Q: What’s the history of your Jewelry Brand?
A: Gumuchian is a legacy that has been passed down through five generations. Our origin dates back over 100 years to Istanbul, Turkey where we specialized in rare and fine diamonds. In 1979 Gumuchian the jewelry brand was created in the heart of New York City by founder and visionary, Anita Gumuchian and her daughters Myriam and Patricia. Together, we combine the excellence of traditional European craftsmanship with fashion-forward designs. From this vision our “Designed by Women for Women” mantra emerged, setting out to embody the confidence and beauty of all women.
Our days are spent developing new designs with innovation and an enthusiasm that radiates throughout the office and onto the jewelers’ benches. Each design is brought to life by master jewelers in our Manhattan atelier. This office is where we come together as one, treating each design as a tiny sculpture, ensuring each piece is built to wear with comfort while lasting a lifetime. This is what it means to be “Designed by Women for Women”.
Q: Including your WJA Award, tell us about your brand’s biggest accomplishment of 2015.
A: We actually have two we would like to talk about. First Myriam Gumuchian was inducted as the 2016 President of the Twenty-Four Karat Club. This prestigious club has a long and storied history in the jewelry industry, dating back to 1902. Women were granted membership only 28 years ago after the industry saw a meteoric rise of women in business and jewelry. Myriam is only the second woman in the history of the Twenty-Four Karat Club to hold this position.
Secondly we launched our Cascade platinum and diamond collection in June of 2015 which has performed extremely well exceeding all of our expectations. Most recently we were the recipient of the 2016 Centurion Platinum Design Award for our Cascade pear shaped necklace. Which was an honor as it judged by national couture retail jewelers who attended the Centurion Jewelry Trade Show in February.
Q: What is new for the brand in 2016?
A: We will launch a new collection in June for the Couture Jewelry Trade Show in Las Vegas. The collection will consist of inspiration taken from our travels and will have mosaic design aspect. The collections take many months and sometimes years to create and we are excited about this new collection as it differs from our existing lines.
Q: Your tag line is “Designed By Women For Women”. Tell us about that and what it means to be working with your mother and your sister.
A: With the “Designed by Women for Women” philosophy each collection is designed with the feminine touch dedicated to enhance each women’s natural beauty and to satisfy the desires and tastes of the most discerning customers. Our collections are designed with an intuitive feel for what modern women of style crave today. We are able to collaborate on a daily basis to combine each of our designs esthetics to appeal to the women of today.
Q: Is there one of your collections that’s the most personal to you? Tell us about that.
A: Our “B” collection is one that we feel a strong connection and admiration for because of the charitable component aligned with the collection. Patricia, who serves as our head designer is often inspired by the natural world and like many of us, the declining bee population caught her eye and imagination. Our “B” Collection not only pays homage to these beautiful creatures; the collection is a concerted effort to aid their survival. The news regarding the bee population is dire, which is why we want to be part of the solution. A portion of the proceeds from every sale of the “B” Collection is donated to a non-profit aligned with helping to save the beloved honeybee.
Since the launch of the “B” collection in 2014 we have expanded and added a mini “B” collection with lower price points, now more than ever, women can wear the jewelry that gives back. The suite itself is offered in 18K gold with and without diamonds and includes both link and cuff bracelets, earrings, pendants, rings, five different bee-related charms and diamonds by the yard bracelet & necklace. We thrive to not only bring beauty into the world with our designs but also promise to help keep the world beautiful by giving back.
Q: What are some upcoming trends that you’re excited about?
A: We love seeing all of the convertible jewelry trends that are on the rise. Because we are designed by women for women with the sense of what women want to wear, we know how important it is to have versatility in not only your wardrobe but in your jewelry box as well. With so many differing tastes in jewelry having a convertible piece allows the wearer to adjust the design to their style and to how they are feeling in that moment. These pieces become the “little black dress” that is a staple in their jewelry box. We have been creating transformable pieces for a number of years now, such as our Gallop diamond necklace that can be worn at least 4 ways, our magical Ring Cycle, a ring that blossoms/transforms into a bracelet, and our top selling Carousel necklace which is available in several styles and lengths and can be worn up to 8 different ways.
Q: What have been some challenges you have had to overcome in the past?
A: The two that we think of right off are having to overcome the market crash of 2008 and the devastation following the 911 attacks. We adjusted our collections and added lower price points without compromising the quality of our designs. We created collections such as our G Boutique collection which is open and airy feeling with and without diamonds. This allowed for us to use less metal and resulted in pieces that are perfect for every day wear and are attainable as a self-purchase.
Q: What materials and techniques do you favor?
A: Using old world European craftsmanship of being handmade and we choose the very finest quality gem stones and precious metals, never using anything below platinum or 18k yellow, white and pink gold. Our diamonds come from their sister company in Antwerp, Belgium, and are conflict-free and ideal cut. We choose to use only the finest cut diamonds to ensure maximum brilliance. Our atelier is located in our office which allows us to have maximum control over each piece that is created, ensuring each design meets our high standards.
Q: How do you define luxury?
A: A possession that you consider to be a future heirloom because of its quality and craftsmanship. For instance, when you feel a Gumuchian piece you get the sense that the design is a piece of art. There was attention clearly given to the piece as if it is a sculpture that feels luxurious and is to be passed down for generations.
Q: How do you approach a new collection? Where do your ideas evolve from?
A: First we have a vision which leads to in-depth conversations about how to execute the concept. We then produce sketches and prototypes. The prototypes give us the chance to test the piece out for durability, look and feel. Our designs are inspired by our surroundings and travel.
Q: We know that you’re a big traveler yourself. What’s the most exotic destination you’ve been to in the past year?
A: Patricia recently made the trip to Ravenna Italy where the new mosaic collection draws its inspiration from. Myriam was captivated by the Buddhist temples from her recent travels to Laos, which also will result in a new collection.