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Suzanne Sachs of VintageDiamondRing: “Women are strong, stronger than we realize”

Women are strong, stronger than we realize. We are independent thinkers, creative, and nurturing. All valuable qualities that are essential in running a business. We have these qualities inherently. More women should utilize them to their advantage. As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of […]

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Women are strong, stronger than we realize. We are independent thinkers, creative, and nurturing. All valuable qualities that are essential in running a business. We have these qualities inherently. More women should utilize them to their advantage.


As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Suzanne Sachs of VintageDiamondRing.com.

Suzanne worked at Sony Music in NYC as a Director of Licensing for eleven years but always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a plan to lead to her own company. Her husband is a wholesale diamond and antique jewelry dealer. When they became engaged in 2004, Stuart mentioned starting an online antique engagement ring website, a move he saw as critical to staying relevant in the field. His NYC office kept him busy though, and so it happened. Suzanne recognized this was the ideal time to launch her own business. She could take the knowledge she acquired from the corporate world and integrate it into a new business on the world wide web.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Sure. I worked at Sony Music in NYC as a Director of Licensing for eleven years but I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to lead my own company. My husband is a wholesale diamond and antique jewelry dealer. When we became engaged in 2004, he mentioned starting an online antique engagement ring website, a move he saw as critical to staying relevant in the field. I saw this was the ideal time to launch my own business. I knew I could take the knowledge I had acquired from the corporate world and integrate it into a new business on the world wide web.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

While I was working at my first job, Prudential Securities my good friend was working at Sony Music. One day at lunch she mentioned a job opening there. Even though I really had no aspirations of working in the music industry, I thought why not interview and see what it was about. Little did I know, I would be there for the next 11 years of my life.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I don’t know if it’s “funny,” per se, but I really thought that starting an online jewelry business would be easy! Little did I know how many moving parts there would be, how much time the business would consume and how much innovation it would require. The internet is ever-changing. Can you imagine the daily transformations that have gone on from 15 years ago until today!?

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I would say my husband’s cousin Deborah Mellen who was one of the first women antique dealers in NYC. Deborah understood the beauty, and demand, for antique jewelry and especially vintage engagement rings. She showed my husband how antique jewelry really are pieces of art.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The single most impactful story I’ve ever heard was never told in a book, or on screen though it is dramatic enough to have been a bestseller. My mother-in-law and her sisters were prisoners at the Auschwitz death camp during the Holocaust. She spotted one sister in line for the gas chambers and devised a plan, risking her own life to save her sister. Nothing can really have an impact on you, quite like hearing those horrific stories firsthand. When I heard my husband’s mother and his aunts’ accounts of what they had endured as young teenage girls, I knew I could not I give up on my own plans and dreams if I became frustrated. I had no right to. I had this opportunity to grow my own business.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

This is easy. My husband’s uncle, Ben Mellen, was a prominent diamond dealer in NYC. Unfortunately, he passed a few years back but the lessons he taught my husband, who in turn taught me , are unforgettable. His uncle used to say, “If you can’t go through the front door, go through the side door. If you can’t go through the side door, go through the back door. If you can’t go through the back door, climb through the window.” Never quit

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

By selling vintage engagement rings that are sustainable. These rings make people feel good about wearing them because you are taking care of the environment while appreciating the history behind each one.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?

I really think the only reason could be fear. Fear of failing. It takes a lot of chutzpah to go out on your own, with no one to catch you if you fall.

Can you share with our readers what you are doing to help empower women to become founders? This might be intuitive to you but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?

Women are strong, stronger than we realize. We are independent thinkers, creative, and nurturing. All valuable qualities that are essential in running a business. We have these qualities inherently. More women should utilize them to their advantage.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you please share 5 things that can be done or should be done to help empower more women to become founders? If you can, please share an example or story for each.

1) I think children should be taught at a young age to strive for anything they set their minds to. I am lucky because my parents taught me to work hard and I could accomplish anything.

2) I definitely feel that the government should get more involved in helping women get started financially with their companies.

3) Encourage women to take risks. I left the comfort of my job at Sony Music and jumped into my business. Look at how many startups have done well. Don’t be afraid to fail. The rewards outweigh the risks.

4) Put more women in leadership roles. We are decision makers, leaders, and quite resourceful. Corporations need to put more women in responsible roles, and finally dispel any myths of gender inequality.

5) Train more women in business! States, and counties, can Invest in women’s development, and offer programs in entrepreneur-ships.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

There is nothing more important to us than taking care of the environment. That is why we sell vintage engagement rings. Choosing vintage jewelry is the ultimate in “recycling”. Because vintage jewelry pieces do not need to be remade, no additional resources are required for them to be enjoyed again. Even if the stones are remounted into new pieces, it is still recycling and reusing at its core.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I would have to say Oprah! I’ve always admired her since her talk show, what she came from and how she persevered. She is philanthropic, smart, and an overachiever. And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the fact she wears fabulous jewelry!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

https://www.instagram.com/vintagediamondring_/
https://www.facebook.com/VDRings

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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