HotCrownby Roza Sinaysky | 27.08.17
How does a small local brand, started by a couple who left the corporate world in favor of a new career run in the premises of their own home, turn into the hottest name in Tel Aviv’s fine jewelry scene? Yisgav and Ginat Rotem, founders of HotCrown tell Telavivian readers how to stop dreaming, start working and make your goals become reality!
HotCrown’s 2017 summer collection is all about the eternal and unbreakable bond between loving people. To some, the way that hearts are binded together may seem mysterious, but HotCrown manifests the enigma with an elegant collection composed of three storylines, where everyone can find their own personal story and shine.
Your brand has recently won the Successful Entrepreneurs of the Year Award, how does it feel to win such an important title?
Although we knew about the nomination, we never expected to win this prize while competing against high-tech startups and other great entrepreneurs. We arrived to the ceremony very calm and relaxed and had a great time talking and interacting with all the other business owners.
When they called our names as the winners of this category we were so surprised and humbled. It’s heartwarming and flattering to know that our hard work and efforts are being recognized. We dreamt about HotCrown and built it from the ground up, and after receiving this prize it just makes us want to work harder and prove ourselves as a successful business in the long run.
Tell us about the evolution of HotCrown, how did you go from a small brand selling out of your home to a global success?
We started dreaming of establishing our own jewelry brand while both of us were employed by big multi-national corporations. We felt that our happiness and feelings of accomplishment lay elsewhere. Establishing HotCrown was a life changing decision, but one that we did not take lightly. At first we started selling our designs at fashion fairs during weekends, and as the business grew we left our day jobs in order to start producing and selling our designs also from our home.
After a couple of years we realized we were actually cultivating a group of clients who followed us wherever we went and were waiting for every new design. Our loyal customers became almost like a community that kept growing and spreading the word about HotCrown. These clients were the ones that empowered us to build our first brick-and-mortar shop and later to start our international venture.
How does it feel to be working together as husband and wife? How do you divide the work between you two and how do you manage to be business partners and stay romantic?
It wasn’t long until we realized we had to divide the responsibilities between us to be able to manage the load of work related to starting our own business. After studying jewelry design at Shenkar, Yisgav took over the creative part of the job and is now in charge of designing and managing the fabrication of the jewelry.
Whereas I used my experience as a copywriter and have been managing the marketing, customer service and human relations. We try not to take the work back home with us, but to be honest it’s not as easy as it sounds. To keep our romance going, we made a habit of taking one night every week to go out for a romantic dinner, meet with friends or watch a movie together.
How do you see the brand growing in the next few years? How do you see yourselves growing?
We believe that E-commerce is the future and have opened an online store offering all of our designs in gold, diamonds and precious gemstones. It might not be that obvious in our industry, but customers are now shopping for fine jewelry online. We’ve been regularly sending packages to clients all over the world. We’re also exploring a few interesting opportunities overseas to grew our brand internationally and we might have exciting news for you soon!
What do we need to know when we are buying diamond jewelry? Can you give us some tips on how to buy a good quality product?
You can find so much information about diamond quality and how to buy them, but there’s so much information out there, that it can be confusing. Most of the quality attributes of a diamond are not visible to the naked eye, making it impossible for buyers to tell apart excellent diamonds from lower quality diamonds. My best advice on how to buy your diamond jewelry is to purchase it from someone you trust and have a personal connection with it—that’s how you ensure that you will the best quality diamonds and jewels.
At HotCrown we fabricate each and every one of the jewels in our own atelier, making sure they are perfect and immaculate. All our diamonds are with high quality ratings and are of a natural origin. We purchase them from authorized members of the Israeli Diamond Exchange, making sure that they are conflict free.
Most of your clients buy and engagement rings, do you have any interesting stories to tell us about your clients’ proposals?
Over the years we were very fortunate to be a part of this precious moment in peoples’ lives. Our team forms such a close relationship with our clients that they get to learn all the details about the couple’s love story and proposal—they even send us photos afterwards and tell us all about it.
One of the best stories are of Tom and Shelly—she was one of or first clients ever. Shelly would come quite often to buy new jewelry for herself or as presents for her friends. When Tom wanted to propose to her he knew HotCrown was just the place to come. They both didn’t really like diamonds, but Shelly loved Rubies. Tom set a meeting with Yisgav and together they designed a beautiful ring inlaid with three (huge!) rubies.
The ring was ready and waiting in our safe for a few weeks, but Tom didn’t pick it up. In the meantime Shelly stopped by the store a few times just to say hi and wouldn’t stop complaining to us that she was still waiting for Tom to propose. We all knew that the proposal day was coming and that Tom was just waiting for the perfect moment. These amazing and touching stories are inspiring us and it is what continues to makes us want to grow!
Photographer: Shai Franco
Model: Yana Gur for MC2
Styling: Mazal Hason
Hair: Sarah Hashanti
Makeup: Keren Shaham