Meet Moran “Mo” Amir and Becca “Bex” Aronson the masterminds behind the online jewelry retail site ADORNIA.
Bringing a new sense of cool to fine jewelry these two friends have created an inspiring online home for women to be inspired by and to buy fine jewelry.
Names: Moran “Mo” Amir (right) & Becca “Bex” Aronson (left)
Age: 30 & 29
City: Philadelphia, PA
Major: Entrepreneural Management
How did ADORNIA begin?
Mo: After years working in the fashion industry, I came to Wharton Business School wanting to do something entrepreneurial in fashion. I met Bex, and we simply hit it off personally and professionally.
Bex: We did some research on the jewelry market and realized fine jewelry could use an injection of cool. The category was too focused on the bridal context. We wanted to bring the same innovation in the recent past in costume jewelry to the world of fine jewelry. There also lacked an inspiring online home for women to buy fine jewelry.
Is there a story behind the name ADORNIA?
Bex: We like to say ADORNIA is the Greek goddess of luxury and beauty.
Career wise, what were you doing prior to launching ADORNIA?
Bex: I was an accessories editor for LUCKY Magazine.
Mo: I was formerly the director of logistics and operations at Catherine Malandrino and also worked as a buyer for Diesel.
What distinguishes ADORNIA from other online jewelry retail sites?
Mo: We take a discovery-driven approach to fine jewelry e-tailing. From our curated collections to our blog The United States of
ADORNIA, we love showing women how to style jewelry through a modern, feminine perspective. In The United States of ADORNIA, we address topics such as how to wear jewels with an asymmetrical top to how to bring your outfit from day to night by changing your jewels.
Bex: In our curated collections, the jewelry is part of a total fashion ensemble. Through our discussion with the females in our lives, we realized that a lot of them didn’t feel comfortable or knowledgeable on pairing a bracelet with right earrings, ring, and necklace. The ADORNIA collections assemble the jewels perfect for each other in one family. They show our followers the jewelry pieces that work fluidly together.
Organization seems to be key to your site, can you tell us the thought process behind the site’s organization?
Bex: Yes, our assortment is divided into two parts: curated collections and personal pieces. The personal pieces are the fine jewelry staples—gold stacking bangles, pearl earrings, diamond studs—that should the form the first layer of your jewelry case. The collections are where we get truly creative and bring a bold melange of pieces together under new themes each season. We believe this forms the perfect balance for a modern jewelry wardrobe.
You guys are close friends, what is it like working together?
Mo: It is actually amazing. We are also both perfectionists who have very similar aesthetic visions for the company! I really respect Bex’s creative talent and feel like we have a great complimentary fit of skills. My background is in operations and buying, and Bex truly rounds out the company from a merchandising and visual perspective. She is also quite handy with technology, which clearly helps. ADORNIA is a reflection of our friendship and skills.
How do you find the jewelry pieces you sell on your site?
Mo: Bex designs many of the pieces, and we have artisans around the world that bring our ideas to life. From Native Americans in Nevada that produce much of our turquoise product to Indians that specialize in black diamonds, we hand pick the best pieces from the best producers both here and there.
Do you focus on one specific aesthetic of jewelry for ADORNIA?
Bex: The three adjectives that we use to describe our style are modern, feminine, and trusted. This is a lens more than a style. We like to consider ourselves more of a jeweler and curator, than a designer. This allows us to offer breadth of aesthetic perspective to our fans.
How would you each describe your personal style?
Bex: I would say my style is eclectic. I love to mix prints (my go-to outfit usually involves stripes and leopard print) and wear bold colors. I’ll often get stuck on a seasonal theme, such as “luxe lumberjack” for fall. It’s the perk and peril of being a former fashion editor, I editorialize and style every moment! I also love to layer on as much jewelry as possible.
Mo: I am all about dramatic and sharp basics. That impeccably tailored Stella McCartney blazer, the perfect J Brand bell-bottom jeans, the Celine luggage bag, and a round, immaculate set of pearls…put together in new and exciting ways each time. I am obsessed with refining my closet to these core essential pieces.
Becca, how is running your own online jewelry shop different from your former position as Lucky accessories editor? Do you feel that your position at Lucky helped prepare you for your current role with ADORNIA?
Bex: In some ways running ADORNIA is actually quite similar to my former post as an accessories editor. At LUCKY I was responsible for sourcing accessories for our photo shoots and scouring the market for the perfect pieces. At ADORNIA I put those same editorial skills to work when sourcing our pieces and curating our collections. However, being an entrepreneur I am able to put a lot more of myself into my work. Through conceiving of our collections and styling/creating our lookbook shoots I am able to let my creativity run free which is great. I am also in charge of our blog, United States of ADORNIA, which also allows me to use my former editorial background. The main difference is that I have to keep the larger business landscape in mind and think about my work more strategically. Being a former fashion editor has certainly given ADORNIA an advantage as I have a keen sense of what is cool and what our customers are looking for. We are able to straddle the line between fashion and strategic merchandising.
Have you always been interested in starting your own business?
Mo: I grew up with parents who were small business owners. They instilled in me a real business instinct from a very young age. Bex and I share a healthy dose of irreverence and a wealth of industry experience, both helpful in pushing forward the business concept. I wake up to ADORNIA every morning and am so happy. You feel totally in control of your destiny in a way that is simply unmatchable in another job setting.
What type of customer do you have in mind when selecting what jewelry pieces to feature and sell?
Bex: We have in mind a woman who appreciates both nuance and beauty in equal parts. She is sophisticated, discerning, and passionate. She has high standards for her life and sees the same imperative behind indulging in high-quality jewelry investment pieces.
Who are some of your favorite go-to jewelry designers to wear?
Mo: Outside of ADORNIA, I am pretty promiscuous with other jewelry designers. I like many of them from Finn to Irene Neuwirth.
Why did you choose to focus ADORNIA solely on jewelry? Why not other accessories?
Bex: From our research and industry knowledge, we knew that fine jewelry was underserving the stylish modern woman. Adornia seeks to reintroduce the category to a new generation of women. We are the modern girl’s jeweler.
What are the advantages of being online in this industry?
Mo: Online we have limitless geographic reach and feel our customer is international. We can also really bring an editorial magazine perspective to the product through selling from our collection look books directly. This is not possible through the jewelry case of a traditional jeweler.
Future plans for ADORNIA?
Mo: We are making new retail partnerships daily and constantly looking to build our presence with retailers. We are planning to expand internationally to Europe and Asia in the next few months.
Do you have any words of wisdom to anyone wishing to start their own online retail business?
Bex: A good software developer certainly helps! We lost a lot of time shuffling around different developers and this can be timely and expensive.
For more information about ADORNIA, view their video here:
Kayleigh is a twenty-something fashion focused girl, living in New York City. Kayleigh's passions lay in fashion, writing, and traveling. She dreams of one day leaving her mark in the fashion industry. Follow Kayleigh on instagram at Kayls148 to see all her latest adventures in NYC.View all Kayleigh Mencia posts.