Suzanne Sachs is the owner of Vintage Diamond Ring, a family-owned, second-generation vintage jewelry and diamond business. Begun more than 30 years ago with diamond education, buying, and trading experience, her business is located in the heart of the New York City diamond district on 47th Street.
They are members of the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT), Green America, a non-profit organization promoting ethical consumerism, and an A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau of NYC.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Suzanne Sachs: Sure. I grew up in South Orange, NJ with two wonderful, hard-working parents and two protective big brothers. My parents were strong role models and I knew that whatever I did when I grew up, it would involve hard work and commitment.
After graduating college I eventually moved to NYC and worked for Sony Music where I was an Associate Director of Licensing.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Suzanne Sachs: I think it is a combination of both. My husband always had that entrepreneurial spirit. He is a wholesale diamond and antique jewelry dealer, and I worked for Sony music.
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. His NYC office kept him busy though, and so it happened.
I recognized 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.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Suzanne Sachs: Being an entrepreneur to me is like being a student, I’m always learning and things are changing so fast.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Suzanne Sachs: At Vintage Diamond Ring we have a beautiful collection of vintage engagement rings and antique jewelry. As for changing, we are currently in the middle of a movement where the importance of sustainability and global warming is essential.
I think this is a huge challenge for businesses, and society today, going forward within the next decade and beyond. 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.
I believe we have done an incredible job in offering ethical and conflict-free engagement rings that any person can feel good about wearing.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Suzanne Sachs: You may have a fantastic idea but it doesn’t mean that it will translate to a successful business. In actuality, a large percentage of small businesses will fail within the first couple of years.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Suzanne Sachs: Of course, 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.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain.
Suzanne Sachs: Know your market. If you don’t really know who you are catering to, you will fail. Any business can have a logo and a product, but when a consumer can turn to a company and know their purchases say something about who they are and what matters to them, it falls into a different category.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Suzanne Sachs: I think any type of advice from an entrepreneur is helpful, it might not be right for me or my business but I can always learn from it.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Suzanne Sachs: Covid 19 has shown the business world how powerful online shopping is, and that it is clearly the future. Couples today are more socially conscious and aware of sustainability, environmental impact, and natural alternatives than ever before. many couples are concerned with choosing an eco-friendly engagement ring/product that will show their commitment to the planet even as they make their commitment to each other.
What hasn’t changed is that It is no surprise that many couples are concerned with choosing an eco-friendly engagement ring that will show their commitment to the planet even as they make their commitment to each other.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Suzanne Sachs: People always think that opening a business is easy. You have to work hard every day. You will get knocked down. A lot! But you have to keep moving, and keep evolving. You will make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and never quit! If you truly believe in your product, or business, don’t ever give up.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Suzanne Sachs: The most important quality, is to have tenacity and, quite simply, “never quit”. Stay with it. You will make mistakes, but it’s not the mistakes you make that is important necessarily but how you recover from them.
Be true to yourself and your brand, and really believe in what you are trying to accomplish. People will know if you are feigning authenticity. Consumers tend to stand behind someone who they believe stands behind their product.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Suzanne Sachs: I love Mika Brzezinski and the “Know your Value” website which is an online community helping women to grow their careers and to reach their full potential.
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Suzanne Sachs: A doctor or scientist, I would love to eradicate cancer.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Suzanne Sachs: That’s easy, i would add my mother-in-law. She was a Holocaust survivor and she would represent all the people who survived concentration camps.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Suzanne Sachs for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Suzanne Sachs or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.