Gina Nam, the founder of AMYO Jewelry, grew up in a family (and extended family) of jewelers and mass manufacturers, so she started making jewelry at a young age.
Prior to starting AMYO, Gina worked in the mass-production fashion jewelry industry. She saw how price always outweighed quality and design. And she also saw how wasteful it was when jewelry would go out of trend. Her experiences sparked a desire to create a sustainable company and produce timeless pieces that would never go out of style – and thus, AMYO was born.
Our Interview with AMYO Founder, Gina Nam
Why are you passionate about AMYO?
I’ve always wanted to create jewelry that’s comfortable to wear every day, uses the best materials that are not harmful to the skin, and provides thoughtful solutions to setbacks when wearing certain types of jewelry. I genuinely believe in our brand and what it stands for, not only in our products but also with our mission to empower women.
What has been your biggest challenge in launching the company?
The biggest challenge has been having to plan and create a system for all aspects of the business. In the beginning, I wore a lot of different hats and worked on things I had no experience with. I had to push myself to go outside my comfort zone, keep a positive attitude, and try my best.
What is your design process for a new piece? How do you decide what makes it to production?
I have different processes depending on which type of piece I’m designing. The first thing that I do is to gather all of my inspiration. Then I go into choosing the materials and sketching out a drawing with accurate measurements. It’s essential to be specific and detailed with the specs.
All of our products go through an extensive testing phase, and we try it on different body types to see the fit. It’s really important to me that our customers feel comfortable and beautiful in our pieces.
You’re known for stunning layered necklaces, and you have a patent-pending clasp. For the entrepreneurs out there that might be looking to getting a patent – what advice would you offer them for the process?
There are two types of patents: design and utility(process) patents.
The utility patent is a longer process that can also be very costly. My biggest advice would be first to do an extensive patent search to make sure it’s not something that’s already patented. Then research the market demand and map out your long term goals to see if this is something you are willing to put a lot of time and effort into.
It’s never been a more challenging environment to operate a business in. What advice would you offer other business owners for how to navigate these next few months?
This pandemic is an unexpected and unfortunate time for a lot of businesses. Seek out government financial aid to lighten the burden of paying for monthly operational expenses. To generate revenue, think of creative ways to cater to your customers or audience during this “new normal.”
How do you practice self-care and balance your personal and professional life?
My schedule is always on-the-go, so every night is my time to unwind. I’ll call my friends and family or catch up on my favorite shows.
If you could go back and give yourself three pieces of advice when you first started AMYO – what would you tell yourself?
- Always be prepared and have a plan A, B & C. Whether it’s for a photoshoot, tradeshow, buyer meeting, or something else.
- Allocate your time wisely. Delegate work to your team to work more efficiently.
- Be open-minded to change. Have a willingness to learn new things and consider alternative approaches to problem-solving.
What single word, saying, or motivational quote do you identify most with?
“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder
What’s next for you and the brand?
COVID-19 has heavily impacted NYC and changed a lot of our daily operations. For the next couple of months, my priority will be to figure out a way to maintain our productivity while keeping our team safe.
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Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.
Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site FanBolt.com