Bejeweled in Business

Alexandra Samit 09B turns her passion for jewelry into a high-style business with celebrity clientele.

By Michelle Valigursky

At Bloomingdales on 59th Street in New York City, she hosts a private trunk show surrounded by beautiful jewelry of her own design.

Samit

Alexandra Beth Samit 09B.

For Alexandra Beth Samit 09B, her days on Emory’s campus couldn’t be more different from the world she lives in now – a world with exquisite jewelry, photo spreads in glossy fashion magazines, and sightings of celebrities wearing her handcrafted creations.

Samit is busy, with Alexandra Beth Designs building a presence among retail partners domestically and internationally, and on the Internet with a growing online business at www.AlexandraBeth.com. Enlisting outside production assistance for high volume orders, she spends her days sourcing, designing, producing, and planning. Samit is hands on with her social media strategy, conducting regular giveaways on Instagram (@alexandrabethdesigns) and Facebook.com/AlexandraBeth.

As a young girl, Samit was drawn to pretty things. “After my first day of elementary school, I came home to a present – a miniature bottle of purple beads,” she recalls. “I immediately sat on the floor and went to work, and thus was born Alexandra’s Beads, the precursor to Alexandra Beth Designs.”

After graduation from Emory with a degree in business administration, however, Samit hoped to enter the field of public relations. A tough job market and a collapsing economy precluded her finding the type of work she’d envisioned. Instead, she relied on her own creativity and resourcefulness to launch a new venture. “I turned to what I knew and loved – jewelry making,” she says. “I made my first designs at my parent’s kitchen table.”

In the early days, Samit sold her designs to small retail operations near her family home in Maryland. “I believed in what I was doing,” she says. “When you start something new, you’re nervous. But it’s a good nervous, the kind that makes you work even harder.”

An invitation to conduct a private designer trunk show at Bloomingdales helped her realize that Alexandra Beth Designs was a viable business with a great future. Samit’s apprehensions fueled her success, and in just a few months she moved to New York City to enmesh herself in the fashion world. Now, as an Emory graduate with a burgeoning business and more than 100 designs, her product has reached customers as far as Dubai and Japan and as close as her Emory friends that live down the street.

To continuously develop fresh and sought-after designs, Samit sources materials globally. She notes, “Sourcing is one task that never stops. New York City has a treasure trove of materials, but there are great connections to be made in South America and India as well.”

Samit considers customer response one of her biggest motivators. “I feel lucky to bring happiness to others through my jewelry designs, with my biggest reward the excitement that any one of my pieces might bring to someone.”

Does she ever regret starting her own business? “I think everyone, at some point, experiences ‘the grass is greener’ sort of thing, and of course there are days that seem daunting, when I wonder if I can make happen the goals that I’ve set. But, I think those doubts are a natural part of what propels me forward. I would advise anyone with such thoughts to just take them along for the ride.”
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Michelle Valigursky