal gift when she comes to New York, now that's a lot of special gifts.
And last but not least because it is this time of year, I am thankful to my father who went into the hospital a year ago on Thanksgiving... and died on Christmas eve. He gave me a sense of humor and the constant reminder how important people and family are and also that kindness, compassion and consideration for others are number one priorities above anything else. Something I aspire to everyday, so hopefully although he is not here, he would be thankful to have had me as his daughter. I really miss him.
So, a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, I thank you all so much for supporting what we do, we appreciate and each and every customer we have, especially for staying with us through these past tough couple of years. I know we all have a lot to be thankful for...if we just stop for a moment to think about it.