I feel like the woman featured here today really needs no introduction, but I’m going to give her one anyway. Now, I don’t want to send you away from this page, but if I were to ask you to pull up one of your favorite jewelry accounts on Instagram, odds are, it would be Stephanie Gottlieb. The New York City–based jeweler has a knack for constructing the most likable photos and has well over 250,000 followers to show for it.
Sure, the jewelry helps—a recent photo featuring more than 100 carats of diamonds (66 of them between two blinding rings)—is a compelling example of the serious goods the jeweler gets to work with. But it’s also the way Gottlieb shares the jewelry: accompanied by colorful, rainbow-themed clothing, covetable accessories, scenic views (of New York, but also some pretty hot vacation spots), and—my personal favorite—food.
But in between running a rad Instagram account, traveling to cool places, and being a new mom (something I Insta-bonded with Gottlieb over, though she doesn’t know it—hi, fellow mama!), Gottlieb runs Stephanie Gottlieb, the business.
Establishing both her fine jewelry collection and bridal concierge service in 2013, Gottlieb’s hands-on work with clients in the market for a new engagement ring (and other fine jewelry as well) seeks to educate and enlighten them, too. Along with her own fine jewelry line, Gottlieb’s shop also boasts a list of beloved designers, from Jane Taylor to Shay to Zoë Chicco and a whole lot more (all of which you can see here).
If I wasn’t already coveting most of the jewelry available to purchase via her website, I’d be led to do so after scrolling through her Instagram feed. So, if you’re a retailer looking to up your game, this would be the time to take notes on inspiration, strategy, and more.
JCK: First, tell me a little bit about your retail business. How did you get into the industry, and when did you establish Stephanie Gottlieb Fine Jewelry?
Stephanie Gottlieb: I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009 and had no idea what I wanted to do, so I took a summer internship at a diamond company (I was connected by a family friend). What was supposed to be two months there turned into five years! I loved the world of diamonds and learned so much about the ins and outs of the wholesale side of manufacturing, designing, and marketing finished jewelry. After five years with that company, and a few months after I got married in 2013, I started to have the itch to try something new. I felt like everywhere I turned within the industry was a lateral move—you either work for a company or you run it. So I decided to leave my job and start my own thing! I intended to be a one-woman show, taking private appointments in person and working with word-of-mouth referrals. After six years, my company is in a very different place than I ever could have imagined—we now have a (growing) team of seven people!
Your Instagram is a mecca for jewelry lovers and readily referred to as a favorite jewelry account by many. When did you start Instagramming, and how long did it take you to begin to attract followers?
I started with my Instagram when I was finishing up at my last job—I would post pictures here and there of my favorite pieces, projects we were working on, and events we attended. I am a huge fan of photography, and curating the photos quickly became a passion of mine. I definitely grew slowly at first, but once I got into a groove and found my voice, the following picked up. I would say it took a solid two years to get into that groove.
In terms of priorities as a business owner, where does social media fall? Do you have any help or do you run your accounts exclusively?
Honestly, social media is right at the top of my priorities. My entire business was built on Instagram, and it has been a very powerful tool for me. I run the account myself and have hired assistance to help with our @dailydosebysg account, which is more focused on the fashion jewelry collections that we sell. I always look to my team, my husband, and friends for input and constructive criticism, but the photo curation is really my baby and my passion!
Really great jewelry speaks for itself, but what makes your account so special is the way you curate and style it. What inspires you?
I love being able to combine my passion for fashion, travel, and jewelry, and elevate a photo to portray an experience. The pieces really come to life when they’re shown layered and stacked against a backdrop of beautiful clothing or scenery and curated in a way that encourages the follower to aspire to achieve the same!
Have you ever monetized/considered monetizing any of your posts?
I’ve only recently delved into this world of monetizing my posts. Because I’m a business page and not a blogger, it feels most authentic to me to post about my jewelry, pieces we design and sell, and products that I personally use and can stand behind. But as my following grows, there is a certain power in the “influence” that gets tied to that following. I’ve recently partnered with Glo Skin Beauty, which was a very organic partnership because the products are amazing, and they use diamond dust in some of them. We’re also partnering with Alice & Olivia on their new “everything but the (wedding) dress” collection. I’m a huge fan of the collection, and it made sense since our bridal customers are inevitably looking for the clothing to wear throughout their wedding process. For me, these partnerships have to feel organic and authentic, otherwise it waters down everything I’ve built the brand upon.
Everyone has a different definition of success when it comes to social media. What is yours?
For me it’s an organically grown following and an interactive community. Of course, we can also calculate the metrics of traffic driven to my website from Instagram, and the numbers are pretty staggering. More than 90 percent of my web traffic is driven from Instagram, so we’re doing something right!
First site you check in the morning?
Instagram and Gmail.
I’ve asked a lot of questions about Instagram, but do you find other social media platforms to be vital to your business?
We are exploring Facebook and Pinterest but haven’t spent quite the same amount of effort on either.
What do you think the next big thing is in social media?
Videos are continuously more important, and I think the interactive nature of the live stories, and the ability to communicate through social media, is huge.
What are your five favorite Instagram accounts to follow (these can be jewelry or other)?
Social media pet peeve?
People who post too many stories back to back.
A social media mantra to leave us with?
Keep it classy.