Posted on August 17 2022
Source: ALLY Shoes | Sassy Saffron Suede Pump
We had the pleasure of recently fitting Kelly Gerber with a pair of ALLY pumps and we loved hearing her story plus we were crazy about her jewelry! Find out more about Kelly Gerber and her jewelry line, Kelly Gerber Jewelry.
ALLY Shoes: Tell us about yourself
Kelly: I grew up in very pretty and small town on the North Shore of Long Island- funny I say town because when I think back, I grew up with a large farm behind my house and not one single store in the town, it really was a “village”, a post office and police station. It sounds very rural but 2 minutes away was everything you could need or want and 23 miles west was Manhattan. I had a very creative and outgoing Grandmother that I was close with. She could do anything and did it well, cook, sew, knit. She worked at B.Altman for awhile and would buy my sister and I dolls from all over the world.
My Dad is also very creative, he painted, created & invented all kinds of everyday household items. My mom was into fashion and has style, she was for a minute a model in the garment industry, so needless to say everything looked good on her. I guess you can say it all started there, from exposure and genetics. Creativity and Style.
I went to college and had no idea what I wanted to do, at first I though Journalism, then business, then when I was terrible at accounting I decided fashion. I went from the University of Miami to Fashion Institute of Technology. My career has been Fashion, Real Estate, Jewelry and swung back to Jewelry & Real Estate both that I love.
ALLY Shoes: How did you become inspired to create your own jewelry line?
Kelly: I launched Kelly Gerber Jewelry from a friends dining room table, we lived in the same building in NYC and our little girls played almost everyday. My friend was wearing some of my pieces to her daughters nursery school, 92nd Street Y and her friends kept asking where did you get that necklace. So there really began- it was a “trunk show” we invited our young mom friends to take a look and purchase or order jewelry. My friends were wearing pieces they purchased from me too then it just hit, “is that from Kelly Gerber” It has grown a lot since then and yet it’s still very much the same- word of mouth and referrals, "Who made your ring, necklace, bracelet, earrings etc." After 9/11 I created my photo dog tag collection, photos of loved ones on little gold dog tags mixed with other charms on cool chains. I did for a short time have brick and mortar stores with a friend, she did the clothing and I curated the jewelry collection for mothers and daughters. The first boutique was 2 blocks from my daughters school. It was called me.nu.
Today even with social media, Instagram and a website, my favorite clients are still old clients and referrals, there’s a bond, a connection to history and sentimentality which is what some of my jewelry represents.
ALLY Shoes: What does your design process look like?
Kelly: Since I often work privately with clients on repurposing jewelry that’s a very different process than creating a new charm or bracelet. Repurposing is removing all the stones and communicating with the client to find out what’s missing in their jewelry wardrobe. I play with the pieces and move things around and after awhile I visualize what will look best.
Everyone has a different style or no style, I want to make women feel more beautiful and by accessorizing with jewelry it often adds that final touch, for everyday or special occasions.I believe in building jewelry wardrobes, I often ask "What’s in your jewelry box?” Perhaps there are things we can update, repurpose and fill in with what’s missing. Fashion naturally plays a role, what’s on trend, equally as important is style. Style is pulling it together, not something easily acquired, it is a process and for some it’s organic for other women they appreciate the style tips.I get so much pleasure from making a woman feel stylish and beautiful. The most fun are the couples looking for engagement rings and new homes. This sort of goes hand in hand, don’t you agree?
ALLY Shoes: How do you balance your career as a Real Estate Agent an entrepreneur and a mother.
Kelly: I am an early riser. A lot gets done after my first cup of strong coffee. I make a list every night as to what’s going on for the next day, my to-do list. My sister always teases me what’s with the paper- for me I am visual. I need to see things on paper. Appointments, projects, clients, viewings, showings. It’s a juggle with prioritizing. Some days are mostly jewelry some days are just real estate and lately most days are both. I love the mix up of the two careers and owning my own schedule. I don’t think I would be successful in an office 9-5. I am inspired by things I see and hear throughout the day.
I make myself very accessible to my clients in both my businesses. I recommend not just what I love or want to sell but what looks good on someone. Same deal in Real Estate, knowing my buyers needs, since many of my Real Estate clients are in NY, looking for second homes in South Florida, I preview mostly all the properties before they arrive. Why waste their time. I respond quickly and move fast. I think this makes a difference in how you respond, customer service is key.
ALLY Shoes: Who is your biggest ally?
Kelly: My biggest ally is my jeweler in NY. We have been working together over 25 years. He has been married 3 times and I kid him and say I am another wife and the other woman. ;)