Women can do anything — but not everything. As the largest online career community for women, we at Fairygodboss realize that balance is a myth, and that picking what to prioritize when everything feels important on a day-to-day basis isn't always easy. In the #MakingTime series, women share with us how, for one day, they chose to spend their most precious resource: time.
Who: Gina Feldman Love
What: Co-founder and Designer of Auvere, a modern and sculptural 22k and 24k true gold, handcrafted jewelry line
Where: Greater New York City area
I wake up naturally without an alarm between 6:00 and 6:15 a.m. regardless of how late I go to bed (and I go to bed quite late). This is an old habit from the days when I practiced law and I had to be up early no matter how late I worked. My husband, Steven, is usually up by then, so we chat for a while before we start the day. Steven and I founded Auvere together. I often begin the day talking about Auvere, since I think about the business all of the time. It’s a habit I am trying to break. I am not optimistic.
I grab my phone from the charger and check emails, Instagram, Skype and WhatsApp. Even though Auvere is based in New York, and some of our 24 karat gold jewelry is made in New York, most of our 22 karat gold jewelry is handcrafted in India and our website development and technical team is located in Europe. I have to work around three different time zones, which is simultaneously challenging and thrilling. So, I try to respond to emails and texts as early as possible in NYC time to make sure that everything that’s supposed to be happening is in fact happening. I also handle Auvere’s Instagram page, so I like to check first that thing in the morning to respond to any questions or comments that have come in overnight.
My husband and I head to the gym, which is a few blocks away from where we live. Once we get there, we do our own separate thing; although, sometimes, I tag along and copy his workouts for a change of pace. I love running. I was a sprinter in high school before transitioning to long distance running. But my passion for running has, quite frankly, run my knees into the ground. Nowadays, I make a concentrated effort to take good care of them while still getting a decent workout. So that means doing intervals for around 40 minutes on an elliptical machine, Stairmaster or Airdyne Bike for aerobic exercise and then lifting weights for another 20 minutes. And then 10 to 15 minutes for stretching. Never too much stretching.
After our workout, my husband and I head to The Smith for breakfast or, if time is of the essence, we go home for a quick bite. If we go to the Smith, I have the same thing every time: a cup of Earl Gray tea with steamed milk, 2 scrambled eggs and a small side of bacon. I may be a creative person with respect to design, but not so much when it comes to ordering breakfast! If we go home to eat, then I will have a cup of yoghurt and drink a gigantic cup of tea – Earl Gray or Tea Forte’s Ginger Guru Chai.
At this point, I am showered up, dressed and ready to head to the office — a short commute to a room right off my kitchen with floor to ceiling windows and a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline and the East River. Auvere has offices in mid-town Manhattan, but after years of working in a law firm office, I enjoy the informality and ease of working from home. Before I sit at my desk, I light scented candles all over the apartment. I am really into Lumira candles at the moment. A beautiful, sensory environment is good for creative thinking. Once I am settled at my desk, I immediately review my team calendar to see what we have to do for the day. I focus on providing the work product necessary for the members of my team to perform their jobs. I also work on my never-ending “To Do” List, which I review and check constantly.
Virtually every day, I review the Auvere development and quality assurance website, which is a “sandbox” for testing our actual website, to audit and comment on the various things we launch every week. We maintain a very active website. On a monthly basis, we (1) refresh the photography, (2) launch 4 to 6 pieces of new jewelry, (3) offer a Sneak Peek of new product upcoming jewelry launches, and (4) post a style story called The Gilded Ones in which we feature entrepreneurial women wearing Auvere jewelry paired with their own clothing. We also launch journal posts twice a month where we talk about all sorts of matters relating to gold, from the beauty of gold to the business of gold. Since Auvere.com is our primary sales outlet (along with the periodic trunk show), I monitor it carefully. I am always looking for ways to improve our customer’s experience.
We have a standing weekly call on Wednesdays with our marketing team where we go over the marketing numbers and new projects. On other mornings, I am on the phone with our tech team about the website. Or our operations team about workflows. Or our accounting team about budgets. There’s always something to discuss with respect to Auvere! After I complete our administrative team phone calls, I take a call from Auvere’s stylist, Juli, about an upcoming style shoot for The Gilded Ones. It looks like rain on the date of our next shoot, so we are talking about how to turn a wet day into an advantage! In addition to running the day- to-day details of Auvere, I am also the photographer for The Gilded Ones style series, and I am supported by a rock-star team – Juli, Paul and Veronika. Thereafter, I am on the phone with my product and editorial photography team for the upcoming October photoshoot as we gear up for what is shaping up to be a big holiday season.
For the rest of the morning, I am sketching and editing new jewelry designs and reviewing and editing samples that have recently arrived. I begin my creative process by sketching all of my ideas by hand. I love paper and pencils. That love is more about what blank paper and a 3mm mechanical pencil represent to me – the freedom to create something that did not exist before. These days, I am I sketching on grid paper or thin creamy sheets of Japanese paper made by Midori.
I try to have lunch with friends or business contacts a few times a week. Otherwise, I am eating a quick bite at home. Maybe something out of my fridge but if there’s nothing in there that is enticing, I jump on my Seamless app and order sushi from a local restaurant and eat at my desk.
Since we are shooting a holiday campaign in a few weeks, I am working on our shot list (a rather specific list of the numbers of photos I need for each item of jewelry and the angle at which each piece must be photographed) and the “creative brief” for the editorial photography. The creative brief requires that I create an on-line mood board, which is fun but very time consuming. I have worked with the same photographers, makeup artist, hair stylist and wardrobe stylist over the past two years -- so they know the brand very well. We strive to create a different and interesting moods and creative approaches for each shoot and the creative brief is the best way for me to communicate what I want to achieve from each photoshoot.
My husband has come home, and we compare notes on our respective days. We order dinner in from one of many wonderful local restaurants such as Copinette.
Dinner has arrived. We eat and chat about current events or try to predict the year in which my husband’s childhood love, the New York Jets, will finally have a winning season. After dinner, we watch a couple of episodes of a Netflix series. I am really into any show or movie about sports generally, although football shows are my favorite. Think QB1 or Last Chance U. And then, of course, there’s Peaky Blinders.
I go back into my office. That’s the danger of working from home. The work is always there, just a few steps away. Fortunately, I get a second wind around this time of the night. This is when I work on costing analyses, product description lists, schedules of jewelry drops, newsletters and editing photography for The Gilded Ones style series.
It is time turn off the lights in my office and prepare myself for sleep. If I let it, my brain would force my body to work all night long.
Once I am in bed, I meditate (count sheep or focus on my breath) in order to relax and to turn my brain down to “low” because it does not come with an “off” switch. But before I do that, I check Instagram one more time. Yeah. I know.
Interested in contributing to Fairygodboss' #MakingTime series? Email [email protected] with "#MakingTime" in the subject line.