Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amish Shah, Founder of J'evar, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I've been in the fine jewelry business for 31 years, having started in 1992. It is not just me as I am a part of a 3-generation family that started in the industry in 1933, serving the royals in India. Our business was originally fine, Earth-mined diamonds, and today we at ALTR Created Diamonds have become the pioneer of the lab-grown diamond fine jewelry market since 2006. Our customers are twofold, being that we are the primary diamond source. Our customers, at one level, are the manufacturers of fine jewelry and their brands. Our other customer base is retailers globally in America, Canada, Europe, and Australia. However, our ultimate customer is the consumer of our jewelry brand J'evar. Our consumers are looking for a conscious purchase. They are environmentally, socially, geopolitical, and economically conscious consumers that look for beautiful fine jewelry that aligns with their style and who they are. We are the future of fine jewelry.
Tell us about yourself
As the jewelry industry has been a family business, it was my grandfather who got me into the space. I was a big techie, but he helped push me into the jewelry business. And I fell in love with it. Jewelry is artistic and a passion for me today. It's not just the business that makes me smile every morning. It is looking forward to being able to make somebody else happy with a beautiful J'evar jewel that represents a priceless moment in their life. It's an expression of love, friendship, caring, and much more. Every time a loved one gives a treasured gift to someone in their life, they create a precious moment, and that moment is what makes me smile. Knowing that today a J'evar jewel is going to be gifted to someone special or purchased for someone's own self-expression and that the box will be opened with delight is what motivates me every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner and category disruptor, when thinking about the biggest accomplishments, it's all about what satisfies you while creating or running your businesses. For me, being able to bring a long-standing industry like fine jewelry, which was focused on Earth-mined diamonds and mining, and bridge them into the future has been my greatest accomplishment to date. Particularly using renewable energy to create incredible fine jewelry with lab-grown diamonds crafted in recycled gold while offering a carbon-neutral digital store and shipping.
In 2006 I put out the world's first lab-grown diamond engagement ring collection at a jewelry convention, where everybody laughed at the idea. As of February 2023, just 17 years later, J'evar was born. This came after helping the industry shift to where we are now, seeing 46% of engagement rings sold in American bridal rings and specialty stores having lab-grown diamonds. This is a moment of happiness for me, having been able to create a category and bridge an industry into the future.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest decisions as a business owner are making the tough choices, especially when you're thinking of the emotional impact on those affected. What I've learned is it's better to make my decision without lagging on it for too long. I have found that I am correct about 8 out of 10 times where everything falls into place without hurting anybody individually while also helping the business grow. Learning not to linger on a choice has helped me make those tough decisions.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The top 3 tips for anyone looking to start, run or grow their business would be as follows:
- If you believe you can bring about change, then pursue it and don't give up.
- Build the right team and trust in them if you want to grow your company.
- The most important thing is to not forget the power of the consumer. No matter if you run a bake shop, jewelry brand, or an automobile company. The ultimate decision is made by the consumer, so be sure to talk to them about their needs.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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