After a monthlong storytelling hiatus, I feel an explanation is owed. While, “it was finals szn so I was stuck in the library under a pile of books” suffices for part of my silence, the more exciting aspect of my hiatus was my increased involvement in Shiffon Co., a social-impact-fine-jewelry-start-up that is rapidly taking the world by storm. In all seriousness. But first, a little background:
Shiffon Co. is a fine jewelry brand founded in 2017 by Harvard undergrad Shilpa Yarlagadda out of her dorm. 50% of profits from our signature piece, the Duet Pinky Ring fund female empowerment grants through our nonprofit arm, Startup Girl Foundation.
I first heard about Shiffon Co. through a friend who modeled for them. I found their mission and their “Join the #GirlGang” mantra to be very inviting, so I followed their account for a while and ended up treating myself to a pinky ring at the end of the summer - as a sort of “job well done” token.
Designed to be a daily reminder of the pinky pledge taken to support women, the Duet Pinky Ring is adjustable to any size. The two stones in the band symbolize one woman supporting another, and 50% of profits fund female empowerment grants.
Since I wore my pinky ring every day, it was no surprise when Shilpa herself saw me wearing it in a class we had together in the fall. We then met for coffee, discussed our mutual love for the company and for women supporting women, and slowly I began helping out with Shiffon Co.
First I was just texting Shilpa pictures of my own hand caressing puppies while featuring the pinky ring, but that soon evolved into actual photoshoots, then phone calls with PR people, all the way to a whirlwind trip to NYC to take meetings with our mentors!
Despite a sleeting rain greeting us on arrival to the Big Apple, New York proved to be a dream. In true Shiffon fashion, we stayed with one of our #GirlGang members, had dinner with another, and had about 5 meetings a day. I had the chance to meet with our Creative Director, Sarah Slutsky, participate in a team photoshoot with Shoji Van Kuzumi, set up a trunk show at mentor Tara Abraham’s house, and chat with Meredith Koop, Michelle Obama’s stylist.
Since Serena Williams, Emma Watson, and Nicole Kidman are a few of the big names wearing Shiffon Co., it was not hard to hook prospective #GirlGang members on the product. Everyone we spoke to was not only head over heels for the concept, but offered to help us in any way we needed - a true manifestation of people supporting each other.
Though my stint in NYC only lasted two days, as soon as I landed in Miami I was greeted with the news that Michelle Obama wore her pinky ring on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon! Suffice it to say, everyone was giddy with excitement, and I apologize for the incessant posts about it all over my social media.
It has just been a true treat to fall in love with Shiffon Co. and be welcomed onboard in such an organic and glass-slipper feeling kind of way. Not only have I met incredible mentors and Real Adults who inspire me to follow similar paths post grad, but I’ve been connected to such a phenomenal network of women through this ring and I want everyone to be in on this. Though this isn’t a “promotional post,” I would strongly encourage anyone who is considering supporting Shiffon Co. to check out the pinky rings - they’re truly the gift that keeps on giving.