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 living as well as possible—during the COVID-19 crisis.
Today we hear from fine jewelry designer Sarah Hendler, whose collection is full of sophisticated forms and vivid color, via colored gems and enamel.
JCK: Hi, Sarah! Where are you based?
Sarah Hendler: I’ve been based in L.A. for the last 21 years, but I was born and raised on Long Island.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your life?
How has it not changed my life?! Round one: I have two elementary school–age boys, so without a doubt being a mom was the hardest part of the last year. Round two: My husband is a chef and in the restaurant business, so watching him navigate the closure of his businesses overnight and transitioning to takeout where possible was intense. Round three: My own business, which I pivoted the best I could to continue manufacturing in L.A. and selling mainly through my website.
It’s a tumultuous time—what issues are occupying your thoughts right now?
I’m constantly thinking about the people who are still suffering from this pandemic. The physical and economic loss so many have endured. Hopefully, the continuing need for creativity from artists around the world will [result in something] extraordinary.
Have there been any silver linings for you during COVID-19?
Yes. Spending insane amounts of time with my family. Having my husband home and cooking almost every night. I did not complain. I do the dishes! We took many road trips on the West Coast and immersed ourselves in nature.
What kinds of looks and styles are your shoppers drawn to right now?
My rings have a special place in my clients’ hearts. My new Crossroads ring I’m developing into a full collection.
How has the pandemic changed how you’ll be moving forward in your business?
The website became my lifeline. I was so happy we decided to really develop it in early 2019. I will continue to offer all my pieces online, with select exclusives on the site so I can also fully support my retailers with new product.
What are your priorities right now as a small brand?
Keeping the website fresh and up-to-date. I do all my own social media. It can be a real time suck but I feel passionate about being the one who creates the images and content behind my name.
What have you learned about your customers this past year?
My customers are smart, supportive, and know the value of a small brand like mine. Also, customer service is key. Always.
What have you been doing to relax and have fun during this time?
We were fortunate to be able to jump in our car and travel up to Northern California a bunch throughout this time. Our biggest trip was driving to Seattle and then hoping on a ferry to the San Juan Islands. This was only possible because of the time we had to drive and explore. I’m grateful for it!
Have any book/podcast/TV/movie recommendations?
I try to listen to The Daily podcast from The New York Times every day. I think it’s kept me informed on a myriad of topics this year.
Top: Sarah Hendler in Sarah Hendler collection earrings (all photos courtesy of Sarah Hendler)
Follow Emili Vesilind on Instagram: @emilivesilind