#271 The BIPOC Open Letter with Angely Martinez

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The BIPOC Open Letter is making waves in the jewelry industry, and I got to interview the inspiring designer who organized it – Angely Martinez.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Angely Martinez is an award-winning jewelry designer and maker based in New York City.

She got the idea to write the letter shortly after the death of George Floyd, which fueled calls for equity and change all over the world. 

With these tough conversations at the forefront of national attention, Angely sprung into action.

See, while most of the resources utilized in the creation of fine jewelry are globally sourced from origins with a majority BIPOC population, BIPOC identities are still notoriously underrepresented and overlooked. 

Angely rallied fellow BIPOC designers and supporters, and together they created a unified call for change through The BIPOC Open Letter.

#271 The BIPOC Open Letter with Angely Martinez

“Regardless of whether they're BIPOC or non-BIPOC, if you were not born into a family as money or resources you are struggling so in a lot of us are just doing in our own and just trying different things and by investing when we can so I think overhyping is gonna bring a lot of changes to the industry.”

Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.

Tracy: Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast Episode 271. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, and the host of the Thrive by Design podcast with you today. And I have a special guest on the show. Her name is Angely Martinez. And I'm really excited to talk to her today about a letter that she wrote to the jewelry industry in an open letter stating how we can inspire change in this industry that has been kind of old school for a very long time. In fact, one of the reasons why I started Flourish and Thrive Academy in the first place about eight years ago with my co-founder Robin Kramer was to bust this tight-lipped industry and to make some change in how emerging brands were showing up for their business. And so I feel like it's kind of coming full circle now or you know, in, you know, tandem with these changes, these big changes that are coming up in our jewelry industry. And while this podcast is for jewelers, product, business makers, creative brands, and all sorts of types of people selling creative products, we did start really focused on the jewelry industry.

So more than anything, I'm super excited to be here today to talk, talk to Angely, about this letter that she wrote. And that reminds me of a couple of things. First and foremost, if you don't know about it, and you haven't actually gotten on the waitlist yet, we are getting people excited about our BIPOC mentorship and scholarship program that we're doing over here at Flourish and Thrive Academy for six jewelry and or creative product brands who are trying to break in to the industry and get some traction going. And as I mentioned, we are building a waitlist now we're going to be giving away six scholarships with a year long of mentorship with me and my team of coaches to help you get your jewelry business growing, we're going to be working with a couple of startup brands, and people are already established or trying to scale their sales to multiple six figures and beyond and reach people through multiple channels. So I'm super excited about this.

And if you are interested in learning more, I would highly encourage you to head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/bipocmentor and get on the waitlist right there. Because we're gonna be announcing how you can apply in November. So that's coming up before we even know it.

The second thing that I wanted to mention is that before we even know it, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Giving Tuesday, Cyber weekend, as we call it over here is slowly creeping upon us. And as I'm recording this podcast, we just completed our two-day momentum retreat herein I was gonna say here in New York City, but it was actually in Arizona and virtual was all over the place. like where do I live? Hmm. Just kidding. Anyway, so we had our two-day retreat, and it was one of the best that we've ever had. And it was awesome because our entire focus was about planning for the holiday season and making sure that you had some really great and inspiring offers and strategies and everything in place and ready to go. And we are going to be revealing some of the top strategies is something that I put together are called The Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine.

It's a ridiculously affordable basically sales plan and marketing plan for you to plug and play in your business. It's gonna It comes with the full entire ultimate holiday sales machine system. We're going to be giving you a marketing calendar so that you have all like the the timelines, and timestamps kind of mapped out so you know what to do. We're going to be giving you our project brief and project debrief planner, and some really incredible tools to help you pull this off without a hitch, and so much more. And for a bonus for signing up. We're going to be giving you one of our favorite resources over here called The Story Selling Framework which is designed to help you sell through storytelling people love stories. If you learn to tell better stories, you'll be able to sell a lot more product. And that's exactly what this resource is designed to do. Anyway, if you're interested in learning more about that it is insanely affordable. As I mentioned before, head on over to www.flourishthriveacademy.com/salesmachine and check it out right over there.

