There is a quote I think of often when it comes to my industry, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” I have no clue who said it, but I’ve been interviewing other female entrepreneurs ever since. So, if you’re already chasing your dream or you’re thinking about it, there is always something to take away from my “She Believed She Could so She Did” series.
Let’s all welcome Sarah Lederman of Chevrons & Stripes. She is always willing to help a girl out and lend an encouraging word. You might have seen her gorgeous mint green apartment on Glitter Guide recently. She amazes me with her spot on tweets, impeccable style, and her jewelry line. Oh, and she just got engaged. I swear, the girl must never sleep. A few weeks ago, I asked the chevron-aficionado how she juggles her many talents. Here is what she had to tell me …
How did you know you wanted to start your business?
My Aunt and I started our jewelry line Aroc Urtu about a year and a half ago while collecting stones on the beach at our family summer home in Bridgehampton. We’ve both been collectors of beach treasures for years. To us, the untreated stones, shells, etc. that we’ve been finding on beaches around the world are equally as beautiful as fine gemstones that are cut and polished by stonecutters. It seemed only natural to combine the two to create that perfect balance of earthy and sparkly, simple and complex.
What goals are you reaching for now?
Right now, we’re working on the expansion of our bridal line, Aroc Urtu I DO. There aren’t many jewelers in the market catering to brides looking for earthier more organic pieces on their big day. We’re trying to fill that void by focusing on unique, one of a kind gems like diamond slices, rough diamonds and rosecuts set in anything from engagement rings and wedding bands to bridesmaids gifts and symbolic jewels.
When did you start your blog?
I started my blog at the end of last summer when I found out we were moving from NYC to Miami Beach. What began as a project to document our experience away from home turned into a place for me to really express my aesthetic. As I’m sure many people can relate to, moving to a new city can be a tough adjustment so connecting with new and old friends through the blog has been a great support system.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
It’s kind of hard to pinpoint because it’s ever-changing. It can be anything from the cut of a dress, to a swatch of fabric, the colors in my meal or on the deco buildings in South Beach (our new home). One thing I don’t think I’ll ever stray from though is all things nautical or beachy – that’s a forever obsession.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Neutral with pops of color. I tend to dress and decorate with a neutral base and then pile on a few brights. In my home, most of my big investments (like furniture) are fairly muted – later I’ll add in color with pillows, tchotchkes, or art. The same applies for the way I dress (with some exceptions). If I wear all black or beige, I’ll be sure to add a pop with jewels, shoes, or a great jacket.
Do you have a quote that never fails to pick up your spirits?
Right now I’m loving a Steve Jobs quote that I found floating around pinterest recently, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
Do you have a piece of advice for women like yourself who want to strike out on their own?
It’s easy to want it all right now – so Lauren and I like to remind ourselves that starting a business does not happen overnight. It’s a marathon, not a race.
What is your favorite part of having a your own company?
For us, it’s the excitement of seeing our ideas realized. What begins as a simple idea gets translated into a sketch, and then a mold, and finally a piece of finished jewelry. It’s also quite satisfying to get a little brand recognition. We’ve been lucky enough to receive some great press over the last year from InStyle to People Stylewatch and most recently Elizabeth Banks wore our necklace in Women’s Health – I love her!
What could you do without?
The subway in the summer – yikes.
Where do you go when you run out of ideas?
When I’m in NYC, I walk around the West Village peeking into small shops and cafes. There’s endless inspiration to be had in those quaint, cobblestone streets. In Miami, I head to the Design District to peruse the interior design showrooms. The neighborhood is still changing and growing, and there are now some interesting avant garde clothing stores and art galleries there as well.
Along the way, have you received any advice that stuck with you?
I know it’s not exactly advice, but I love the saying that “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” It keeps me motivated to set the bar high.
Who is your design role model?
For jewelry, definitely my aunt and business partner Lauren Bergman. She has designed for all of the big names from Harry Winston to Cartier, and her eye for stones and settings is flawless. In fact, she designed my engagement ring which is now of course my favorite piece of jewelry.
For interiors, the Brooklyn Home Company designs the most breathtaking townhouses. Their 5th street project that was featured in Design*Sponge a few years ago is still my dream home.
Do you have a dream project?
After college I decided my dream was to open a brick & mortar shop. I enrolled in FIT and got a second degree in merchandising and management to learn a bit more about the inner workings of the industry. While I’m focused on other projects right now, I’m quietly scheming for the future…
The Short List:
My favorite fragrance is … Stella by Stella McCartney
My go-to outfit is … Jeans, embellished ballet flats, a white tee and one great piece of jewelry.
My latest app is … Pocketbooth – it takes the most amazing b&w photostrips that look totally authentic!
My Guilty pleasure is … a piece of chocolate every evening after dinner
My most prized gadget is … Probably my iPhone but my wacom tablet comes in a close second – I don’t know how I ever used photoshop without it now!
Most influential movie or book … One of the reading requirements while I was at FIT was Paco Underhill’s “Why We Buy” – a must for anyone thinking about entering the world of retail!