They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and surely the founder of New York City-based brand, Intemporel, couldn’t agree more. As someone dedicated to finding precious diamonds and gems for a living, Geraldine Salcedo, works with her customers to make their sparkly dreams a reality with one-of-a-kind pieces created via chat commerce. The Venezuelan wife, mother and entrepreneur takes personalization to a whole other level by communicating with customers via messaging. “I think that’s more personalized and also more efficient,” she says.
Her brand, Intemporel, which means timeless in French, is more than a curated selection of fine contemporary jewelry. It’s also a service that offers the opportunity to repurpose old jewelry with a new and unique twist. “Jewelry should be timeless but timeless means something different for every person in terms of fine jewelry. It’s very personal. [For someone] it might be a pair of simple diamond studs,” she said on the meaning behind the name.
As a first-generation jeweler in a male-led industry, Geraldine is breaking barriers with a new system. “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I’ve always liked new business models. I wanted to do something more innovative with my passion which is fine jewelry.” For custom pieces from Intemporel, customers reach out via WhatsApp or Instagram DMs and from there it’s a one-on-one conversation of what they want their pieces to be. Thanks to her loyal base of customers, many of her new clients come from word of mouth and most are based outside New York.
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Geraldine spent summers in Europe with her maternal grandparents (her father is Venezuelan and mother is French-German) and studied in Paris’ La Sorbonne and New York University. “I’ve loved jewelry since I moved to New York. I used to sell costume jewelry on the side when I was studying at NYU. I love the aesthetic and business side of it.”
Geraldine credits her knowledge in fine jewelry and craftsmanship to her diverse background and experience at start-ups such as 1stdibs and Swoonery. However, her drive and passion for guiding people into making and designing extraordinary pieces are what led her to launch her own business. “Bridal is normally a client’s first big purchase so I walk them through the science and the art of diamonds. There is a big science part to it and then I design the rings.”
As the mother of a toddler and soon a newborn baby, this working momma has learned to prioritize her time. “I have to be very efficient with my time. When I’m working I try to focus and work and try to get as many things [done] as possible,” she commented. “The toughest thing is being present when you’re with your family because I work with my phone, but you have to choose to be present.”
As for challenges within the industry: “My biggest challenge was getting the respect from all these people — referring to those who come from generations of jewelers and men leading the industry,” she said. “I had to show them why they needed to sell to me. I have to convince them. It could be intimidating but you need to prepare yourself,” she added.
At HOLA! USA, we believe in highlighting fashion brands, designers, and creatives who are breaking boundaries in the fashion industry. Within the biweekly segment of #HolaCouture we’re spotlighting Latinx talent and entrepreneurs who are firm believers that their Hispanic roots and culture are worthy of being shared with the world through fashion and style. Not only are we highlighting their unique and artistic skills, but we're also continuing their conversations.