You're gonna love it. We are, it's like literally flying off the shelves over here. And I say flying off the shelves because we have really helped a lot of brands with this. So definitely check it out if you are interested. Now let's dive in. And before I do, I want to introduce Angely. She was born in the Dominican Republic and is an award winning jewelry designer and maker based in New York City, creating works that are big and bold and out of this world. Her work is influenced by the beauties of nature, and the world of fantasy with a touch of romanticism, and the avant garde. I have to be honest with you, when you think about her, she is the epitome of art jeweler she's like super talented, and really excited to share with you kind of her inspiration for writing this BIPOC open letter, and for you all to learn a little bit more about her path as a designer and maker. So let's dive in. I'm very excited to have a special guest on the show today. I have Angely Martinez. Angely, thank you so much for being here.

Angely: Thank you so much for having me.

Tracy: I'm excited to have you on the show, because you've done some really incredible things over the last few months. First and foremost, people might know you for writing the BIPOC open letter to the jewelry industry. And I heard about it and the summer was crazy for me. So I finally was able to kind of hunt you guys down on the phone. You and Jules Kim and Michelle Orman. And I am so excited that we had this great conversation and also to be able to chat with you a little bit more about your business and also like the inspiration for writing this letter. So I want to thank you first and foremost for agreeing to do this interview.

Angely: Yes, thank you for having me. Like I'm very excited. This is my first podcast. So I'm very looking forward to this.

Tracy: Okay, well, let's do this. So before we kind of dive into your impetus for writing the BIPOC open letter and your experience, I want to just know a little bit about how you came across jewelry design and became a jewelry designer. So tell us a little bit about your journey.

Angely: So I started making jewelry when I took a course while I was in business school many years ago, like nine years ago, so I was like in my third year and I wanted to take art classes because I always wanted to have a creative career, you can say. And so I started taking just that class and it was really basic things. We were making polymer clay beads, and ceramic beads and then learning a few metal smithing things. But it wasn't like when I went to FIT where I really learned mostly metal smithing fabrication and design.

So then when I graduated, I was working. So it took me a while to get back to jewelry making. And then through a mutual friend and connection. I met Judi Powers. And yeah, at the time, Judi was like, starting to break out in the industry and introduced me to Ethical Metalsmith. And then she introduced me to Michael Cohen, who was running the jewelry program at FIT at that time. And so I was thinking, continuing our classes at night, during work after work hours once a week. And then I got into the program. And so while I was in the program, I interned for Jules. And right that's where I interned for her. And that her internship was really like a, we'll say a mentorship.

I really got a real-life crash course on the jewelry industry in the diamond district. So I didn't know lapidary, I didn't know stone setters, diamond dealers. So I learned that through working with Jules and just seeing her cool work and helping her with design or anything she needed help with. And so we stayed in touch I also stayed in touch with Judi, Judi was mentoring me for a while too. And so these two women have been really helpful in my career when I started and just very supportive and I think that's very important to have from your starting now.

Tracy: Amazing, amazing. Did I read somewhere that you were also a bench jeweler for Weinstein and Ross?

Angely: I did yes, I worked there for about eight months. And then before I was at WWAKE, I'm back at WWAKE now. So yeah, that was pretty cool. Like I learned a lot I've learned a lot in both companies are both very different because one's older, more stylish, more traditional metalsmithing and goldsmithing, and then the other are more modern, millennial contemporary jewelry. So it's just really it's been really fun both experiences.

Tracy: Well, that's awesome. I mean, they're both like amazing brands and so like Weinstein and Ross, like you've got and also working for by Jewels By Jules?

Seriously like the best education and working for, like the most amazing companies that are based in New York. That's amazing. And you've won some awards too, including the MJSA, a vision awards in 2018, and the Extensive Accessories Council next gen award. So what was the inspiration for your collections for designing for these awards? And how did you design and submit for that?

