…Remind every woman of their inner strength while promoting resilience and positivity. It’s what our brand stands for. We hope to spread this message and inspire through sharing other women’s stories.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing designer Freida Rothman.
Established in 2010, Freida Rothman is a premier Brooklyn-based jewelry brand sold nationally in over 400 leading departments and independent jewelry stores. At the helm of her eponymous brand, designer Freida Rothman has established a lifestyle brand of modern classics with a contemporary edge. She is recognized for her layered necklaces, bracelets and stacked ring sets. Freida’s jewelry appears on the runway at New York Fashion Week and is a popular choice for TV anchorwomen and celebrities. The FREIDA ROTHMAN brand launched its eyewear collection in 2016 and introduced its leather goods collection in Spring 2018.
Thank you for joining us Freida. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
As a 2nd generation jeweler, with my father being in the business for over 40 years, I’ve learned a lot from him through the years. I started my career designing a private label for other brands when I noticed there was a white space in the industry for appropriately priced, intricately designed sterling silver jewelry. That led me to launch my brand in 2013. As my grandparents were always a source of inspiration for me, it was important for me to keep their legacy alive through my brand. As Holocaust survivors who rebuilt their lives in Brooklyn and found beauty in everything, that was the focus of my design inspiration.
Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
My grandmothers were always an inspiration to me and were mentors in my life. Both grandmothers were Holocaust survivors -my maternal grandmother, Gita Fisher was liberated from Auschwitz and my paternal grandmother, Baila Nussen from Bergen-Belsen. Both taught me to find beauty in everything and stay optimistic in every situation. After all, they had gone through and overcame, they continued to live their lives and build their families; showing us what the meaning of strength really was. This stuck with me throughout my life and is what my brand stands for.
Can you please share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey?
- Consistency: Keep doing what you’re doing. Building a brand is about momentum.
- Learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable and even critical in growth, but it’s how you overcome and how you implement solutions.
- Keep moving forward. Don’t get stuck on yesterday, instead focus on what’s next.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
As a brand, we stay away from following trends, both in design and brand initiatives. I design every collection with the intention of being unique. My inspiration comes from finding beauty in the most unexpected places in Brooklyn. Taking grit to glam — the grittier the better!
Additionally, while most brands are focusing on the younger generations and trying to find ways to stay current by following “what’s cool”, I believe women of every age can be role models and trailblazers. It’s not just about appealing to young generations of women. I want to remind every generation of women to find their inner beauty, to focus on their achievements, to find their voice and their own strength to celebrate what it means to be a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a mother or a grandmother — every generation has something to offer to the next. We stand strong together!
Most recently we hosted an event for 40+ female Holocaust survivors, in an effort to keep their stories alive and celebrate their strength. In 2020 we are continuing this campaign and are giving back to organizations that help survivors. This isn’t the trend within the fashion industry.
How are you going to shake things up next?
We are launching a very special campaign celebrating women of strength. I was inspired by my grandmothers and wanted to highlight other women who have overcome and persevered through life’s obstacles while remaining positive, whether it was a specific event or in their everyday lives. There is more to come on that campaign, which is launching in March.
Is there a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story?
Gary Vee, for sure, as I appreciate his common-sense way of thinking. He once posted a quote on social media saying, “Just do it”. That really resonated with me and pushed me to launch my handbag collection!
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Remind every woman of their inner strength while promoting resilience and positivity. It’s what our brand stands for. We hope to spread this message and inspire while sharing other women’s stories.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? How is it relevant to you in your life?
“This too shall pass.” This related to every aspect of my life as an entrepreneur, mother, etc. Just keep moving forward, it will all work out.
How can readers follow you on social media?