Every Thursday during the pandemic, we’re checking in on members of the jewelry trade in an attempt to glean shareable tips and tricks for doing business—and reentering our “normal” lives, both professionally and personally—during the COVID-19 crisis.
Today we hear from Sylvie Levine, founder and designer of Sylvie Collection, a fine bridal jeweler based in Texas.
JCK: Where are you located, and who have you been spending quarantine with?
Sylvie Levine: My husband and I live in Dallas—we work together. I spent quality time with my husband and two sons after they returned from their respective homes during the pandemic outbreak. The time together as a full family is never enough. Despite the uncertainty that COVID caused in our life, business, and in our day-to-day routine, I was extremely grateful for the time we had together. We all worked from home, and the dynamic was like nothing we ever experienced as a family of four. We cooked together, played games, and enjoyed our respective company. We were lucky to not have any major health issues as a result of the pandemic and did our best to persevere together and manage through the uncertainty.
How has the pandemic impacted your business? Particularly from a bridal standpoint—are you seeing more or less engagements? And how has that changed since things started opening back up?
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the shift in living and working for our retailers and end consumers impacted our business (and I believe the broader jewelry industry) in a very positive way. It gave us an opportunity to work hard and exhibit our resilience to our retail partners by meeting demand and maintaining our level of service despite some extremely difficult logistical challenges. We never stopped manufacturing at any point during the pandemic. As a bridal-focused brand, we experienced a big increase in orders, particularly special orders and customizations. There is undoubtedly an increase in engagements as a result of the pandemic—I believe the pandemic has brought couples together.
Are there any changes you’ve made to your business that you intend to keep intact as we move forward?
We developed the Sylvie Style Bar prior to the pandemic, which brought an unprecedented level of customization and design accessibility to our customers before engaging with our retailer partners in-store. We are optimistic as we look ahead, and excited to improve upon our retail experience, product offering, and bridal footprint.
Over the last year, what sources have you looked to for design inspiration?
In the past year, my biggest inspiration came from the huge number of custom requests and modifications. This allowed me to stay focused on keeping a strong pulse on trends across the broader engagement ring industry and on what drives true customer satisfaction.
What are you looking forward to at JCK Las Vegas after having a year away? What’s in store at the Sylvie booth?
Following a year that truly tested our industry’s resiliency, I am eager to shake hands with our current and future partners. JCK is a key annual milestone to engage with stakeholders across our entire brand, including our retail partners—new and returning—industry friends, and our talented sales team. We will be sharing Sylvie Collection’s progress, growth, and exciting new opportunities to grow with our new and returning partners.
How has your lifestyle changed over the last year? Have you picked up any new hobbies or interests?
COVID has pushed me to work on finding a better balance between work and personal health/well-being. When you spend a lot of time at home, it requires a lot of discipline to separate work and personal/family life. I started practicing mindfulness meditation and am continuing learning and practicing daily.
What have been your sources for escaping recently?
My escape is a small place we have outside Dallas on a lake. It is what I call my happy place. I don’t watch much TV at all but love reading—it provides me with a real gateway to disconnect. My favorite books over the last year were Inheritance, The Henna Artist, The Third Daughter, and The Storyteller’s Secret!
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