Angely: MJSA was a surprise because I had applied three years three times before that. And that was like the third time and I got it. And I was graduating from like the so for that. It's very important. That piece is very important, but it's also the storytelling. So right. So the way I did it is I submitted three pieces, and one of them was this station necklace. It was like a butterfly. I made butterfly wings, which is the Greta OTO butterfly. And it has transparent wings, which it uses to camouflage itself from predators. And so I got really interested in that and do a lot of research. And I did a necklace based on that.

And I submitted, and they love the story. And I think that's when I was graduating, so I was like and then the Accessories Council was for fashion jewelry, I got it in the fashion category. And that's because I was in a lot of bigger things in school, like bigger pieces, working with alternative materials, which I'm still working with, like these glass beads which are my collection. Yeah. And so I learned out there and maybe thought based on my graduation collection. So that's how I got that one. And my work is pretty much about fantasy and nature and mixing them together, in creating just really out of worldly things. And just fairytales. I just really like those things. And I like mixing.

Tracy: Your pieces are incredible, by the way, as I was talking to them, and they're just like, they're super ornate and beautiful.

Angely: Thank you.

Tracy: You're showing me. Because it's audio only. We had to pivot at the last minute to go audio only because we have some distance learning students. Right now. There's no privacy. So gotta roll with it during COVID time. So how long have you been designing for your own brand? Because I'm assuming that you're working for WWAKE and then also doing more business on the side? Am I correct in that?

Angely: Yes.

Tracy: Okay, awesome. And how are you promoting and selling that work?

Angely: So I, I've been designing for my own brands, and even some school because when I was in FIT, I was like, I want to do my own brand when I leave. So I was I started designing then and fully for me, I will say two years as a business for me. And then after that, while having the two jobs that I had, I've been making my own work. So I sell my work either through my website, or through Wolf and Badger, and not just a label, who just launched the retail platform this year. And soon I'm going to be launching with another retailer this fall. And that's going to be more fine jewelry.

Tracy: Amazing. So you're doing fine. You're doing I want to say fashion jewelry. But it's also you're kind of doing demi-fine because you're doing so. And stones. And you showed me a couple of the pieces that we were on that call a couple of weeks ago. So yes, it's amazing. So I want to kind of, we'll come back to your Wolf and badger partnership because I know you're doing something with the Bijules Incubator. But I want to put that on hold for a second. Yeah, more than anything I want to know like after George Floyd died, and I feel like the world was already imploding in the first place. And then everything blew up even more. And you had the courage to write this BIPOC open letter and get, you know, 30 something plus jewelers to sign it. I wish I would have known before because I would have signed it as well. Before like when you were doing this.

Angely: Yeah,

Tracy: I'd love to share you for you to share the inspiration kind of like why you decided to write that and why you think it's so important now.

Angely: So I think one of the reasons why I decided to do it, because I don't I don't see anything productive about calling people on social media. Venting and it's just really negative. And it just doesn't, it doesn't really create any change. So I it may create, like superficial change, but the real real changes happen behind the scenes. And so I said, you know, why don't we get together like the first six jewelers. Let's get together and write this letter and put all these thoughts into a letter that's productive, that's positive. And that will actually bring change in the industry. And so we created these guidelines and we get a revolt, the call to action.

It is COVID my thing so we're not expecting people to do things immediately. We want them to take their time, absorb the letter, and then implement it into their business. They can, maybe they can hire an intern who's BIPOC or they can do whatever fits their business because not every business can implement everything. Some businesses are small, as a small company, so I'm not expecting them to do everything but just do something that you can do. And just take your time with it. Nothing fast. Just think about it and then implement it to your company.

Tracy: I love it. And by the way, I'm looking at your nails right now because I saw all your nails are those aflame nails?

Angely: I got these from Vanity Projects.

Tracy: Oh, I used to go there to there and paint box there. Those are really good.

Angely: Yeah, there. Yeah. I think the both of them because I mean, I got into nails like last year.

Tracy: I got to but they're they're growing out my girl Chrissy did.

Angely: So both of those salons are great. So I love going there. Yeah, um, but yeah, so that's what so I think the nails goes with the rings, because I wear a lot of rings. exactly perfect. And he protects my nails when I'm working. So yeah.

