The Wedding Biz – 280: ZAMEER KASSAM: Designing Fine Jewelry And Telling Love Stories
Zameer Kassam is known for Infusing storytelling with personal history when designing jewelry. Listen as Andy and Zameer discuss the rings he designed for Hasan Minhaj, Ashley Judd, and Lupita Nyong’o. Zameer also talks about his background working in his immigrant family’s jewelry business, why talking to people about their love stories was his favorite part, the passion that led him to design jewelry plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.
Zameer is the Founder and CEO of Zameer Kassam Fine Jewelry. Zameer continues to be a member of the Rock 100, the 100 fastest growing startups founded by alums of the Harvard Business School. And, in 2015, De Beers group entered a strategic partnership with Zameer Kassam offering exclusive access to their most rare and precious diamonds.
Zameer is a storyteller, but instead of words, he uses jewelry to tell stories. Listening to the couple’s love stories and designing a ring that encompasses their lives gives him joy. Working with De Beers and using diamonds from the Botswana diamond mines gives him a way to do what he loves but still benefit the country they came from and that is something he feels very passionate about.
“I just brought back thoughtfulness and meaningfulness to something that should be thoughtful and meaningful.” As Zameer speaks about opening a design company, he hated that the jewelry industry was going into the generic mass consumption direction. He believes that when someone buys a ring for the person they love, it should be unique and not the same ring hundreds of others have been given from the same jewelry store.
Zameer shares his process of finding the sweet spot in diamonds where beauty and value are optimized, the thrill of working with celebrities to bring attention to their causes, and how the pandemic is affecting his business and the changes they made to keep production going. Zameer’s story and approach to business is very moving. You don’t want to miss the extraordinary conversation.
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[02:47] Welcome to the show, Zameer!
[03:30] Zameer speaks about a ring he designed for Hasan Minhaj.
[05:36] He shares his life, growing up around his family’s jewelry business.
[08:27] Zameer discusses his first job at a consulting company.
[09:13] Listen, as Zameer speaks about his parents being refugees and how that shaped his life.
[12:18] Zameer speaks about telling people’s stories because everyone has a story.
[14:21] Was there a moment where you decided you wanted to follow your passion?
[16:28] Zameer talks about his internship with the De Beers group.
[17:17] He discusses spending his second year, the second semester in Botswana, in the diamond mines.
[19:09] Zameer speaks about opening his own fine jewelry company.
[21:36] He tells a story about a friend asking him to design a ring for the love of his life.
[24:50] “I just brought back thoughtfulness and meaningfulness to something that should be thoughtful and meaningful.”
[26:28] Listen as Zameer shares his process from the first meeting to the finished product.
[28:01] What are some major tradeoffs in the attributes of a diamond?
[30:48] Zameer shares another story of a couple that moved him.
[33:14] Zameer speaks about the high profile design he did for Ashley Judd that celebrated women directors in film.
[36:53] Zameer shares his perspective on the Botswana diamond industry.
[38:54] Are you working on a wedding show that will air on Netflix?
[40:27] Zameer speaks about how the pandemic is affecting his business.
[41:03] He describes all the changes they made to focus on getting the rings done.
[44:35] Zameer shares how everything has slowed down and people are focusing on the important things.
[45:32] Thank you so much for being on the show!
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