Sophie and Jacob, Founders of S. Kind & Co.
Give us a little background on how the company got started.
S: Jacob and I have known since we were kids that we would go into business together. We bonded over our shared values and came of age in New York drinking lots of iced coffee together.
The original S. Kind was founded by Jacob’s great-great-great grandfather in 1872. He fled Austrian Imperialism and brought his sophisticated European taste to Philadelphia. Last year Jacob discovered a four volume archive about the house of S. Kind at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and sent me hundreds of photos. We started working on our new collection right away.
What do you enjoy most about running a small business?
S: I love working directly with our customers. It gives us the opportunity to create something really unique and special. I get to experience their delight and happiness personally. There’s nothing else like that.
J: My favorite thing is the jewelry. Jewelry was my first love - and now as a small business owner I get to steward the parts of jewelry I never liked, the historically dark parts, into the light by working hard to source and promote ethically mined gemstones.
Describe your design process.
J: We don’t have a set process, it’s very improvisational. Sophie and I usually begin in conversation, about a stone, a shape, a historic piece of jewelry, or an idea. Then I go into design mode - I sketch constantly on the subway, listening to the ambient city noises, and watching the skyline go by on the above ground stretches in Queens. When I’m home, I love to create by candlelight. My studio is by the ocean, so I listen to the ocean sounds while I render and model each piece myself. I only model when I’m inspired, so as you can imagine, I take a lot of breaks.
Where do you find inspiration?
S: The heritage of our business is definitely a huge influence on us, we have many beautiful original S. Kind catalogs from throughout the 20th century that we are always turning to. I think we’re also both very inspired by New York. We’re frequently talking about particular colors or shapes we see here.
J: We’re also hugely inspired by our customers - both real, and imagined. We often discuss how a particular design might look discovered by a generation later, just as I discovered my grandmother and great grandmother’s Art Deco S. Kind jewelry as a child.
Explain the process of working on a bespoke design with a client.
S: We like to get a sense of the couple's values, besides lifestyle, gemstones, and budget, it’s essential for me to understand what’s important to them. I help them identify how their ring can reflect their love and life together. Often times it’s a proportion, or a geometry more than anything else that really delights them. Then I bring Jacob in, I tell him about the client and what they got excited about.
J: I mean Sophie really does so much more than that. When recounting a couple’s bespoke request she shares it with me as a total dream in way that always excites and inspires me. I take great ownership of my craft and believe that the best results come from me having a slight distance from the client. It allows me to create something of my own invention while also sharing in their dream and exceeding their expectations. I love searching for the perfect matched vintage side diamonds, or Montana Sapphires. Then I use the exact measurements of the gemstone and build the ring around it.
What is next for S. Kind & Co.?
S: Right now we’re taking everything one day at a time. Our goal for 2016 is a physical location. We would love to have a space that really represents the company and our aesthetic.
J: I want more jewels! As we grow, we’re developing so many new exciting resources for ethical gemstones. From Canadian rose cut and antique old euro diamonds to Oregon Sunstones and California Tourmalines - there is so much out there and I can’t wait to stock more in 2016.
Quick Facts about S. Kind & Co.
All of their jewelry is handcrafted using Recycled Metals in New York City.
Their Heirloom Diamonds are rescues from the smelter where their Recycled Metal is made.
Their colored gemstones are either antique, US origin, Canadian or Australian origin (origins are noted in product descriptions).
All clothing pictured in their product photographs are from sustainable brands or vintage. They ♥︎ Eileen Fisher and Reformation.
All kittens pictured in their product photographs are rescues. Adopt don't shop.
S. Kind & CO operates out of highly efficient work/live spaces in NYC.
They wash their clothing with cold water.
They use mass transit, bicycles, and their legs to get to work and for all business related travel.