GEM TALK WITH RANDI MOLOFSKY, JEWELLERY PR AND FOR FUTURE REFERENCE CO-FOUNDER
The series of interviews with women and men who have personalities, story to tell and their own GEM style. They make it happen for themselves all over the world and follow GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla.
Seeing Randi’s amazing jewellery style for the first time at Couture jewellery show made me naturally gravitate towards her! Layered in tastefully styled vintage jewels, she became one of the few people I featured in my GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips book, while her and Meaghan’s warm welcome at For Future Reference jewellery showroom always brightens up my crazy days of jewellery trade fairs.
Co-founder of a fine jewellery showroom For Future Reference, where every single brand is an extension of her own personality, book author and a jewellery maven, Randi with her vibrant energy and all-consuming passion for jewellery is someone I wanted to feature in my Gem Talks for a loooong time. A perfectionist with a hands on approach, she is always on the go, but luckily she had a minute to answer my questions. Meet Randi Molofsky!
Name: Randi Molofsky
Alma Mater: James Madison University
Occupation: Co-Founder of For Future Reference, a fine jewelry showroom
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW: I’ve been attending Couture Las Vegas since 2001, so it truly feels like home to me. The best part is catching up with all of my jewelry friends — there’s nothing like the shared memories. Honestly, I rarely leave the Wynn when I’m in town, so I’m the last person who should make Vegas suggestions. But this year we took the For Future Reference showroom crew to see Celine Dion at Caeser’s Palace and it was everything I hoped for and more.
IN THE BEGINNING: I went to college for print journalism, and knew that I wanted to immediately move to NYC after graduation to pursue fashion writing. When I started interviewing, I found a listing for a job at National Jeweler magazine for a Fashion Editor and found that it actually was the perfect fit. Not only did I get to learn everything about fine jewelry by attending trade shows, visiting gemstone mines, and meeting with designers and retailers, but I also got to hone my skills as a writer.
FOR FUTURE REFERENCE: After living in NYC for 15 years, I was looking for a change. I moved to LA and started consulting for jewelry clients doing mostly marketing, brand development and public relations. At the time, my friend Meaghan (Flynn Petropoulos) was also exiting a long-time jewelry job, and we were looking for fun ways to continue engaging with jewelry that would keep us motivated. So, we decided to start a blog in early 2015 that would have quirky Q&A’s with some of our favorite jewelry designers and notable personalities in the industry. We also talked a bit about style and of course about vintage jewels — one of our major shared interests. We had a ton of fun doing it, but our collaboration quickly turned into something more because potential clients were interested in working with us as a pair. Between Meaghan’s incredible sales experience and my PR/marketing skills, we quickly found a niche as a duo.
LA: I’ve been in Los Angeles since September 2014 and for most of that time have concentrated on growing For Future Reference showroom. Four of our designer brands are California-based, so it’s fantastic that we can be bi-coastal. Our main showroom is in NYC on Fifth Avenue, but we do a lot of work on the West coast as well. I’ve grown to absolutely love LA — the whether, the scenery, the pace. I spend a lot of time at art museums and galleries (my partner, Michael, is a fine art writer and consultant) so we are constantly visiting places like Hauser & Wirth, LACMA, Kordansky, Night Gallery, Various Small Fires, Blum & Poe and MOCA. I often buckle down and work at the San Vicente Bungalows (a private club where I’m a member) because it’s one of the most beautiful little secluded spots in LA. For lunch you can find me out by the pool at Sunset Tower hotel, and you can never go wrong with dinner at All Time in Los Feliz or Jon & Vinny‘s in Hollywood (with a glass of wine from Helen’s).
GEMFIELDS: Gemfields was an incredible experience — I was the US Marketing Director for nearly 3 years before I started For Future Reference. I brought Gemfields to the US (they are based in London), opened an office, hired a team, and got to work on the creative surrounding the brand’s first international ad campaign. We hired Mila Kunis to be the face of the brand, and I was able to work with photographers like Peter Lindbergh and Mario Sorrenti to bring the campaign to life. We had incredible adventures bringing people to the mine in Zambia and educating them about the mine-to-market strategy. Very excitingly, I also got to liaise with partner brands to create high jewelry using Gemfields gemstones, including one-of-a-kind statement pieces, full collections and capsule collections.
I definitely learned a lot about working as a team at Gemfields, and absolutely loved being able to collaborate with an international team of creatives. My advice to someone interested in marketing for a luxury brand? I would say that doing your homework is key. I spent more than 10 years prior to my position at Gemfields learning all about luxury goods and jewelry, and was able to put all of that into action when the time came. I see a lot of younger people these days wanting to be at the top right away — believe me, it’s worth it to put in the time to build an amazing rolodex!
A GIRL’S GUIDE TO BUYING DIAMONDS BOOK: The publishing company actually came to me about writing my book. At the time, the zeitgeist in jewelry was all about female self-purchasing. The diamond industry was really pushing the idea of a “right hand ring” — a diamond that women could buy for themselves — and the concept was pretty new in 2009, so the time was right. It was a fun project to do because I love researching and history, and I got to write something from a very easy to understand point of view. I think more men read it than women, to be honest, because it’s a great primer on buying an engagement ring.
POWER COMES FROM: My daughter! Goldie, who is almost 4, is a real spitfire and reminds me to work harder, be better, do more.
