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New York City Jeweler Takes Family Business Online

Instagram efforts pay off for Elizabeth Izaguirre.

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New York City Jeweler Takes Family Business Online

Since ELIZABETH IZAGUIRRE, 27, decided not to become a dentist and instead purchased her mother’s three New York City jewelry stores, she has launched ecommerce, gone viral on Instagram, begun to sell high-end watches, and counts celebrities among her clients. She’s more than quintupled revenues at Elizabeth & Co. in three years. “I knew that we needed visibility,” she says. “We didn’t have a website or Instagram. We created an Instagram, @ Elizabethandco, and everything happened so organically. All I wanted to do was put together content that I loved and share it with the world.”

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How did the business begin?

It’s my legacy. My mom is from Peru and she immigrated here in the early 1980s. She came during a time when they changed the gold standard in the U.S. and with a lot of work and a little bit of luck she opened up a store in the Bronx and it took off. We came to Washington Heights, and my mom had such a great run for the past 30 years. I graduated college in 2017 and went to go study diamonds. I’m a GIA graduate and I prepared myself a little bit before I got into the business 100 percent.

What was your early experience with the business?

My mom was a single mom and she would take me to the store on the weekends. I began visiting my mother’s stores from a young age and was always taught the ins and outs of the industry and quickly began appreciating the jewelry and clients we worked with. My Mother gave me confidence and independence within the business and because of this I’ve been able to start expanding and building upon what she created.

How did you decide to follow in your mom’s footsteps as a jeweler?

I spent my entire life thinking I was going to be a dentist. I went through sophomore year as a bio major. I thought that was it for me. It wasn’t till my mom realized when I was a sophomore that I was really into becoming a dentist. She thought I would change my mind and ralize what she created. At the end of sophomore year I had to declare the major and my mom just took me to work with her. She took me to the diamond district here in New York and did all these business deals. She was a total boss bitch and she showed me what she was doing. It was so cool! The business deals were eye opening. I realized I could go my entire life without being the boss in the room. It changed my perspective on everything. How well respected she was throughout that day. How she just moved like walking on water. It was the coolest thing for me to see as a 19 year old. That’s when it really clicked to me. I’m doing the wrong major and maybe I should just go major in finance and business administration!

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How else does your mom inspire you?

She’s the first generation of jewelers. Being a woman in the industry, today it’s normal but back in the 1980s that was kind of unheard of. Dad always said `Stay home, take care of the kids.’ He wanted her to be a housewife and that’s not what she wanted to do. Thanks to her we get to live this beautiful fulfilling life. I love my mom because that’s my mom, but to have your mentor be this extraordinary woman, for me all I want to do is carry on this legacy. For my future kids, too. Mom is retired. She said, `I cried here. I suffered here. I bled here. I’m going to go see the world now.”

What did you do to prepare to buy the business?

It was very important to me to ensure I had all the knowledge going into the business. I studied at GIA so that I could learn all about Diamonds, CADS and more! I’m pleased to say that I am now a GIA Certified Jeweler and can supply some exquisite diamonds to my clients that will add an extra special touch to everything we do. Feel free to contact us for more information on this if needed.

How did the business really take off for you?

The first thing I knew that we needed is visibility. We didn’t have a website or Instagram. Social media platforms, that’s how a business is now seen. They want to see what you have online to see if it’s even worth going in. we created an Instagram and it went viral, it was so beautiful, everything happened so organically. Back in 2021, Cardi B invited me to Vegas for her birthday party. It was so awesome and everything went crazy afterwards. I started working with a Latin artist, Johnny Ventura. I’m Spanish and I like to represent the Latin community. I was involved with the Ventura family. Went to a music video in Puerto Rico to style the band La Cervesa. And from there I did a sponsorship with Remi Ma for the first all female rap battle. Then I had Offset come to my store as well.

What do you like about your work life now?

I know this is work, what we have to do, but I really do love it. I really do like creating the content. In order to give mind body soul and give everything you got you got to love it at least. Or at least you better. It makes me happier when my team feels like I’m worth following. How can I make them want to follow me if I don’t believe in my ideas? What keeps me going is knowing if I fail, they fail. If I fall they fall. My team and everyone around me I try to keep positive.

What does your mom think about your success?

She’s over the moon. Everywhere she goes, she says `You’ve got to follow my daughter.’ It’s the cutest thing ever. I know she’s so proud. I’m the youngest and I don’t think anyone ever expected much from me. I was such a rebel when I was little. I had such a big personality, where you can put me in a room where I don’t know anyone and I will make friends. I was never scared to knock on a door.

How did you get the idea you wanted to be a dentist?

My older sister is a dentist and she is eight years older. She did so well and got accepted into NYU with an amazing scholarship. We knew our parents were jewelers, but at the time, it didn’t mean anything to us. My sister trapped me into thinking we can open up our own practice. I was always bright in school in the science department. It did make sense at the time, so I went to NYU, too, and her professors were counting on me to represent the biology department, too. I did really well. And then at the end of sophomore year is when I took a turn.

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