• The Glitterati

THE GLITTERATI QUESTIONNAIRE

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

10 QUESTIONS FOR THE ORIGINAL GLITTERATIGIRLS:

CO-FOUNDERS MELISSA WOLFGANG AMENC & FAYE CARIS TOYON




1. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

My daughter. Her curiosity amazes me.

Every second of every day she is discovering life and the world she lives in through un-biased eyes. What a privilege, one we adults often take for granted.


2. WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF LUXURY?

Time


3. WHICH JEWELER OR WATCHMAKER DO YOU MOST ADMIRE, WHY?

On the more classical side, Van Cleef & Arpels is at the top of my list. Times have changed and Haute Joaillerie is not what it once was. I admire a Maison that is able to continually create timeless, relevant and wearable collections.

On the more contemporary side, Viren Bhagat. I love his use of coloured stones alongside soft watery diamonds, Mughal influence and delicate designs. His pieces are refined, modern and feminine; bucket list!


4. IN YOUR NEXT LIFE YOU ARE A JEWEL OR OBJECT, WHAT ARE YOU, WHY?

A moval shaped Golconda diamond.

I really relate to the saying “Diamonds are just lumps of coal that do really well under pressure” some days I feel just like a lump of coal bumbling around the mine and on others I shine bright! No pressure, no diamonds.


5. SET A DINNER TABLE FOR 6:

ALIVE OR DEAD - WHO ARE THE 5 MOST INTERESTING/FUNNY/TALENTED

INDUSTRY PEOPLE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR TABLE WITH?

Jacques Wolfgang, my grandfather who I never had the pleasure of knowing

Gabrielle Chanel

Harry Winston

Brigitte Chabbert Pellegrino

Fulco di Verdura


6. YOUR DREAM JOB IT WEREN'T THIS ONE

Writer or journalist


7. YOUR GREATEST JEWELLERY/WATCH MEMORY/EXPERIENCE TO DATE?

I grew up in Los Angeles and came to Geneva to see my father during school vacations.

At the time he still had a retail store that was open on Saturdays. I would hear him getting up in the morning to go to the office, mostly I could smell him - my father has worn the same cologne for as long as I can remember and to this day, no matter where I am, I remember those childhood mornings when I get a whiff.

My favorite thing ever was to go to the store with him.

I loved the sales ladies, especially when one of them was stringing pearls.

I loved looking at the watchmakers table and playing with his tools. I used to poke him in the butt with one of them!

There was also the dumbwaiter (a miniature elevator that goes from one floor to the next), an endless source of entertainment for me. I would put things in the dumbwaiter and then run to the red leather-walled elevator and ride it directly to our offices on the 2nd floor and back over to the dumbwaiter to pick up my “shipment”.

BUT… the ultimate undertaking was the safe! Dad would let me go through every drawer (probably not, but that’s how it is in my memories)

There was one special parcel of stones in his box with 14 coloured diamonds in it although I of course had no idea what that was at the time. I was allowed to clean the stones with a schmatte and got paid 1 Chf per stone. A fortune!

Even then I was quite meticulous and made a detailed list of each stone I cleaned, making sure to differentiate between shapes and colours.

Fast forward 35 or so years: The store was closed in 1997, the elevator is walled up, possibly to be rediscovered by my great-grandchildren.

The dumbwaiter, although no longer in service, is in my office – no such thing as coincidence!

The parcel of coloured diamonds- with its list folded neatly inside - remains intact save for a pair of stones (N°6 on the list) I mounted for myself.

And… my father still wears the same cologne.


8. YOUR FAVORITE GEMSTONE?

I’ve always loved demantoid garnets.

Much like me, they are different in every light! And a good horsetail inclusion really brings out the gem geek in me!


9. YOUR MOTTO FOR PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS?

A sweet mixture of

“People will stare, make it worth their while” – Harry Winston

and

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken” – Oscar Wilde


10. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?

Our business has a steep learning curve. Find what you’re passionate about and do that 1000% until you’re good at it.

Surround yourself with people you can learn from as much as you can.

Listen and be present.

Make mistakes but learn from them. Preferably sooner rather than later.

Give your all and do your best.

Give back when you are able.




1. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

My son's perseverence. Right now he is learning to walk and falls and gets up and stumbles and falls all over again, all with a smile! He is so proud to take a few more steps than the time before. Watching him repeat the process over and over with a grin and without getting frustrated leaves me in admiration.


2. WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF LUXURY?

An open schedule where nothing is planned.


3. WHICH JEWELER OR WATCHMAKER DO YOU MOST ADMIRE, WHY?

Undoubtedly, Cartier. Pieces from a hundred years ago are collectible, stylish and still being worn in today, quite a feat!


4. IN YOUR NEXT LIFE YOU ARE A JEWEL OR OBJECT, WHAT ARE YOU, WHY?

A tiara. I could wear this type of headpiece everyday. I love the dramatic effect of it and I love a piece that can be disassembled into other types of jewellery that you can mix and match.


5. SET A DINNER TABLE FOR 6:

ALIVE OR DEAD - WHO ARE THE 5 MOST INTERESTING/FUNNY/TALENTED

INDUSTRY PEOPLE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR TABLE WITH?

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier

Jeanne Toussaint

Brigitte Chabbert Pellegrino

Guillaume Chautru

Paloma Picasso


6. YOUR DREAM JOB IT WEREN'T THIS ONE

Paleoclimatologist; To understand past and present climate change.


7. YOUR GREATEST JEWELLERY/WATCH MEMORY/EXPERIENCE TO DATE?

I am not from a gem or jewellery family, I am first generation.

I studied Geology and had a safe job at the age of 22. When I decided to enroll at the GIA in New York to get my Graduate Gemologist diploma, a lot of people warned me how difficult it would be to enter this tough industry. And they were right, this it is a tough, opaque industry. The pride and accomplishment I felt when I made my first important sale to a Place Vendome jeweler one of my greatest memories thus far.


8. YOUR FAVORITE GEMSTONE?

A hot pink Tanzanian Mahenge Spinel.


9. YOUR MOTTO FOR PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS?

Just Dare !


10. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?

You can ask for everything you want. The worse thing that can happen is being told NO.

And...nobody ever died from hearing those words!





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