Tracy: Okay, back to the letter, you outline some of the things that you guys called for change for? Like, do you want to like walk us through some of those things?

Angely: Yes. So some of them I know, I create internships, mentorship programs for emerging talent, increase retail representation in the sales floor, and employment representation. Another thing we call for is creating a trade association that might come up soon, I'm not sure when. But we're going to have probably other designers or other professionals, I want to join the group do it, I'm not able to do it anymore, because I have a lot going on. But I'm opening that this has been opened by the group to other people to manage it. And then another thing that we call for was to acknowledge that these materials, the materials we use come from black and brown people, regions of the world where their ethnic people, people who are black, or brown, and we should be supporting them and working ethically, to bring transparency to the industry to keep the transparency throughout the transactions of those those things.

Tracy: I know Ethical Metalsmiths. And you mentioned that before and that you were introduced to them. I'm on the board of advisors actually for Ethical Metalsmiths from a sort of management and marketing perspective. And they're doing amazing things. And also, Susan Wheeler, Susan Wheeler, and Wheeler Designs is like running the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference.

So yes, I feel like I mean, I've been so so much part of that conversation for the last four years or so with getting involved and Susan and Jennifer Dawes to the key people in those organizations have been students of mine as well. So it's really, I think, incredible to see how all these things kind of interweave with each other. Right? And I'm glad you brought up because part of the reason that we got on a call a couple of weeks ago is that I wanted to get get some of your input because over at Flourish and Thrive Academy, we have just recently released a BIPOC Well, it's awkward, we've started the waitlist, we decided to push it back, we wanted to really be thoughtful about this.

So yeah, 2020 we're gonna be releasing if you guys don't know about this a mentorship and scholarship program for six BIPOC jewelry and or creative product brands, because our audience is a little bit bigger than just the jewelry industry. So I'm really excited about it. Because we have a lot of BIPOC members of our community and like, you know, from just my standpoint, like, you know, we know, I don't really, I don't know the best way to say this, but I've never really been like thought about like, oh, they're this like segment might be slightly underrepresented. Because we do have a committee that's like, full of, you know, a variety of types of people.

But this has been brought to my awareness because I really do want to support emerging talent and people like where you get mentorship and be able to grow up because you really like, you've got like an amazing skill set. And I know there's so many designers and makers out there just like you who are trying to get ahead, but maybe they don't know the knowledge or they don't know where to go for help or any of those things. So I'm glad that you mentioned that because that was like one of the first things that I wanted to bring to the table. And I was talking with Jennifer Gandia about this, who I think that as well. So we're really excited about that. But I want to ask you a little bit more. You mentioned something about a trade organization or trade. I made some notes here trade associations. Can you tell me a little bit about what that is?

Angely: Yes, so that we're still talking behind the scenes about it, but the designers brought up in the letter when we wrote it, that they will like to be a BIPOC trade association created in some somewhere The media members in the industry are brought up like WJA. When he was created, it was women coming together because there were not a lot of women my business back in the day, and it was hard for them to break in. So it's a similar struggle. So something like that, but it's for the BIPOC community. Of course, we will need supporters. I know it takes months, like six to nine months, I've heard. So it's a long term initiative. So that's going to take a while, and probably the group will eventually fall into the trade association. So for now, we're just a grassroots group, and then eventually is going to move into with that probably help with that, too. So it's going to move like that. But he's going to eventually organically progressing through the association.

Tracy: That's awesome. Another question. And I think it's so needed, like, I think all the different types of trade organizations within the industry are so helpful. And so I think it's amazing as a community that BIPOC brands can, like, come together and like really support each other and talk about these issues, and then maybe use it as a platform to bring it to the bigger jewelry industry as a whole since we're talking about jewelry.

Angely: Yeah.

Tracy: So I believe you know, Lorraine West to which is exciting.

Angely: Oh my gosh, yes.

Tracy: I interviewed her for our podcast, as well. And I met her about just a little under a year ago at New York City, Jewelry week, and she walked up to me and gave me this big warm hug. And she's like, it's you. This was like a year ago. I don't know who you are.

