When I was in high school, I spent countless hours exploring NYC by myself. I’d visit my grandmother in NJ and would take the bus into the city everyday. I felt like I covered every square inch of Manhattan.
I found every bead & trimming store and would create designs in my mind. I’d corner the store owners and peg them with non-stop questions about starting a business and the “ins & outs” of NYC. For me, this was my business school. The school of hustling and “literally” pounding the pavement.
I miss NYC. I miss my friends that have become family. We have celebrated successes together and have comforted one another in struggles.
The people in these photos are my friends and have grown with me for over a decade. I talk with each of them on a daily basis about stones, jewelry designs, trends, family, taxes, shipping, retail/online, and the ups and downs.
We have been on our hands and knees on the floors of dusty warehouses together trying to find stones that would be perfect for a design I made up in my head, they have cheered Bryan and I on in the NY marathon, they have shared their homemade pork rolls and green tea when I was 7 months pregnant and just got off a flight, they text me photos of their children.
This virus has taken a toll on everyone. I love supporting their businesses and couldn’t run my business without them. We are a team and they are family.
Early this morning, I spoke with a woman who has become a dear friend to me. She is the manager at one of my favorite bead stores in NYC. As we spoke, she fought back tears while she told me that her store was closing. It knocked the wind out of me.
I know NYC will go back to what it once was...The City of Dreams. It will be waiting for us: The skyline, the energy, the passion, the bagels, the search for the perfect cupcake, the opportunities, the unknown, the adventure, the smells & sounds...it’s still there. We just have to be patient...but it will be back, even stronger than before. ❤️