GEM STYLE: I can describe my jewelry style in two words: bold and colourful. I like statement pieces and have been collecting since day 1. Some of the pieces in my collection are things I’ve worked up to: for example, my 1970s Bulgari Tubogas watch. It’s always been at the very top of my wishlist, and I’ve slowly been investing in other watches until I found the perfect unicorn. When I did, I sold my other watches to get my dream piece! I also have a pair of Victorian cuffs that I found at Excalibur Jewelry that I’ll never part with — they perfectly fit my small wrists but are bold yellow gold. (Almost all of my jewelry is yellow gold.) As a showroom owner, of course I love all of the jewelry by our designer clients! If you look at our roster, you’ll see that Meaghan and I gravitate towards big, bold, fashion-forward jewelry that speaks for itself. All of our brands are independent women-owned businesses, and we love supporting that dynamic. As for things I’d love to have, well, that list is long. Verdura cuffs, anything by Taffin, Hemmerle or Suzanne Belperron; a major cocktail ring or animal bracelet by David Webb, you get the gist.
SHOP WATCHES ONLINE:
TOPSHOP OR CHANEL: My style is pretty simple — I wear a lot of inexpensive vintage clothes mixed with contemporary high-end bags, shoes and accessories. I love the thrill of the hunt and have a unique POV, so I love finding weird old vintage pieces and making them my own. (I’m little so I have everything tailored to fit me perfectly.) I have a large collection of sequined shirts and dresses (and yes, some pants too) and chalk it up to the disco queen that lives inside me.
WHY JEWELLERY MATTERS: Jewelry is like armour — I consider all of my pieces talismans that make me feel safe and protected. I love the idea of handing things down from generation to generation and honestly prefer vintage to new in a lot of situations. I don’t mind scratches on gold or someone else’s engraving on the inside of a piece — I think it makes jewelry that much more special knowing it had a life before me.
FIRST JEWELLERY: I think my first real jewelry was all gifted to me on my Bat Mitzvah. I still have several little 14k gold charms from that event — ballet slippers, a Best Friends heart — that will be passed down to my daughter. My birthstone is an emerald and I have several pieces of emerald jewelry for that particular reason. One of my emeralds is set in a ring of my own design, and it’s even more special because it’s a Gemfields emerald.
MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: My everyday jewelry consists of a few pieces from Brent Neale (a champagne diamond Gypsy ring, a heart diamond Gypsy ring and a Rainbow Knot ring), a black onyx Compass ring from Retrouvai, my Bulgari Tubogas watch, a couple of rose-cut diamond bangles and a gold wrap bracelet from Faraone Mennella. But I sprinkle in special pieces that I own from all of my brands — Sorellina, Harwell Godfrey, Emily P. Wheeler and Established. I have two charm necklaces that I wear often with lots of special little found treasures, both vintage and new, and an emerald and diamond dangle necklace that Meaghan and I made as one of our first projects together. (She has an all-diamond version.) When I go to NYC and spend time in our showroom, I wear it all! I mostly gravitate towards the biggest pieces whether I’m wearing a cocktail dress or jeans and a t-shirt.
SHOP RANDI’S GEM STYLE ONLINE:
PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING: Right now I’m in love with the Brent Neale Gypsy that she made for me! It’s a champagne diamond oval with two white marquis diamonds on the side set in 18k yellow gold. It’s substantial but subtle and easy to wear all the time.
ROLEX OR CARTIER: I’ve already waxed poetic about my Bulgari, but I’ve also owned watches from Rolex, Cartier and Hermes, so I don’t discriminate. Right now I’m crushing on the yellow gold Audemars Piguet.
MEN JEWELLERY: It depends on the man! I think it’s silly to have rules about who can and can not wear jewelry. Some men look amazing covered in chains and pendants and rings, and some feel most comfortable with just a well-chosen watch.
VINTAGE JEWELLERY: I am a forever fan of vintage jewelry. I’m always on the hunt for special pieces and will not pass them up when I find them — because you’ll probably never see it again. One of my favorite pieces I’ve found is a big yellow gold charm that has a December calendar engraved on it. It dates from 1952, but amazingly there’s a cabochon ruby on one of the days and it happened to be my daughter’s birthday. You better believe I snapped it up immediately!
JEWELLERY AS AN INVESTMENT: I think there are certainly ways to invest in fine jewelry — whether it’s a gemstone or a name brand — that can be worth your while. But I always stay true to what I love vs. what will make me money.
FASHION JEWELLERY: I don’t wear a lot of fashion jewelry, to be honest. I express myself in other ways — through quirky sunglasses, vintage handbags, or patterned caftans. I already have enough going on!
PERFECT GETAWAY: I absolutely loved going to Japan earlier this year and can not recommend it enough. We spent some time in Tokyo and then headed to the island of Naoshima, which is an incredible art site, and stayed at Bennesse House. Mexico City is another of my favorites — my list of recommendations is too long to go into, but if anyone needs ideas, please let me know!
A PARTY TO REMEMBER: We have a standing Saturday night date at Giorgio’s (a one-night-a-week Disco at the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles). It’s always a party.
THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY: Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, a perfect dirty gin martini, bad reality TV, Harry Styles (sorry not sorry) and playing dress up with my daughter.
MY WEAPON OF CHOICE: Words!
Thanks for stopping by! What is your favourite piece from the jewellery collection of Randi Molofsky? Leave me a comment below!
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
SHOP MY FAVOURITE JEWELRY ONLINE:
GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
*Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
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