THE GLITTERATI QUESTIONNAIRE
Updated: Jul 15
10 QUESTIONS FOR CHAÏMA TEISSEIRE, FOUNDER & HOST OF THE JEWELLERY & WATCH INDUSTRY PODCAST "PRECIOUS TALK".
I first discovered Chaïma when Jean-Norbert Salit sent me a podcast link of the interview he did with her. I loved listening to him regale us with his stories. Still, something that jumped out at me was how little Chaïma said during the interview, she asked questions, but there was minimal commentary or conversation between the two of them. I listened to her past episodes and began looking forward to her Sunday evening emails with the breakdown of her interview and anecdotes about her guest – always someone I found interesting and entertaining. Our business is full of personalities! After listening to all of her episodes, I continued to be intrigued by the fact that she said so little, just factually asked questions – always well thought out - but still managed to get such a lively, authentic and often rather personal response. My intrigue led me to reach out to her; I was curious about this young woman who not only managed to interview a few "old-timers" but, more importantly, had the chutzpah to ask!
My exchanges with Chaïma led to my participation in an episode of Precious Talk, for which the tagline is "Et si on prenait le temps de s’écouter?" translating to "And if we took the time to listen to one another?" I cannot conceive of a sentence that more accurately describes Chaïma and her ability to truly listen. She is deeply curious, which is undoubtedly a motivator, and remarkably emotionally intelligent for such a young woman. This combination gives her the ability to bring out the best in each guest for a wide-ranging audience.
Chaïma discovered the science of gemmology through family friends. Upon discovering the gemmology program at ING – of which she is a graduate – she felt most interested in understanding where the colour of the gems came from. Her first classes felt like a revelation! In addition to her gemmology studies, Chaïma has a master's degree in marketing communication.
With an open mind, a desire to travel, and discovering different cultures combined with an interest in geology and geopolitics, Chaïma set off on her quest to learn about as many aspects of the business as possiblhe discovered the auction universe at Tajan in Paris, and her very first experience with stones was with the stone dealer Brazilian Gemmes. On to the second-hand market at Collector's Square, and back to stones again, this time in Bangkok for an internship at Nomad's. Returning to Paris and remaining true to her curiosity about coloured stones, she joined the renowned Maison Piat. She later moved on to fulfil her desire to learn about diamonds. Today Chaïma works for OM, a diamond dealer and manufacturer for fine jewellery and watches.
"I realize more and more as the years go by, the richness of this profession."
1. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
So many things! I am a very curious person; nourished by encounters. I travel as much as I can, always in a pursuit of discovery. Almost an escape from routine. As far as people are concerned, it's more about human qualities like true kindness, intelligence, humour and generosity that inspire me.
2. WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF LUXURY?
My answer might be too spiritual, but I believe that the real luxury is to be comfortable in your own skin to have self-confidence and to have quality relationships.
3. WHICH JEWELER OR WATCHMAKER DO YOU MOST ADMIRE, WHY?
All of them, I can't decide. It's a love affair between jewels and me at that moment. I recently watched a documentary on Fabergé, and I was really impressed by the beauty, the details, the creativity, the craftsmanship!
4. IN YOUR NEXT LIFE YOU ARE A JEWEL OR OBJECT, WHAT ARE YOU, WHY?
Maybe an engagement ring to celebrate love.
5. SET A DINNER TABLE FOR 6: WHICH 5 INDUSTRY PEOPLE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE YOUR TABLE WITH?
Jean Baptiste Tavernier, Cecil Rhodes, Sean Gilbertson, René Puissant, Coco Chanel, Marcel Tolkowsky
6. YOUR DREAM JOB IT WEREN'T THIS ONE
I would have dreamed of being a director/photographer. I have a passion for imah at me because I stop all the time in the street to take pictures of what I see, what touches me. I am aware that it is a huge and very technical job. But today everything is possible, so who knows!
7. YOUR GREATEST JEWELLERY/WATCH MEMORY/EXPERIENCE TO DATE?
A trip with the great Vincent Pardieu, to the mines of Madagascar. One day, we had the opportunity to go down below the mine. I would never have imagined doing it, even in my wildest dreams. The first reaction was to gently refuse. I took a step back. I went and lay down on the grass near our car. Then after a few minutes of thinking about it, I told myself it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing! I stood up suddenly, took advantage of that rush of adrenaline. And I did it! I should mention that I am claustrophobic. Nice victory over myself and an unforgettable memory.
8. YOUR FAVOURITE GEMSTONE?
Emerald. Actually, I started the business with them! What a beautiful coincidence.
9. YOUR MOTTO FOR PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS?
Listening to my intuition, working hard, and staying curious.
10. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?
At this early stage of my life, I would say creativity. And don’t stay if they are not treating you well. Give your energy to someone who deserves it.