That the internet was, and is, ever changing. I don’t think anyone really understood how impactful the internet was going to be on businesses. Because it is constantly progressing, it causes people like me to constantly evolve.
As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Suzanne Sachs.
Suzanne worked at Sony Music in NYC as a Director of Licensing for eleven years but always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a plan to lead to her own company. Her husband is a wholesale diamond and antique jewelry dealer. When they became engaged in 2004, Stuart mentioned starting an online antique engagement ring website, a move he saw as critical to staying relevant in the field. His NYC office kept him busy though, and so it happened. Suzanne recognized this was the ideal time to launch her own business. She could take the knowledge she acquired from the corporate world and integrate it into a new business on the world wide web.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you please tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Sure. I grew up in South Orange, NJ with two wonderful, hard-working parents and two protective big brothers. My parents were strong role models and I knew that whatever I did when I grew up, it would involve hard work and commitment. After graduating college I eventually moved to NYC and worked for Sony Music where I was an Associate Director of Licensing. Funny enough, while I was working at Sony Music I met my (now) husband on a blind date who happened to be a wholesale diamond and antique jewelry dealer. When we became engaged, knowing we wanted to start a family, we began to talk about starting an antique engagement ring business online. My husband recognized the future of business was in e-commerce. I took a chance and left Sony in order to begin ArtDecoDiamonds.com (now VintageDiamondRing.com).
Can you please share with us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Probably when Sony Music offered me a buyout. They were going through some changes, and I had been considering leaving, but I was so undecided if I should stay or not. I had so many good years there, so leaving was a scary prospect. Once I took the leap, I realized it was the greatest move I could have made. I love having my own business! I was, and still am, able to use the knowledge I acquired from being part of a big corporation and integrate it into running my business.
Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?
Oh, easy! I fully believe you should be true to yourself and, of course, your brand or your business. Really believe in what you are trying to accomplish, or sell. People will know if you are feigning authenticity. Consumers tend to stand behind someone who they believe stands behind their product.
Ok thank you for that. Let’s now move to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?
Sustainability is not “my” big idea, but I do think VintageDiamondRing.com has taken sustainability to a whole different level. I firmly believe we have done an incredible job in offering ethical and conflict-free jewelry to anyone who wants to feel good about what they are wearing. Since it is eco-conscious it is environmentally responsible. Don’t we want to strive for a clean environment? That in, and of, itself can change the world we live in!
How do you think this will change the world?
As we know, new mining can devastate our land and may take many years to restore the ecosystem. Vintage jewelry is the ultimate in recycling since these treasures do not need to be remade, no additional resources are needed for them to be enjoyed again. Educating society about sustainability is what it’s all about and how we can contribute to the health of our own planet.
Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this idea that people should think more deeply about?
Definitely not! How can there be any drawbacks about saving the planet and making lives better!?
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?
I don’t think there was any one tipping point necessarily, but I do believe the youth led climate strikes affected me, and the rest of the world greatly. Since the youth of the world is our future, how could I not take sustainability to a different level IF THEY ARE. I’m beyond thrilled to see that young people, and the rest of the world today, recognize the threat to our environment.
What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?
I just really believe that the world has to continue fighting to defeat climate change. The United States has to lead the world in this ongoing battle. I can safely say that I was very excited to see the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. We all have to do our part, no matter how big or small.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1) That the internet was, and is, ever changing. I don’t think anyone really understood how impactful the internet was going to be on businesses. Because it is constantly progressing, it causes people like me to constantly evolve.
2) I really wish someone told me how much social media was going to affect all of our lives. I mean this for the good, and unfortunately for the bad as well. 3) Always pay attention to your own business, and don’t worry about the others around you. In the end you have NO idea what’s really going with someone else’s business.
4) It would have helped if someone alerted me that at some point in time, every business will get knocked down. But I learned that if you keep at it, it will come back. But in all likelihood, all businesses will have a down cycle at some time.
5) Take your time and don’t rush anything! One step and time, develop your niche. And always INVEST BACK IN YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?
I truly believe that success comes from within yourself. It is certainly not a given. You have to have a burning desire to succeed and work hard to do so. Theres a certain work ethic that is needed. There will always be pitfalls but one thing I was taught was to NEVER QUIT.
Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I don’t think I would make a pitch to them per se, but I would ask them is to invest in companies that take sustainability quite seriously. Any brand can have a logo and a product, but when a consumer can turn to a company and know their purchases say something about who they are and what matters to them, it falls into a different category.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
Eco-Conscious Jewels: Suzanne Sachs’s Big Idea That Might Change The World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.