November’s – ‘The Fine Jewellery Issue’ – Download Now
Formerly the Fine Jewellery Editor at Vogue US and Director of Jewellery at Moda Operandi, Amalia Keramitsis set up her own consultancy in 2016 to help build the success of new and emerging brands as well as to working alongside some of the best in the business.
What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?
I wake up very early around 6am most days and do a quick yoga or Pilates session. Since COFID there are so many online options to choose from! I shower, have breakfast and coffee and then read thru my emails. I’ll also check WhatsApp and Instagram. Since my clients are on so many different time zones I am constantly ‘on’!
How did you know it was the right time to launch your own company and what were the stepping-stones to that point?
I knew it was the right time because everything was syncing together. I had turned 40 years old and knew I wanted to make a lifestyle change. I had just returned from The Couture Show in Vegas (the jewellery industry’s largest jewellery trade show) and had a call with my very dear friend who said; ‘listen you could either do it now or we can keep talking about it in 2 years…’ Simultaneously, my assistant Luisa kept saying to me you keep helping brands in so many ways and it’s the part you really love, you need to start Amalia Keramitsis Consulting. Those combined voices were the final push I needed to just go for it and I feel every point in my career has led to this. The week after setting up my company, I already had 3 client meetings lined up and the rest just came together.
You’re New York-based, how has that helped or hindered in growing your own brand as well as connecting with others?
My location has been perfectly suited to all my clients as I’m at the centre of everything. For my European clients, I am up early for them and it works also for my West Coast clients as I work and am awake late.
Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this?
I am drawn to both side the creative and business side. I am lucky in that I’m able to draw on both in order to better support my clients.
What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it?
Hurdles are always part of life and business, they are learning experiences and ways of growing and bettering oneself. My biggest hurdle has been balancing work and personal time. I love helping people and seeing their dreams come true so its very hard for me to disconnect as I never want to miss any opportunities for my clients.
Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path?
My mother, father and uncle have always guided and supported me throughout my career. My former boss at Vogue, Fashion & Accessories Director Virginia Smith was also one of my biggest mentors and she gave me the best advice while working with her which has stuck with me to this day; to be mindful and respectful in every call, email, interaction with everyone especially under extremely stressful moments because these would be relationships I would have for the rest of my career. She was right and many have become long-term friendships I have maintained for years. Also my friend Joaquin has been an incredible sounding board for me, his logical sound advice has greatly helped throughout the years and he reminds me often when I get excited and want to move fast on something that its sometimes better to evaluate and think before acting in haste.
What is your approach to scaling a business and what do you look for in terms of potential when consulting for brands?
My approach to scaling a brand is to be mindful of growing slowly and in a considered way. It’s important to acknowledge how much one can handle oneself and also on not relying on any one thing. All the wheels need to be moving at once, so growth needs to rely on a mix of retail, online sales, trunk shoes and more. I look for talent and longevity as well as drive and enthusiasm in a brand and after so many years in the industry, it’s now something I can immediately identify.
You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries and have you seen any changes this year as a result of COVID – 19?
I see we’ve seen a huge growth in online shopping as well as large direct to consumer as a result of COVID.
How has social media affected the fine jewellery business and which platform has been most useful? Tell us about the brands you’re working with and why they are special.
I think social media has greatly helped all fine jewellery brands tremendously, specifically Instagram. Bards are seeing an increase in direct sales as well as brand awareness and engagement.
Which piece of jewellery that you own is most special to you and why?
I have a few, each have a special meaning and purpose. A lot of the pieces I own have a story behind them, which I find is what is so special about jewellery.
I have a gold and sapphire Greek Orthodox baptism cross, a gold link bracelet from Wempe my father gave me, a Yves Spinelli ring, a CVC stones necklace, and a Swarovski blue crystal bracelet a very dear friend gave me for Christmas which I feel is lucky
What tips would you give anyone wanting to invest in a fine piece of jewellery or watch both new and vintage?
One should be making the decision with a few factors in mind. I would advise anyone to think about the price point you are comfortable with, whether you’ll wear it day and night, the brands longevity and of course the overall look and feel of the piece. Men tend to look at things in terms of functionality, investment and exclusivity, whereas women focus more on aesthetics and brand awareness. Rolex is one example of a brand, which can be passed down through generations. Hey not only hold their value but increase over time.
Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration?
I look constantly and broadly, as you can never tell where inspiration will come from.
Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals?
I usually take a bath to relax, do a few Yoga stretch poses and change into my favourite luxury brand for evening at home, Layneau. I’ll re-check emails in case any of my West Coast clients have any urgent needs and then I practice saying what I am grateful for before I go to sleep.
What do you carry with you always when travelling?
Well that’s now going to have to be hand sanitizer masks and gloves!
What advice would you give to your younger self starting out?
To trust the process of life. Not be so anxious along the way and know that somehow everything will lead itself to the right outcome and work out, as it should.
If you had not launched your company, which other role would you choose career-wise?
Probably one that would have taken me into a new challenge.
The Hero Brands:
Katey hand makes everything herself in her studio in Essex
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Sustainable New York made fine jewellery her pieces, which have meanings and symbolism to them
Paris based band with the most exquisite colours and designs
Future Fortune Fine Jewelry
After designing for other brand for 15 years, founder Jessica launched this impressive brand
Anomy by Katerina Marmagioli
Greek designer Katerina Marmagioli designs in the most creative way
Glassware with Swarovski crystals…
November’s – ‘The Fine Jewellery Issue’ – Download Now
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