Today, get ready to meet Tal Man, the genius behind TALIA Jewelry.
OUR SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH THE GENIUS BEHIND TALIA JEWELRY
It was a chilly afternoon in Manhattan as we trekked to the southern tip of the island to see TALIA’s new concept store located in Brookfield Place.
You know, that really upscale shopping destination that’s filled with luxury names like Burberry, Gucci and now TALIA.
As we rode the escalator to the second floor, we immediately saw the cool new TALIA concept store.
Within seconds we saw Tal Man, who we would be interviewing and decided to watch her with her team for just a few seconds.
She had a magical charisma. Whether interacting with her sales team or speaking with customers, you couldn’t help but feel like you were in the presence of a genius.
MAN’edged: Thank you for meeting with us. Let’s dive in. What can you tell us about TALIA Jewelry?
TAL MAN: “I realized that people are getting bored with things. Even if they buy a new dress. After a while, you get used to it and you want something new. You need new excitement. That’s why I created something that keeps changing…with you. Even if you [do] start to get bored, you buy a new charm. Then you have a completely different piece of jewelry.”
MAN’EDGED: How was the grand opening of the new shop? Did New York welcome you with open arms?
TAL MAN: “Yeah! We received really great feedback. People are very curious about it. Women like to create their own pieces. They get attached to it. You know, I’m just giving them tools to be the designer of their dream jewelry.”
MAN’EDGED: Love that.
TAL MAN: “We have three different collections. This collection [The Brio Collection] is exclusive to the shop. The inspiration is the skyline of New York City. Like the Chrysler building. This collection could also be for men. This is exclusive to the shop and the people of Manhattan.”
MAN’EDGED: We’ve read that you gain inspiration from everything…
TAL MAN: “Everything! I wake up in the middle of the night and start sketching. Since I arrived in New York, I’ve made three new charms that I’m supposed to get in two weeks. The smell, the colors, the air…everything just gave me new inspiration to create something new. We’re going to launch them in three weeks when they arrive here from Bangkok, our manufacturer.”
MAN’EDGED: Whoa. In one week, you’re able to come out with a new concept and create new pieces?
TAL MAN: “Yeah, exactly.”
MAN’EDGED: That’s fascinating.
TAL MAN: “We’re going to come with so many collections. Everything is new. I like to continue to create.”
MAN’EDGED: We can’t believe you can turn around a new product so quickly. That must be challenging.
TAL MAN: “I don’t know the word no. When I hear no, it motivates me. Honestly. My fuel is refusal. When people say it’s impossible, I must show them that it is possible. For me, nothing is impossible. It’s my character. So, I like to do things fast and make things happen. I like to make my dreams come true right now.”
MAN’EDGED: In today’s world, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and start their own business. From what we hear, it’s a lot of work.
TAL MAN: “It is.”
MAN’EDGED: Can you share a little about your experience when you first started the brand? Were you told no often? How did you overcome that to make this come to life?
TAL MAN IS THE REAL DEAL
At this point during our conversation, Tal Man noticed a customer trying on one of her pieces. She politely signaled a pause to me as she jumped into the conversation with her sales rep and the customer.
It was at this moment that we were able to watch the true magic of an entrepreneur. It was also the moment that we truly appreciated the soul of the brand.
Tal Man helped the customer try on a necklace as they both admired the piece in the mirror. It was refreshing to see the owner of a company sell a piece and to see the customer’s appreciation.
Once the customer happily left with her new purchase, Tal Man jumped back to answering our question.
TAL MAN: “When we started we had the idea. We had the concept of what we wanted to do. We realized we have a potential for something huge. The first thing we did was to search if there were any patents that we could file to ensure the exclusivity of our new idea.
We filed four different patents on the mechanism and design. All four were approved. We were shocked.”
Pitch it. Pitch, pitch, and pitch.
MAN’EDGED: Really? No one else had thought of this. These pieces you describe are modular, right?
