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What It's Like to Be a Female CEO | Interview with a Jewelry Designer

By Erynn Murphy - Kent Place School

“If you have a dream, vision, and goal, you are the only person who can make it happen”

Melissa Lovy, an extremely talented jewelry designer offered some insight about what it is like to be a female CEO in the fashion and jewelry industry. Melissa Lovy started making jewelry ever since she was a teenager and decided to create her own business, allowing her to go forth in a career that she dreamed of ever since she was a young girl.

How did you decide you wanted to work as a jewelry designer?

Ever since I was a little girl, I had this affinity towards jewelry.  No matter what I put on, no outfit was ever complete without a necklace or a bracelet. There is something about the sparkle of a gem that makes a girl feel special. My earliest memories are of me rummaging through my mother’s jewelry box and just piling on all of her incredible jewels. I aimed to combine the strengths of my parents; my father’s business prowl and my mother’s design and creative sense.  My official start in jewelry began as a teenager when I created cufflinks for my father to wear to work.  Within days I was selling these cufflinks to friends and admirers of her work, I knew design was my future.

Describe a typical day as a CEO

Overseeing all different aspects of growing my brand, makes each day completely different.  Running from meeting with our design team to ensuring wholesale and retail ordering is on schedule, there is always someone or something that needs your attention. It is essential for me to have a handle on what is presently going on and how to efficiently and effectively run the brand.

Who supported you the most when you decided to become a jewelry designer? 

My husband was and is my main support system since deciding to start my company.  After years of working for other designers and really learning both the business and design sides of the industry I felt ready.  It was my husband who pushed me to take the plunge and create my business.  Part of being successful is listening to everyone but never internalizing negativity, you just cannot let people’s opinions effect you.

Did you ever doubt your ability to become a CEO?

My determination has always overpowered my doubt.  In the fashion industry you need to always be forging ahead, there is always someone looking to make it.  The more you question and doubt the more you leave room for others to take your place.

In business school, did you ever feel inferior to the men also attending the school?

I have been fortunate not to experience this challenge first hand. While the fashion industry does have more high powered positions for men than women, I see it slowly changing.  I myself am hoping to break the stereotype and show other women we can dream, work hard and succeed.

What advice would you give to a high school-age girl that hopes to start her own business?

Never take no for an answer.  If you have a dream, vision and goal you are the only person who can make it happen.  We are the key to our future, work hard and make your dream a reality. My life experiences have taught me to live fearlessly, passionately and unapologetically.

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