Business Name and what it does:
Windsor Diamonds is a luxury jewelry designer and retailer. Every single creation of ours is handcrafted by skilled artisans in small-scale workshops. We don’t mass produce anything. That attention to detail and quality craftsmanship puts our pieces in the highest echelon of jewelry. Further, we only use solid gold, and natural diamonds or gemstones to ensure that your piece will always look stunning and hold its value. Since we work directly with manufacturers, we can cut down our costs. When you buy from Windsor, you’re getting Tiffany or Cartier quality jewelry for a fraction of their price.
Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business:
I have always been a creative person but didn’t know what to do with that talent. Over the COVID pandemic, I realized that I had an interest in real estate. The design, construction, and management of these buildings were all fascinating to me. I was so adamant about becoming a real estate developer that I interrogated billionaire real estate developers, like Stephen Ross and Ben Ashkenazy about their careers. Then, in 8th-grade business class, we had a project where we had to determine the start-up costs of a business we like. I chose Vista Development, the name of my imaginary real estate development company, and then was shocked when I realized that it would take tens, if not hundreds, of millions to launch my company. It was a bit of a slap in the face; this company which I so desperately wanted to create now seemed impossible. For the end-of-year project in that same class, I had to write an executive summary for a business. The teacher was going to show them to a friend of hers who was an entrepreneur and they would choose the best. At first, I had no idea what to do besides real estate. Then I thought about all the things I enjoy doing. At 12, I started investing in diamonds, and I realized that I genuinely had a love for jewelry. I decided to do the project on a jewelry company because it was much, much more realistic than doing it on a real estate company. On the spot, I came up with the name, Windsor Diamonds, and everything else just sort of fell into place. A lot of the things that I created for that project, like the slogan, logo, designs, etc., I still use for my brand to this day. I submitted it and my teacher absolutely loved it. I won the project and she said that it was one of the best business ideas she’s ever seen, and her friend agreed with her. That meant a ton to me because before this, all these crazy business ideas I had were just that; ideas. Now that a business teacher and business owner both loved my idea, I realized that maybe those ideas aren’t so crazy and they could become real businesses. She convinced me to turn my ideas into reality, and that’s just what I did. I spent the next three or four months building this business from scratch. Keep in mind that I was 15 when I did all of this, so I had no experience in web design, finding a manufacturer, or really anything business-related. At first, I tried to hire out work, like web design and SEO. I gave all the people very specific instructions about how I wanted things to be, but they all managed to mess it up. Very quickly I learned that if you want to get something done right, you have to do it yourself. I think that was honestly a blessing in disguise. It may have been a massive undertaking for me, but in the end, I was able to create a brand that was exactly what I wanted and gained valuable experience. I’m extremely detail-oriented, so it took forever to get my company up and running, but I genuinely loved the entire experience and wouldn’t have changed a thing.
The challenges the business/market is facing:
The biggest issue we luxury brands are facing is competition from cheaper brands. There have always and will always be customers who will only buy high-quality jewelry, but there has been a trend towards buying cheaper jewelry now. I think that a lot of the older generations see jewelry as a rare treat, something that should be cherished, and as an investment. Younger generations, especially Gen Z, are so used to instant gratification and living in a very disposable world. They have no issue buying gold-plated jewelry with fake diamonds because the quality or the experience of buying it isn’t what matters to them, all they care about is looks. The growth of the low-end jewelry industry hasn’t put any of us out of business, but it has made it harder for us to acquire younger customers.
The opportunities the business/market is facing:
I think that one of the biggest opportunities for the jewelry industry is the normalization of guys wearing jewelry. Guys definitely are not the biggest demographic, but the jewelry industry has recently seen an increase in the number of guys wearing jewelry. A lot of that is because younger generations have been destigmatizing guys who wear jewelry. Although Gen Z has shown more interest in cheaper jewelry, the new male Gen Z customers offset some of those lost customers.
Advice to others about business
My biggest advice is to do something you’re passionate about. If you go into fields like finance, or real estate, just because you know it pays well, you won’t be happy. Too often people go into fields purely for money, and then they’re stuck at a job they don’t like. It may take a bit of brainstorming, but eventually, you’ll be able to figure out how to make money by doing something that you love. Besides creating a company that you’re passionate about, you also need to treat it like it’s your child. I spent an incomprehensible amount of time creating my company. Every single detail was checked over three times. I didn’t want any little website glitches, spelling errors, or anything else like that. Since I treated this company like my child, I think that level of attention to detail has been one of the key factors in its success.
What do you see in your near future?
In two and a half years I’m going to graduate high school and then go to NYU for college. It’s close enough to home so that I can still see my parents whenever I want. At the same time, I get to experience independence on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I love NYC, but I don’t want to spend my entire life here. If I do well living on my own at NYU, then I would love to move to Hong Kong for college. I think I will major in business but may switch depending on how much I like it.
What about the distant future?
My plan is to use Windsor as a stepping stone. Once I’m ready to move on, which I think will be soon, I want to test out the mining industry. It’s one of the few industries that will only become more profitable in the future, and won’t be going anywhere soon. I’ve been eyeing a few gold mines in the West, but I’m not decided on what or where I want to be mining. After I build up my mining business, I think I’ll turn to real estate. I want to be able to finally create my childhood dream company, Vista Development. By this time, I should hopefully have enough to start buying out pieces of companies. Things start to get fuzzy at this point, but I know that I want to own a conglomerate. This is all up in the air right now, but it is my most realistic route.
What do you wish you could have done differently?
I don’t think I would have done anything differently, except for treating my first customer better. Three days after I launched, I got my first order which I totally wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t have my manufacturing in place yet, so she had to wait about a month just for her piece to be created, then it was another month before I figured out my packaging and shipped it out to her. Rightfully, she was extremely mad. I wish that I did everything in my power to make her as happy as possible because she was my first customer, which marked a big milestone for me.
What has been your most significant failure, and what did you learn from it?
My biggest failure so far has been my endeavor in crypto. I saw how incredibly successful bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, and other coins were. I decided to get in on all the action so I created a crypto of my own, Tellurium. I figured that within like a week of launching it that I would be rolling in millions. I made money from transactions with Tellurium, so right after I launched, I was just focused on getting as many people as possible to use my coin. I went onto every single crypto subreddit and promoted my coin… all to get no likes. While on Reddit, I saw the sheer amount of people who were trying to do the same as me and realized that it was a total failure. I learned that you should never do something just for the money. Like I mentioned earlier, if you’re not passionate about something, it’s going to fail, and that was so true in that instance. I never cared about crypto, I just did it because I saw the potential to make a ton of money, and it failed
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