Angely: That's all right, Lorraine. I talked to Lorraine like, at least every two weeks, or even once a week, sometimes. She's just great, She and Jules have been great to me. And she's just willing to give you like, advice if you need it. And just to take some time. She's super busy right now. And I'm so happy for her because she has so many orders. And she has so much going on. Because of all the things that have happened, like she was in the Beyonce video, and all these things and all these editorials, I'm so happy for Lorraine. And she's just super nice and super supportive. And she tells me like it is something that she will tell you. You need people like that you need people to tell you that.

Tracy: I love it. She's just like, she's really just like a sweet, kind, amazing soul. And she honestly has the best maker picture I've ever seen. Like a head shot? a warrior with her jewelry tools. The best. And the reason why I brought Lorraine up because I noticed that she also sign the letter. And I'm curious, like, can other people sign the letter? Like if there's other BIPOC designers? Or people who want to get involved in that, like, how does that work?

Angely: Yes, so we the group are open for more BIPOC designers to join the group. And we're now we just had a meeting recently, and we decided to open it to BIPOC professionals. So, people who are CAD designers, marketing professionals, consultants, lapidaries, etc, that will like to come together be part of the group, because we will like to partner with them. If I need a CAD designer, I can outsource my job to him or her or them. And they can help me make that happen. Or if I need a lapidary, and he can do some sort of carving for me, I can do that. So we also need a resource list for us. So they can contact us through the [email protected] or they can go to BIPOC Open Letter.com, which is the website, they can read the letter there and find more information. We just asked whoever signs the letter to adhere to the guidelines on the letter, so we can continue to move forward and just keep creating opportunities for everyone.

Tracy: And do you allow people who are like non-BIPOC to sign that letter?

Angely: Yes, we have supporters, industry supporters. And also like overall, I just think the letter is going to help a lot with emerging talent, independent talent, entry-level talent across the board. Um, because everybody who's starting out is struggling, regardless of whether they're BIPOC or non-BIPOC. If you were not born into a family as money or resources, you are struggling so in a lot of us are just doing it on our own, just trying different things and by investing when we can so I think overall, I think is gonna bring a lot of changes to the industry.

Tracy: I think, you know, it's interesting, because, you know, when I started my business, in similar kind of story, you know, I don't I'm not BIPOC I'm a white girl, but like, no, I had you know, I self-funded my business. You know, I started where I could like I didn't start in fine jewelry. So I think that was one of the things that made it easy enough, you know, I financed my business on credit cards had a little money saved, I was also married at the time.

So it was helpful because all the bills for living weren't just on my shoulders we had split up your home income. So those were things that were helpful. And I also remember a time when my ex-husband was like, Girl, you got to figure this out and make start making some money, or else, you know, you're gonna have to go back and get a regular job. And so, you know, it's interesting how, when you're left with not a lot of resources, but like a desire to make something happen, how you can get your business moving forward quickly. Because the alternative is like much worse.Retail, like torture.

So you know, and it's so fun. Like, for me, it's really exciting to watch, you know, obviously, we offer business education, programs and courses and like, this is what we do for businesses, we teach people how to bootstrap and grow a successful brand. And like, part of the impetus for doing something like this was to help people like you or people who are just starting out. Yeah, show them like the faster road.

So they didn't have to, like make all the mistakes, you know, then that end up costing a lot of money like overmind story or like, no marketing to the right people, or whatever I see. So it's, I feel like there's a lot of alignment with what you're asking for. And it clearly it's different. I'm not trying to compare the two but like, alignment with, you know, really, as an industry, like all of us trying to lift each other up, because I think that is super.

Now I have a question for you. So we talked about the BIPOC incubator, we talked about the BIPOC trade association, how is that different than the Bijules Incubator?

Angely: So the Bijules Incubator is it's a program created by Jules . And I was one of the first designers in the program back into anything before I graduated in the spring dive year. And so, like we stay in touch, so I brought my cheese, like bring your color. I like these pieces that I had done in school in between projects, and whatever I could do. So I brought them over, she said, bring them over, and we'll look at it. And so then from there, she showed me how you make a collection, a cohesive collection. And she gave me feedback, she's like this is gonna be this is the piece for the collection. And then these are the pieces of stuff for with that.

