Sidney neuhaus / Kimaï
This week in our Mondays series we chat to Sidney, co-founder of the fast-growing and vastly popular, lab-grown diamond company KIMAÏ
Rachele: To begin with why don't you tell us how KIMAÏ started.
Sidney: Jessica and myself both come from diamond trading families, and grew up around jewelry and diamonds. Later on, we felt that the industry was essentially lacking transparency - we couldn’t find where our diamonds were coming from (diamonds exchange hands between 10 to 15 times before getting to its final owners, which makes it very hard to trace them!).
We then heard about lab grown diamonds, which are identical chemically and physically to mined diamonds - and thought that this was the best alternative to mined diamonds. That’s basically how Kimaï started!
R: In the first few months of creating the brand, what was your number one concern? What about now?
S: At the beginning the main concern was how to get the word out. Once you have created your products and your website is up and running, the biggest challenge is really to create brand awareness. I would say that is still the case today, even if we have managed to create a community already, it’s still all about getting new people onboard.
Another recent challenge would be the hiring process to expand the team - finding key people who will help bring your brand to the next level it's not an easy task.
R: Overall what would you say is the most challenging aspect of starting your own business?
S: It’s our baby - it never stops, you never put the switch off button. But it’s all super exciting.
R: What about the most rewarding aspect?
S: Amazing client’s feedback. It’s so amazing to be part of someone’s jewelry box, because jewelry is so emotional, and each piece has a meaning to the owner - being part of that is really special.
R: What is your number one marketing tool?
S: We work a lot with the Press, and try to organise pop in or pop ups at different stores so that people can get to know us and our products.
R: Given your very hectic schedule, how do you prioritise?
S: The Famous To Do List! Every morning I would write down what I need to do, and I use google calendar a lot as well.
R: How do you slow down and relax?
S: A bath and a face mask followed by a dinner at home with my boyfriend.
R: One piece of advice you would give to people who are starting their own businesses?
S: Hustle and don't give up!
R: What is next for you and for the business?
S: New exciting projects! More content, new pieces every month and big things coming this summer as well.
Firedrill Round with Sidney.
- If you had to describe yourself using three words, which would they be? Persistent, creative and open-minded.
- What about KIMAÏ, would you use the same ones? Yes, and I would add approachable.
- What is the most interesting thing about your brand? Our values.
- Top 3 skincare products? Biologique Recherche Lait cleanser, a toner and moisturiser probably by Environ.
- Top 3 items of clothing? Blue jeans, white tee and a good blazer.
- Most treasured item of jewelry? The bold earring (which I never take off), the prime signet pinky ring and a watch I received from my father which he had engraved for my 18th birthday.
- Favourite brunch place in London? Hard one, there are so many! Would say: Farm Girl, Granger and the Edition Hotel.
- Favourite scent or fragrance? Estee Lauder tuberose gardenia from the private collection.
- What's your earliest memory associated with a scent? The smell of the fireplace in the winter.
- Favourite travel destination? Israel! I love the food, the people, the vibe. Everything.
- What does luxury mean to you? What do you indulge on? At Kimaï, we believe the new words of luxury are transparency, craftsmanship, quality and sustainability. Knowing who made the products and in which conditions. Luxury can be anything as long as it has a story, an experience. I definitely indulge on experiences, can be anything from a trip to even self care but definitely something that nourishes you in some ways.