I am excited to welcome my friend Renna Brown-Taher, founder and creative director of Renna Jewels. She is a master of arts and gemologist based in NYC who decided to take an entrepreneurial leap and start her own business. Now she is taking over the world with her jewelry, featuring pages of many popular fashion magazines.
She took us back to when she was nine and when the Renna Jewels collection started. She fell in love with one special kind of shell, Coffee Bean Shell, she used to gather at Laguna Bech, California, and treasure with her mother. When she graduated from Barkley, her mother presented her with a bracelet made of those shells. Wearing this bracelet she got many compliments of how great and unique it was, and that motivated her to start designing jewelry with seashell motives.
She shared what makes a jewel special and the biggest challenges in the first days of Renna Jewels. She didn’t know from the beginning that she wanted to be an entrepreneur. She just knew she wanted to be creative. So, figuring out business concerns was a step-by-step process for her. The moment when people from all over the world started buying the product was the most exciting one.
Renna shared with us that she doesn’t hire anyone for any job until she has done it herself first. She also talks about ethics and sustainability as core values of her brand. Gold recycling, transparency about stone origins and mines, human rights are some of the key topics when it comes to jewelry.
We discussed the subject of laboratory-grown stones, which are in most cases harmful to the environment. Still, there are some carbon-neutral labs.
Renna considers herself as her target audience and always tries to make something she can express with. She reflects on last year and the changes it brought both to her customer and her business. At the same time, she has big plans for this summer.
- Introduction (00:50)
- The genesis of Renna Jewels (03:36)
- How did you find what is unique about your jewellery? (06:27)
- Challenges of starting a business (08:09)
- What were you most excited about on this journey? (12:23)
- Ethics and sustainability in jewellery business (12:58)
- What is your opinion about stones grown in the laboratory? (18:53)
- Who do you design for? (20:05)
- Last year in your business (22:56)
- How did you use your time differently last year? (26:24)
- Looking ahead, what are you excited about? (28:50)
- The biggest influences on your life? (32:15)
- The most important learning from the corporate world? (35:24)
- If you could have coffee with anyone, who would that be? (36:12)
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