So you have the main piece and you have the rest, huh. And then from there, she's like, bring your bench over. I just got a new bench through the grant money that I got from yesterday. She was really, it was really helpful. When I started. And I got my bench I brought my bench over to were spot on Canal Street, by a project she was doing there and basically was about showing people what it's like to make handmade jewelry, what is the process of doing it? And all the amount of work he takes on the equipment you need. I just had a few hammers on my files from school and I just use that. And yeah, it was about you join the process. And it's really interesting, people really appreciate seeing how your work is made. And the fact that they were able to see it in person was even more. I think they were more thankful for it. And more appreciative.

Tracy: That's incredible and exciting. So she's doing some sort of partnership also with Wolf and Badger. Is that part of your life? how you got into Wolf and Badger are these in separate?

Angely: It's a separate but a little bit similar to that. Um, so this is the second collection she's doing with them directly. My collection were nice there on its own by only my brand name. But they're still working out the details of what's going to be but I know it's coming this fall, I think. So that's a capsule collection for them. Along with other designers.

Tracy: I walked into that store. I think it's such an amazing store many times but when I was just back recently in New York, they were open which is exciting. And I was like, the coolest stuff like, like really unique pieces. Yeah, from the jewelry perspective, clothing, and everything. Really great.

Angely: Yeah, they're great.

Tracy: What are you gonna say sorry.

Angely: Yeah, they're great, great, great people. I'm on the online website right now. But he's great to gain like international clients. So it's great. So I love it.

Tracy: I'm so happy for you. And I'm happy for all this progress that you've kind of or awareness that you brought to this brand, like what was or to this prop not well to your brand. That's what I'm trying to say though, but to the awareness in the industry with this by BIPOC open letter, you know, in the long term, like three, five years down the road. What do you hope this like this, the start of this will achieve, like if you were to paint a picture in the future,

Angely: Just to see more BIPOC designers maybe collaborating with bigger gem dealers, gem minor companies. Doing collaborations with them, expanding their distribution, they want to do that having more clients, because he helps, you know, people get discovered through a lot of different ways. And so this is another way to get discovered by bringing everybody together.

In just having like more solid business, I would love to see more people staying in the business to maybe we'll have the Trade Association by then. And we can have a group of people, it's bringing people together, just keep continuing to grow the community. And just, you know, just to keep seeing more things and just more opportunity for emerging talent and more programs to help a mentor emerging talent who need that support. Because to be honest, across the board, we need it. And it's very important to have it awesome. Otherwise, people will leave.

Tracy: Yeah, I was gonna say, Are you participating in New York jewelry week? I know, it's like virtual this year and Lorraine's doing some sort of exposition with it.

Angely: Yeah, she's doing some cool things with them. I'm not sure yet. I probably haven't worked that out. But probably something will come up in the next few months.

Tracy: Yeah, okay. So with that being said, like, what are you most excited about right now.

Angely: So I'm excited for these mixed metals fine metals collection that I'm going to release in a few weeks. And I'm using some other gems, I can say here, because they have an announcement. Well, they will announce within the next few weeks, and they're basically in New York City. So I'm very excited. It's my first brick and mortar retailer. So I'm excited for that. And that collection is inspired by the Dutch Baroque Period, in the still life paintings from that period. So I'm gonna translate still life paintings into jewelry.

Tracy: Really a true artist, like you're like the definition of art jeweler, I feel like work for Jewels Kim who is kind of like in a sense, like more mass, like her products are beautiful, but she just has like a really big audience and, and then working with Weinstein and Ross like super traditional and then working with WWAKE, which is definitely like more minimalist kind of, it's just like, awesome to see you like really being able to have an impact on all of those brands in your own way. But then also to carve a path that's all your own, which is so unique. So I just want to acknowledge you for that, because it's really impressive.

