“if you have the interest and natural ability to create jewelry, you could work with different materials for making different designs,” says the Phillips fine jewelry founder.
“A blessing and a curse” is how Phillips Fine Jewelry founder Len Medina describes running her brand amid the pandemic.
On the downside, the California-based company, like many other non-essential businesses, suffered through decreased sales. However, it was an opportunity for the entrepreneur to explore digital platforms to shape her brand’s identity and build global client relationships.
“This has been a year for the history books. We’ve all learned a lot about ourselves, human nature, and how a virus that never existed before can upend the very fabric of society,” Medina muses.
Through experiencing the peaks and troughs of the jewelry industry, she remains grateful to her loyal customers and technology for keeping her brand resilient.
Ability to create
Phillips Fine Jewelry, formerly named True Gold Inc, was launched in the United States in 1995. Medina says she was primarily self-taught at the time.
“I truly believe that if you have the interest and natural ability to create jewelry, you could work with different materials for making different designs,” she says.
Armed with a passion for precious materials, the designer also dabbled in selling Thailand-sourced gold in the Philippines five years before launching her jewelry business.
Unfortunately, the global recession in the nineties damped consumers’ interest in luxury goods, but the demand reappeared “more voracious than ever.” The turn of events inspired Medina, who took classes at the Gemological Institute of America, to create unique pieces that stand out from competitors.
The brand boasts a range of opulent jewelry creations, including a ring that’s made from one-carat diamonds adhered together and a two-carat princess-cut diamond hanging from a delicate link chain.
For more personalized items, Phillips Fine Jewelry offers “initial pendants,” where you can select a letter made of gold to adorn yourself.
“It may sound cliché, but smart clients are always after a unique piece or item. Jewelry players can’t simply do business as usual and expect to thrive,” Medina explains. [Jewelry brands] must be alert and responsive to important trends and developments or else risk being left behind by more agile competitors.”
With her beliefs on running a brand in a competitive industry, Medina’s proud to share that all her personal and customs designs sold even during the pandemic. At the same time, her client base and their interest in higher-end items increased.
On how she sees the jewelry market in the coming year, Medina expects a “highly dynamic, truly globalized, and intensely competitive” environment. For her plans to tackle a more diversified jewelry industry, Phillip’s Fine Jewelry will improve its online presence and “launch more unique designs.”
Medina seeks to tap a new emerging target market of young people who “turn to jewelry as means of self-expression and self-realization.”
More than a business owner, Medina is also a wife and the mother of Phillip and Carl, her two sons. In addition, her work hours bleed through most hours of the day as she works with clients from international time zones.
With such responsibilities, she admits that for her, there’s no such thing as a “typical day.” However, she starts work at 8 A.M. and prioritizes urgent parts of her to-do list. “Also, since I love what I do, I do not consider it as work,” Medina says.
This story originally came out in the December 2021-January 2022 issue of Lifestyle Asia.