TAL MAN: “They’re modular. They’re something that you can assemble, take apart, and reassemble without tools or knowledge of jewelry. It’s a piece of jewelry that keeps changing with you during your daily routine.”
From morning to night. Even the length of the chain is adjustable. If you have a v-neck or turtleneck you can wear it at a different length.
After we had a prototype, we knew that we did not want to stay small. We wanted to be big. So, we started looking for investments. When you’re an unknown brand and a dream you need to pitch.
Pitch it. Pitch, pitch, and pitch.
You’ll hear no and you hear maybe or maybe tomorrow.
Then another no. You must get the energy every day to get up and pitch again. Don’t give up. I don’t hear a no. I don’t hear a no. I…just continue. Then we found our partner.
At the beginning [of the pitch] he said, ‘You arrived, so I’m going to listen, but I’m not going to invest in jewelry.’ I said we’re not jewelry. We’re a startup! We’re direct-to-consumer and can be a $1 Billion dollar company.
We had a dream. We know how to get it. We know what to do.
We made mistakes along the way. I won’t tell you we didn’t, but from each mistake, we don’t let ourselves fall…okay, well for one hour. We just get up, learn the lesson and move on.
That’s the way I see life, That’s the only way I think things can work in this world. You just don’t give up. If you believe in something you need to stick to it.”
MAN’EDGED: During that investor meeting you were welcomed with no?
TAL MAN: “Yeah, but after he saw it he said it was interesting, but he wanted to see if a woman likes it.”
MAN’EDGED: At that time, how many pieces did you have?
TAL MAN: “We had only two collections. Our investor then invited us to dinner with his wife. His wife brought her friends. He wanted to hear a woman’s opinion about it. It was a great evening! We got our partner and investor. Since then, we’ve worked together and he believed in us. He gave us so much energy and it makes you feel so good. It was motivating to prove him wrong and nows it’s happening.”
MAN’EDGED: Is this the first retail location?
TAL MAN: “The first retail pop-up boutique. We’re direct-to-consumer to help keep prices reasonable. We wanted to be affordable and to keep our quality top quality.”
MAN’EDGED: Can you tell us about the quality?
TAL MAN: “Yes, of course! I used to work as a goldsmith and jewelry designer for 15 years. I used to work with materials like gold and diamonds. When we decided that we were going to make TALIA out of silver I made the first prototype and it felt light to me. I said, no. It feels like a toy. It doesn’t feel like a piece of jewelry. I’m going to add silver. I want to make it thick and heavy. I want it to fall like gold. I don’t want it to be light like plastic. I want it to feel like gold. We added 30% more silver. All the companies try to make their jewelry lighter to save money.”
TAL MAN: “I don’t compromise my quality. The stones here are top quality and we have a special cut like diamonds. Even diamond dealers can’t believe our stones are not diamonds. I don’t compromise. Our pieces will never ever go black. It’s the best quality. We stand behind it and give you a warranty. We believe that people will fall in love with it. Of course, you can return for your money back in 30 days with no questions asked. No one has returned so far.”
MAN’EDGED: That’s fantastic. What’s a customer’s journey typically like when shopping from you?
TAL MAN: “That’s the thing that excites me the most. So far when we’re online, I could only see the names. In the beginning, I would try to look them up on Facebook to see what my customers looked like. I wanted to see the face.”
At this point, Tal Man became even more excited and we could see an extremely joyful entrepreneur get passionate.
TAL MAN: “At the shop, I can see them. I can see the journey they’re going through. First, they look at the collection they connect to. Each woman connects with a collection. After they connect with a collection they choose what colors they like.”
HOW THE JEWELRY WORKS
THE NEW TALIA POP-UP IN NEW YORK CITY
Happen to be in New York City during the next couple of weeks? Be sure to check out the new TALIA pop-up store at Brookfield Place locates on the second floor immediately as you get off the escalator.
Not near Brookfield place?
Don’t worry. You can also order your pieces online via MYTALIA.com.