Throughout my life there have been times when a certain product hit the market that defined cool. A product that was so unique that owning it was a one way ticket to the it crowd. When I was 7 it was an American Girl Doll, at 13 it was a Tamagotchi, and at 16 it was a Nokia cell phone with an interchangeable cover. At 31 its a Mignonne Gavigan necklace. Seeing these beauties around the necks of some of my favorite Atlantans is a statement to the world that they know what's up.
Mignonne got the inspiration for her necklaces by draping a piece of vintage dress fabric around her neck. She saw at once what a statement it made, and her company was born.
Her Spring/Summer collection (pictured above and below) has so many new pieces at are perfect for this time of year. Some are more ornate and ideal for a night out, but many are fun pops of color that beg to be taken on vacay. I'm personally in love with the sharks. :) Click photos to see the products on the website.
Mignonne lives in NYC with her husband, and was kind enough to share all of her secrets to the city with us! Thank you Mignonne! I can't wait to meet you in person next week :)
Mignonne Gavigan's Guide to NYC
Name: Mignonne Gavigan Smith
Job: Owner, Creative Director of Mignonne Gavigan New York
Describe your typical day:
I live in New York in an area called Tribeca, on a cobble stoned street, in a 100-year-old building. You can still see the markings on the floor in our apartment where rice barrels used to sit…our entire apartment was a refridgerator. This space is also our studio so as soon as I wake up and make some coffee, the huge old windows are already letting in the first light of the day. The idea of coffee gets me out of bed and then I start running through emails. Depending on what time of year it is, I could be holed up in the studio all day designing or we could be in market, where it’s helpful for me to be in appointments and help shed light on the essence of the brand. We ususally have several interns that come for a semester at a time. My business partner and Sales Director all come over each day along with the interns to get the daily routine taken care of…pack orders, run production errands, manage boutique inquiries. There is also a lot of travel. My husband and I love to travel so when I’m not going somewhere with him, I’m usually on the road doing trunk shows to help build the brand. We love our neighborhood for many reasons, one being the incredible restaurants at our finger tips. Dinner out happens several nights a week.
What is your advice to women thinking about starting their own companies?
Take a deep breath and just do it. Get as much experience as you can in whatever endeavor you are thinking about doing so that when you do it on your own, you don’t waste time or money. Finding a capable and trustworthy business partner was a necessity for me, so I would recommend finding one. Finding a Sales Director was as well. In business, I can’t do everything well so to find people who excel in different fields than I helps me focus on what I do well.
How long have you lived in NY, and what do you love about it?
I’ve lived here for 11 years. I’ve been enamored with New York City ever since I first stepped foot here at 7 years old. It’s envigorating. There is an energy here that propells you to be the best version of yourself…to work harder than you ever thought you could…to take on your dreams.
Where to stay
Where to save on clothes
Wait for the sales to come…there is a huge one right after christmas at all your favorite department stores
Where to find the best locally made goods
Every Saturday, farmers from all over New York state come and set up stands on Greenwich Street…I love to stroll through there and get fresh veggies and local cheeses for the week.
Thank you so much Mignonne! Again, please go to Sandpiper next Thursday and meet Mignonne and shop all her beautiful pieces!
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