THE TALK: My Pressure to Excel

The jewelry of Philip Crangi is a truly examples of modern craftsmanship: proudly hand made in NY but almost exclusively sold online

Your jewels are handmade in NYC. Can you tell us what distinguishes the goldsmith's craftsmanship of the Big Apple?
All my jewelry is made in my studio in Manhattan. New York is a very serious jewelry town with a long history of excellent craftsmanship. I think the high level of competition provides an added pressure to excel, to stand out in a crowded field. I find it an exciting challenge and very inspiring.

Would you draw a parallel between NYC handmade and made in Italy? What are the differences? What are the points in common?
It would be hard to compare what we do in NYC to the long history of excellence that “made in Italy” stands for. I think I’m not alone in saying that I often look to Italian work for inspiration, both Italian design and craftsmanship. That said, like the Italians we strive to be the best. I would say where we are most alike is in our exuberance, the energy with which we approach our work.

How much is this Covid-19 emergency changing the way your business is going forward?
For the past decade, we have made a concerted effort to move our business away from wholesale to a direct to consumer model. Currently, 80% of our sales are through our websites so we have been very lucky throughout the shutdown, actually we had our best month on record in May. Going forward, we will redouble our efforts in this area, putting more resources into our online business.

What is the situation in NYC: is anything starting to move?
The situation in NYC feels very cautious right now. We were hit very badly by the virus, not as bad as Italy, but the worst in the US and I think it will take a while for things to feel normal. The rioting and racial unrest has added another dimension to the sense of dread. Things have started to open up though, and people are venturing out slowly, we were able to open our studio last week with rotating teams.

What types of measures have you taken to reduce the impact of the lockdown?
We put a lot of energy into web advertising during the lockdown with great results and because of that we were able to not only keep all our employees but to grow our business.

What are you focusing on re-start?
After 3 months away from my jewelry bench with so much time to reflect I come back feeling really inspired and ready to get to work. I’m really excited to focus on expanding the fine jewelry collection, working with new materials and gemstones.

And your challenge for the future?
To make more beautiful work!

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