A jewelry company as an interfaith ambassador
The jewel is a physical object with temporal added value. As an artistic concept, it also reflects both the spirit of the times and the ideals of humanity that transcend time. This is by far the most stable segment of the luxury market, as people continue to prioritize long-term investments in precious metals and rare gemstones. The marketing strategy of the industry is built on the notions of cultural heritage and intergenerational heritage. Diamonds are forever, as the saying goes. In 2018, an unlikely turn of events turned the history of jewelry arts and mineralogical sciences upside down. From the invention of the wheel and the sail to the printing press and the cotton gin and now virtual reality, fashion writ large has been integral to sustaining socio-economic progress. However, he has rarely made such (literally) earth-shattering discoveries. Meet Holy Gems, the only jeweler in the world with extremely rare gemstones from the Holy Land.
This family saga reads like the twists and turns of a hit streaming series. After World War II, Hanan Taub, the only one of 12 siblings to survive the Holocaust, opened the first diamond polishing factory in Netanya, the first officially designated city in the new nation of Israel. In time, it would become the heart of the diamond trade in the region. His son Avi Taub developed one of the first international jewelry chains and then staked his family reputation and life savings on…a prophecy. The late Lubavitcher Rebbe once spoke of gemstone deposits in the Kishon River and Mount Carmel regions of Israel. The idea went against all the scientific know-how of the time. For nearly two decades, Taub has invested in exploration and excavation. Lo and behold, the quest revealed previously known and unknown gem types tucked deep within the Holy Land. The new Carmel Sapphire has been chosen by the International Mineralogical Association as its Mineral of the Year 2018. The state has granted the company exclusive mining and manufacturing rights to honor its commitment to science and faith . Tali Shalem Taub and her brothers, Yosef and Mendy Taub, took over running the business after their father passed away and started Holy Gems. Then, COVID-19 wreaked havoc on supply chains and consumer confidence.
Today, the brand is reentering the post-pandemic luxury market with renewed meaning. I reached out to Tali Shalem to find out more about launching a global brand amid the global pandemic, why style works as an interfaith ambassador, and what it’s like to be a woman in a historically orthodox industry. represented by men and how that fits into Israeli technology. savvy fashion diplomacy strategy.
Few brands can cite “a miracle” as their origin story! Tobi Rubinstein in his book The House of Faith and Fashion suggests Gd as “the first and the first tailor”. What role does spirituality play in your design business?
It’s an interesting question to ask. “Almighty God did a wonderful thing, He hid them [the gems] in the depths of the earth.” When our father heard these words in 1988, he began a scientifically incredible travels for one reason only – faith. Now our company scientifically demonstrates some kind of divine intervention in this country. For twenty years we have pioneered exploration techniques, pushed for advanced new regulations and changed the common perception of what is possible in this field. We are big believers in positive thinking and divine providence. What motivates us to pursue this mission with strength is the understanding that we have had the privilege of being the ones to reveal these precious gems to the world and to control how they are positioned in the market.
Beyond the Jewish diaspora, who is the audience for your creations?
When you wear jewelry that comes from the depths of the holiest land in the world, it’s all about tangible spirituality. This direct physical connection to divinity needs no explanation for all believers in the God of Abraham. Our current clients who share the tradition of the Abrahamic religions come from the United States, European Union, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Holy Gems is the luxury jewelry manufacturer that works with stones much rarer than diamonds and is priced accordingly. Our mother, Michaela Taub, is an internationally renowned jewelry designer. She gives these rare pearls their real “scene” in a luxurious classic style inspired by ancient texts. The coins also appeal to those who appreciate the historical nature of this unique investment asset.
How can an art jewelry brand engage in the digitization of creative and business practices?
We are constantly developing our e-commerce expertise. In terms of production, we use the most advanced imaging and 3D printing technologies. Since each of our pieces has a gemological certificate confirming with unparalleled transparency the source of the exact gemstone incorporated into it, this helps to promote and develop blockchain traceability. We explore NFT options for our tech-savvy customers while finding the right platform experienced with extremely rare and unique products.
What other jewelry designers influence and inspire your work?
The prestigious Bezalel Academy of Art and Design was established in Israel in 1906. It is named after Bezalel ben-Uri, the first Jewish designer in history, who is also mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Exodus. According to the Torah, he was able to understand the divine will and translate its immense holiness into something practical and tangible.
What has been your professional background in a historically conservative industry?
When I first joined Shefa Mining Company in Israel (GM) Ltd to apprentice under my father, I spent all my time learning, learning, learning. About jewels, about precious stones, about business, about life and faith. I became his “right arm” and after his death, the shareholders approved my leadership position. Now the CEO (me), chief designer and flagship store manager are all women. Working in perfect sync with Mandy Taub and Yosef Taub, respectively responsible for mining and operations and business development. The company prides itself on integrating and diversifying its teams with people from all walks of life, including those in the Arab sector. We highly appreciate everything Our employees. We try to move faster than the new generation. Our role is not to invent something new, but to preserve the visionary heritage of this land and its people, the value of the jewels and their stories. The future demands the highest degree of authenticity in our commitment to the rich and storied history of craftsmanship in the Middle East.
How has the brand supported its creative and business talents during the pandemic?
First of all, thank God, none of our workers suffered health injuries. Second, the State of Israel is to be commended for helping to compensate all workers during the forced closures. From our side, we have ensured that our staff receive all the rights and benefits they deserve in full. Immediately after the lifting of the last restrictions, our fifteen full-time employees (and several dozen part-time employees) were happy to return to work on site. The epidemic was a shocking surprise, but we affirmed very quickly that everything was under divine guardianship. We have invested time in refining our strategies to reflect the fact that in times of global uncertainty, people turn to mobile and tradable products that provide them with economic security. Now that the world has finally ‘opened up’, we see growing international interest in our intriguing story.
To succeed in the creative industries, what is the relationship between technical know-how, creative sense and luck?
Any high-quality business needs luck or divine blessing, especially in the complex and competitive world of luxury goods and services. Without deviating from the fundamentals, success now depends above all on your ability to stand out and easily identify with what you represent, because customers want to align consumer choices and their fundamental values.
What is the most pressing question on your mind right now?
Personally, my only question as a believer is when the Messiah will come to solve the real problems of the world. On a commercial level, we strive to raise awareness of the existence of gemstones in the Holy Land in a way that respects everything they represent for so many people through time.