Forgive me if at any point I come across as arrogant, conceited or in love with myself. I am not yet at the point where I can afford a publicist to make me look good, and my staff (composed entirely of women) are in the process of learning English, so if I don’t talk myself up, nobody will.
Actually, my story is pretty cool so please bear with me for a minute…
My Dad was Guatemalan (Italian Family), my Mom American (of the eastern European persuasion), and the resulting mutt was part crazy mixed with creative genius and fearless entrepreneur.
I grew up in the jewelry industry thanks to my grandfather. You may have heard of him, but probably not. He discovered the Jade Mines in Guatemala and established the Jade industry there. An average day in my childhood was school, homework, making necklaces, and hitting up tourists for tips after showing them around our Jade Museum. Weekends were spent hiking the Sierra de las Minas in Zacapa prospecting for Jade. I kid you not.
I tried to dissasociate myself from the family business many times (when your grandfather is featured in National Geographic its kind of hard to try and live up to those expectations). Naturally, I had a deep need for attention thanks to my media hogging family, which led to the acting and modeling world. I briefly did the beauty pageant circuit (Miss Guatemala Latina 2011 and Miss America Central 2012 thankyouverymuch).
Parenthesis: I do have some substance and brains, though my beauty queen phase might point to the contrary. I graduated as a Founders Day Recipient in Marketing from NYU, as well as having a Business degree and speaking three languages. And I am dead serious when I say: I find calculus to be fun.
Eventually, I had to accept that I loved jewelry and was passionate about aesthetics and design. Combined with a naive belief that I can make a difference in this world, and a conviction that women are the key to that change, I started my own jewelry line with about $500. I am happy to report we have come a long way since then, though we still have a long way to go.
Originally called Andrea Novella, I got sick of hearing my own name and became decidedly less narcissistic the more I started helping others, so we re-christened it Gemma Jade. In addition to making affordable, high quality pieces in precious metal and gemstones (especially Jadeite), we provide marginalized women with education, employment, and plenty of other nice things like benefits and the like. Our designs are all limited edition but generally ring in at the affordable $150-$500 range.
In an industry where branding makes or breaks you, and cash is king, we are definitely the underdog. If I had a dollar for every time somebody told me how hard it was to have your own jewelry line… Well, you know. I would probably be taking out a full page spread in Vogue instead of using self deprecating humor to try and win your heart.
All joking aside: I appreciate the love in every way possible.
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I hope my candid and genuine bio has piqued your interest and that I someday hear back from you. At the very least, I hope I at least was able get a smile out of you.