Angely: Well, thank you. And I'm learning and I've learned from all of them so and they just make you a better jeweler, better Craftsman better designer. Like WWAKE. She's great WWAKE she's great. Her branding has found that a lot and she has a lot of she's doing a lot bigger pieces now. So it's good to see that. And I will say when she first started to introduce those about a year ago, and then yeah, and then Josie is doing a lot of custom work. So it's good to see all these designers grow while you're also evolving. So that's great.

Tracy: You know what, I think I mentioned this when we are speaking on that call, like when I started my jewelry brand back in the 90s. It started out as a beaded jewelry brand on my couch even though as a trained metalsmith that's like what I could do and get out the door and start selling it. It's actually like something that I feel so disconnected from now but it was my beginning. And now you know the evolution of like, where I am as a designer and where you will probably be in like 10 years like there's always this this fun path to kind of watch it as a brand. Well, I want to thank you so much for being on the podcast today. This was a really great interview. And let's talk about where people can find you where they can read the open letter, we're going to definitely link it in the show notes and everything.

Angely: So I am on https://angelymartinezjewelry.com/ I also use that for my Instagram is Angely Martinez Jewelry. So everyone can find me you can just type in Angely Martinez Jewelry, and you'll find me. And for the open letter, the BIPOC Open Letter, you can go to https://bipocopenletter.com/open-letter, and you can find more information there. You can also submit your information if you want to sign up with some signer or supporter, or BIPOC professional and you can also email us at [email protected] for more information.

Tracy: Awesome Angely. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Angely: Thank you for having me.

Tracy: Thank you so much for listening to this podcast today. I am thrilled to have Angely on the show and it was just such an honor to be able to interview her and to hear how this inspiring young designer is just taking a stance for change in the jewelry industry. So if you'd like to check out more, we'll have a link in the show notes, and if you'd like to check out the Holiday Sales Machine or the Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine because it is ultimate, it is an amazing system that is designed to help you for any short urgency promotion, as we call it over here at Flourish and Thrive. But in particular for a short sales weekend like Black Friday through Cyber Monday, aka cyber weekend, so definitely go check that out if you're interested to head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/salesmachine and you can check out all the links that Angely and I spoke about in the episode over at the show notes at flourishthriveacademy.com/271 thanks so much for listening today. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend because sharing is caring. Until next time, this is Tracy Matthews, signing off.

Click here to download the show notes

What Does BIPOC Stand For?

BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. 

BIPOC individuals are fundamental to every part of the jewelry supply chain, yet they remain underrepresented in the mainstream jewelry industry. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. 

What Is The BIPOC Open Letter?

The BIPOC Open Letter is a document signed by over 60 designers and supporters calling for the jewelry industry to embrace and contribute to their movement and recognize the vast, historical underrepresentation of BIPOC in the commercial facet of the industry.

It includes guidelines for what true equity should look like within the industry. Here are just a few…

  • More educational opportunities for BIPOC designers, as well as apprenticeships, scholarships, and grants.
  • Increased representation of BIPOC artists in retail spaces, organization committees, and boards of directors.
  • Support for people all along the supply chain, including BIPOC lapidaries and miners.
  • Acknowledgment of the origins of inspiration from BIPOC cultures, traditions, and historical objects.
  • And so much more…

How You Can Get Involved

An equitable jewelry industry benefits everyone, not just BIPOC designers.

The letter ends with 10 actionable tasks everyone in the industry can accomplish together. You can read them here. And while you’re at it, I recommend reading the entire letter.

Thanks to designers like Angely Martinez, the jewelry industry is changing for the better. But she can’t do it alone.

It’s up to all of us, as jewelry designers, makers, and business owners to come together and affect change.

Will you join us?

xo, Tracy


The BIPOC Open Letter

Follow Angely on Instagram!

Angely Martinez Jewelery

Flourish & Thrive Academy BIPOC Scholarship and Mentorship

Wolf & Badger

Bijules Incubator

Ethical Metalsmiths

Chicago Responsible Jewelry

Episode #269: From the Streets of Soho to Scaling Online with Lorraine West

The Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine



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