Interviewing the Iskin sisters was fun because I am one of 3 sisters and it’s always interesting to see how sisters can work together to make their dreams come true. The dream was to create their own company while continuing to “play” together, as in childhood. This dream was realized through jewelry. Jewels that entice us, provoke us, seduce us. Jewels that stimulate our imagination by combining art and design. Jewels that have a meaning. Jewels that tell stories from the present and the past. Based in Buenos Aires, our first customer was in New York, and just a year later we were showcased in design and museum stores around the world! Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, London, Paris, Barcelona, Bilbao, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, among numerous other cities!
Can you please introduce yourselves to the readers:
We are Gabriela Iskin & Karina Iskin, owners of Iskin Jewelry.
What is your Profession and what is it that you both do?
We are a team. Professionally we are seen as: Industrial Designer (Gabriela) & Head of Business Operations (Karina). We work together in our own company developing contemporary jewelry and marketing it internationally.
Which obstacles did you as sisters have to overcome on your journey in order to find your true calling?
Gabriela (designer): For me, it was a natural process, since the day I decided I wanted to design my own jewelry line. From that important decision, things seemed to develop naturally. The main obstacle I had to overcome was fear of the unknown. My family, who were in some ways very supportive, nevertheless reminded me of the risks of running your own business. There are many unknowns in starting your own business, but the right balance of passion and commitment help to diminish those risks (at leas so far!).
Karina: I always knew that I would have my own business, even while I worked in big international companies. I never really took to working in a corporate office, and in the end it was really hard for me to go to work every day. I’m an entrepreneur by nature. I like to be my own boss. I like to create my own work/life balance, the balance that works for me and not anyone else. I also like to have the power to look at all the variables and decide what I’ll do next. When my sister and I were in college, we already were talking about going into business together. It took us years to get there, but it was the right and natural step for both of us.
Do you have any examples of you overcoming obstacles in your business?
As with any business, there are also external obstacles. Here are some examples:
- The huge financial crisis in the US in 2008/2009 really affected our US customers. There was one Gift Show in New York where there were practically no buyers on the show floor. Gong to trade shows is expensive and we really had to rethink our strategy during those tough years.
- The high inflation rate in Argentina, where production costs rise so fast you don’t even have time to adjust your prices accordingly.
- Balancing our personal lives with the business. In the 10 years since we started ISKIN, Gabriela has had a daughter and I (Karina) has had 3 children (1 daughter and 2 sons). Being independent has helped us to be able to have flexible hours when needed, but it’s always a challenge to be able to meet all the business goals while having a new priority in life, our children. 😉
What advice would you give someone who pursues to be in similar profession as yourself?
Gabriela: Find out what you love to do, and do that exactly thing, without fear.
Do you have any Inspiring words of Motivation for someone who dreams of being in your shoes?
Find out your true calling and go after your dreams. When you know what your passion is, nothing will stop you.
Where do you draw motivation from and What inspires you ?
Gabriela: Memories from our childhood, games, a smile, a child’s gaze, finding simplicity in our complex world, dreams, nature, love… almost everything!
What is your favourite motivational quote and why?
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” by Oscar Wilde
We think that the most important thing is to be true to you. True beauty is being unique and authentic.
If you want to keep up with ISKIN:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iskinjewels
- Website: www.iskinjewelry.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/iskinjewelry
Dear Gabriela and Karina
It is indeed such an honour to have both of you on the blog. Your words resonate so much with me and I am sure my readers will appreciate your advise as well. Wishing you both prosperity in your professional and personal lives.