Sitting down for her very first Q&A EVER is the incredibly smart, beautiful, talented, and funny AF fine jewelry designer Nadine Ghosn! While you may know her as the chick designing the ever so coveted burger rings, Nadine has a lot more magic under her sleeves.
Our friendship has been incredibly fast to say the least; already managing to clock almost 3 hours on the phone, and sharing wonderful stories about our time growing up, how/ why we entered the industry, and even our love lives.
So without further ado, fellers I present to you, gal pal, and our latest addition to the DM friendship circle, and someone who gives us major eyebrow envy, Nadine Ghosn.
AB: Where were you born, raised, and consider home?
NG: Made in Brazil, delivered in Greenville South Carolina. I spent my life moving between the US, France, Japan, and Hong Kong. Now I am based in NYC - but I live mostly on a plane.
AB: Favorite childhood show/book?
NG: I have never been huge on shows and tv. I am more of a book person. My favorite book was Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.
AB: Oh, that’s a good one! I think for me it was a close tie between anything Roald Dahl, or the Bernstein Bears. They taught me everything I know today lol (apart from my mother of course).
AB: What prompted you to get into jewelry design?
NG: Since the age of two you could find me stacking jewelry on my chubby little fingers. For every gift I would ask my parents to buy me earrings - often enough I would get that multipack ear candy you buy on the plane. Sometimes I would stick stickers all over my ears. I found joy in the memories and meanings behind these pieces and often would come back to them for a sense of stability in a constantly changing environment. Our family traveled non-stop. Jewelry was my anchor.
AB: So for you it’s incredibly personal then.
NG: Totally. After working at Hermes, during the time where I was negotiating my job, I truly wanted to use my energy to learn and create something I loved and believed in. After being offered head buyer for Hermes London, I chose to decline the offer despite everyone’s advice and go for what I believed in. I decided to put my head down and learn the craft of jewelry, it happened at a time where craftsmanship and demand for skilled workers was diminishing in Lebanon causing a lot of artisans to lose their job. My goal was to learn as much as I could and work together with my manufacturers to preserve this precious knowhow that dated back to the Ottoman empire. My business model was to innovate in the jewelry space by offering fun fine jewelry - a mix of the best quality materials (previous stones, 18k gold) at accessible price points.This in turn would help push volume out from Lebanon and continue to preserve jobs.I got into business school last year but decided to ride the momentum and have faith that this baby company, despite all the competition, and my lack of a ‘jewelry background’ might get off the ground. I owe this momentum to serendipity, hard work and the people that surround me and support me. It has been a year filled with many victories and a lot of personal reflection. When you work alone, you have to grow more and more confident in your intuition and learn to preserve your energy.
AB: What’s the one quality you look for in a friend?
NG: Loyalty. I believe it is unfortunately becoming increasingly difficult to find people who are true to their word and champion your success. Those select few I trust, I would move mountains for.
AB: Couldn’t agree more.
NG: How much space to I have? The list is long…
AB: Favorite foods?
NG: I could eat Japanese food everyday. With the occasional burger, once in a while ;)
AB: Favorite holiday destination?
NG: I love to travel. Often on my own. My favorite destination would probably be Japan as I can spend days walking and just observing all the amazing design inspirations that exist.
AB: Who wears your jewelry?
NG: Not too many people, YET. But I am getting there. Two token people I highly respect; Beyoncé and Leandra Medine Cohen - sport some of my pieces. I have to say, that’s enough for me to roll up in a ball and be happy for the rest of my life.
AB: Who’s your type of gal? guy?
NG: I like driven, curious, spiritual people. I am a stickler for people who are true to their word. I like strong, driven, charismatic, gallant, generous men.
AB: Dating advice?
NG: Ahahaha, trust me - you definitely don’t want advice from me. I fall under the category of Single AF. All I can say is in the past few years every bad decision has made a great story. Most of my friends getting married don’t even send me the plus one invites anymore.
AB: That’s ridiculous. Maybe 2017 is the year of love perhaps? We learn a lot from the relationships we have with men. Let’s consider every bad date you’ve been on, and relationship you’ve been in a stepping stone to finding just the right guy.
AB: Favorite color?
AB: Where you see yourself 3 years from now? 5? 10?
NG: In three years from now I hope I am able to build a brand that resonates with our generation, that supports craftsmen in developing countries, that collaborates with young artists, that mentors talented people and that continues to challenge the way we experience and perceive luxury.
In five years… no idea. A mentor of mine once said: have a vision, but be open to the doors that open along the way. In five years I hope to be able to navigate the continuous success of this brand and employ an A team. I just hope and strive for a balanced life that supports continuous growth personally and professionally.
AB: What can you tell us about your next collection?
NG: My next collection was already in my head six months ago - it was only last month that I was able to sit down and crank it out. Now that it is tangible i feel more comfortable elaborating on it. I believe that it takes the same DNA you find in my first collection (play with color, stacking concepts, versatililty, playful nature) and hopefully resonates with everyone. It is hugely inspired by one of the places that means the most to me. I believe a successful brand is one that can be recognized without the logo. I hope that when people see the new collection, they will be able to begin associated that style to my designs.
AB: One thing about you no one knows?
NG: I still believe in Santa Claus…and in soul mates.
AB: Big hug! You rock!