Interview with Meira and Nurielle Tugendhaft of Meira T Designs
Tell us about your company, it’s purpose, mission, target audience, goals, what makes it unique?
My mother is a designer of gold and diamond jewelry line. We sell our jewelry to retailers worldwide. The target audience as far as consumers go is really women. Our slogan is “designed for a woman by a woman”. The collection is designed for women who are self purchasers. The jewelry is affordable, very trendy and sophisticated. Its the type of jewelry that transitions well from day to night wear.
How did you come to work together in the first place?
My mother Meira T had been working together with my father her husband. I started working for her at the end of high school and part time all through college. I started at the bottom of our hierarchy and worked my way up through each position. After college I took a brief hiatus and worked for Arthur Andersen in International Tax. After the Enron disaster I went to work for my mother full time. At the same time our company was changing from diamond and gemstone jewelry to our hammered yellow gold designer collection.
Please describe your respective roles in the company.
Meira is the designer but also oversees the entire operation. She is a woman of many hats. From production to customer relations to finances. She is essentially the CEO. I work on a lot of PR and marketing, customer advertising, customer relations and some production and finance.
How has working together affected your relationship outside the “office.” In other words how do you keep family matters separate from work related issues?
I think that this is one of the hardest aspects of working together. We try to talk business in the office and family life outside but that does not always happen. A lot of it is intertwined. We can be talking about customers one minute and family issues the next.
What are some of the challenges you have faced working together?
Our biggest triumph is brand recognition. In the past years our brand was well known within the industry. Over the past few years we have worked on public relations to create brand recognition within the American public. Today we have retailers telling us stories of people walking into their stores requesting to see our brand. We receive repeat requests from fashion magazines and celebrities that want to shoot, be shot with and purchase our designs.
What do you like best about working together? Least?
The best thing about working together is the ease with communication. We understand each others expectations and ideas very easily because of the mother daughter relationship. At the same time this relationship can be trying because after a day of work we are still family. We both have to be careful with how we speak and what we say because after all Meira is my mother and I am her daughter.
What, if any big challenges or little annoyances have occurred as a result of working together and how have you managed to overcome them?
When working in a a family business, everything matters and its hard to leave business in the office. When we see each other for family get togethers or with my children Meira’s grandchildren we try very hard not to talk about business but it does not always work.
What’s been the most exciting thing that has happened as a result of working together (eg. unexpected publicity, obtaining an unexpected client/customer, an emotional moment, etc)?
I think some of the most exciting accomplishments have been our Diet Coke 25th Anniversary Promotion, publicity in a trade competition which is where we started with our signature collection. Various consumer magazines and now Carmindy will be wearing our jewelry in an AOL video clip.
What’s next for this mother daughter team?
We are working on a project right now partnering with a lot of different companies. Don’t want to reveal to much …
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I think we are very passionate about our work because of our mother daughter relationship. We believe in our product the Meira T collection and work very hard to promote it, create it and most important innovate.
You can learn more at www.meiratdesigns.com
This article can be read in the Spring/Summer 2009 Issue of WE Magazine for Women