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When REVOLT was making the decision of who to trust with the creation of some custom REVOLT pieces — including one for Diddy himself — it was clear Aryeh of Aryeh & Co. was the right man for the job. The New York City-located businessman wasted no time in taking an idea and bringing it to life, resulting in one of his most meaningful collaborations along the way.
It’s no secret the jewelry industry is known for its nepotism, oftentimes relying on strong family business ties to keep their shops going. However, for Aryeh, the journey was quite the opposite. After putting in years of learning the ins and outs of the industry, and building relationships on his own, he took a leap of faith to start his own company, and proved to himself that all those years forming a strong foundation were worth it.
Fast forward to now, the opportunity to work with REVOLT means more to him than just creating more high-quality, diamond encrusted pieces. It’s a symbolic reflection of the work ethic Aryeh sees in both his own company as well as REVOLT. “The hard work, hustle, and grind mentality is just built into the company and culture,” he told us in our exclusive chat. “I love what I do and wanted to express it, so I was happy to work with like-minded companies that stand for the same values.”
Being a jeweler has allowed Aryeh and his employees to take an instrumental part behind many special moments in their customers’ lives. From engagements to other life milestones, Aryeh & Co. prides itself on taking a concept and making it a reality, which is the most fulfilling part of the job.
We caught up with the businessman to discuss the level of detail that went into creating the REVOLT pendants, how he got Aryeh & Co. off the ground, the best moments that come with his profession, and much more. Check out our conversation below!
You did an amazing job on the REVOLT custom pieces. Could you walk me through the process of how they came to life?
When I first spoke with Dunnie [West], we wanted to make something meaningful and we wanted something that represents the company in a great light. I sent the images to my designer and it goes on his computer screen for us to work out all the dimensions, diamond sizes, and all that. He then draws it up on the computer and, in the meantime, we’re sorting out all the diamonds because different diamonds are required in different spots and they all have to match. When the designer sends over the pictures and we approve them, then a wax model of the pendant is printed just to see it in person and how it sits on the neck.
Once that’s approved, we send it to the casting department and it’ll be melted and casted into a setting. It goes to get pre-polished and then goes to the setting department. They work as efficiently as they can to set all the stones and I think it averages around 200 stones per piece, and we made four of them. After it’s all polished and done, we work on finding the right chain. The diamonds themselves make the chain pop, so we went with a more subtle chain to provide a sleeker look. We make designer jewelry so it didn’t have to be too flashy but more elegant.
How did you get into the profession of being a jeweler and owning your own successful company?
In the jewelry industry — or at least within New York — there’s this perception that is pretty accurate where people get into the business through their family. I actually didn’t have any family in the industry. When I got into the industry, I was actually attending school at Queens College and I’ve always had a go-getter mentality. If there was a company I wanted to work for or something I wanted to try, I’d always try to build relationships and make that opportunity.
At age 19, I had a mentor who started showing me the ropes. The salary wasn’t even a salary. It was probably like $100 or $200 a week. It was pretty much a full-time role and not even an internship. I had rent to pay, I was in school full-time, and I had a lot going on, but I thought it was worthwhile. Two years in, I didn’t really see growth. We were doing manufacturing for retail stores and I felt like I hit a ceiling. I made relationships with diamond dealers, wholesalers, and jewelers. I decided to go out on my own with the relationships I had.
You really just did it brick by brick and didn’t skip any steps.
It’s hard to believe out of all the industries because this one has so many family-owned businesses. For me, it was just kind of paving my own path, having faith in myself, and loving what I do. I didn’t have any start-up money or anything like that. It was really just hustle and I started promoting on Instagram, which got me a lot of referral clients. The company just started growing.
What are some of the pieces that you’re most proud of and why?
We do a lot of iced-out jewelry for artists and also a lot of custom engagement rings, so we make plenty of beautiful pieces and it’s tough to pick. Definitely this REVOLT project is one because of the meaning behind it and with me being a fan of the company. The hard work, hustle, and grind mentality is just built into the company and culture. I’m excited to do this job because of that. I love what I do and wanted to express it, so I was happy to work with like-minded companies that stand for the same values. This was definitely one of our biggest projects that I’m proud of.
Who were the pieces for specifically?
Diddy, Prince JDC, Noreaga, to name a few. I’ve been a fan of hip hop, of course, more so the older stuff. The work Diddy has done shows he has his hand in everything. He’s inspirational to a lot of people. A lot of people want to work hard and a lot of people want to say they’re hustlers, but he’s clearly someone who always has been one. It’s great to be able to do this for REVOLT.
What would you say is the most fulfilling part of your profession?
Aside from the ability to provide a luxury real customer service experience for every client that walks in the door, it’s actually being able to see the pieces coming to life. A lot of times we’ll get pictures for a design and it may not seem practical at the time or it seems like something that we haven’t done before. But, since we’re using high-quality stones and diamonds, they always come out beautifully. That’s always fulfilling to see. It’s art in a way because someone is sending us an idea and we bring it to life. We couple that with a five-star experience for the customer the whole way through.
A lot of times, they’re ordering pieces for a very special event or even the biggest moments in their life. It’s nice to see when someone’s proposing, they’re sending us the video of the proposal. The whole process is fulfilling.
What is the best advice you can give to anyone who is looking to make their first big custom jewelry purchase? What should they keep in mind?
First, if you’re doing it with us, you’re making a very wise decision. Second, if you’re doing a custom piece, you have the ability to make it come out perfect. Remember you want it to come out how you had it in mind. Don’t feel restrained in any way because that’s the point of getting a custom piece. You’re not buying something that has been sitting on a shelf for who knows how many years. It’s hot off the press, for you, exactly how you wanted it.
Also, don’t be nervous. A lot of times when people are shopping for jewelry, it can be a nerve wracking experience. You’re spending a lot of money or you might be pressured into buying something or you get buyer’s remorse or you don’t know if they’re going to like it. So, just make it something from your heart so it will resonate with you or your loved one, and trust the team. Have fun with it too and be creative.