Rapaport Magazine
The final cut

Literary gems

Rapaport Magazine asks: If a book were written about your life, what would it be called, and why?

By Leah Meirovich

Images: G.Maillot (for Vivienne Becker).  

From Teaching to Enhancing People’s Lives - Ephraim Zion

When I was in my early teens, I wanted to be a teacher. I felt that I had a special ability to simplify complicated issues and formulas so I could transmit this knowledge to my peers or anyone who found it difficult to grasp certain concepts and ideas. However, at the age of 13, I had the opportunity to get into the diamond-cutting industry, which I found absolutely fascinating — especially learning the process of cutting all the various facets of the diamond from start to finish. Once I became a skilled master cutter and gained more experience, I was ready to go into jewelry manufacturing, which eventually led me to work with both retailers and private individuals. As such, I felt a great deal of responsibility to take care of our customers and make them completely happy with their purchase. It is one of the most rewarding feelings when your customers walk out of your office with a happy feeling in their heart and a big smile on their face. It makes me feel like I’m in the business of making people happy, and that is the most satisfying and fulfilling feeling one can have.

Talisman: My Life in a Jewel Box - Vivienne Becker

Through all the years I’ve spent studying and writing about jewelry and its long, rich, complex history, I’ve come to understand that the jewel, in essence, is a magical object. Its original purpose was as a talisman — a connection between man and the otherworldly forces that governed his fate. And I like to think there’s been a talisman somewhere in my life that has guided me serendipitously into the wondrous, eccentric and impassioned world of jewels. I was only a teenager when, on a whim, I walked into one of London’s indoor antique markets and asked for a holiday job. I started working in a warm, welcoming community of dealers and collectors who all generously shared their knowledge with me. After some three years, I moved into journalism and eventually began writing about jewelry. This book tells how I made an unlikely career [in that field]; the people I met along the way; the collections I’ve been fortunate to see; the artists and designers I’ve spent time with, including Elsa Peretti and Daniel Brush; and what I’ve learned and have still to learn.

The Art of the ‘Intrepreneur’: the Life of Jonathan Kendall - Jonathan Kendall

Throughout my life, I have set up and developed businesses and brands without taking on the financial risk of being an entrepreneur. I call this being an “intrepreneur”: somewhat of a wild card within corporate life and succeeding through intuition to some extent, with a strong understanding of future trends and an ability to see opportunities, persuade the board you have a great idea, build the business plan, and deliver what you promised. It’s not a role many standard corporate executives find appealing, as they prefer the systematic, bureaucratic life focused on meetings, committees, policies, procedures and the like. As an intrepreneur, you have to break the rules, take the risks, look outside, build strong external networks, and be trusted both internally and externally. Many within the corporation quietly hope you will fail, so having “broad shoulders” is critical.... Of all aspects of my life, surrounding myself with the best possible people has made a tremendous difference, as even in the toughest of times, we have remained positive and kept a sense of humor.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - February 2022. To subscribe click here.

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