Activism Never Looked So Fine

Shiffon is a fine jewelry brand trying to make a difference in the world. Harvard’s own Shilpa Yarlagadda co-founded the company just over a year ago. Shilpa explained that, "The reason we started it was because we really believed we could change and revolutionize jewelry.” That revolution has already begun.

 

 

Shiffon's jewelry has already started to inspire women around the world. Their coveted Duet Pinky Rings use two stones to symbolize one woman supporting another. When women buy a Duet Pinky Ring ring, they join a global network of women who are dedicated to helping and supporting each other. In addition, 50% of profits from the Duet Pinky Ring and 10% of the profits from all other sales, go directly to Shiffon’s nonprofit arm, the Start Up Girl Foundation. Shilpa says, “It is incredible that as a young company we’ve already been able to help other entrepreneurs in their journey.” Now other entrepreneurs are looking at Shiffon and its advocacy-based business model and realizing that they can do the same.

 

Though Shiffon is just a year old, its jewelry has already be seen on celebrities from Nicole Kidman at last year’s Emmy’s to Rachel Brosnahan at this year’s Golden Globes. All of these celebrities joined the Girl Gang on their own, since Shiffon never pays any celebrities to endorse the company. However, that does not mean it was easy. "When we started the company," Shilpa explained, “we didn’t have any contacts in media or entertainment or jewelry.” Initially they reached out to potential mentors, and were able to find people from the industry who wanted to pay it forward. Many of these mentors, including Chandni Modha who led VIP at Dolce and Gabbana, were in the UK, so even though they gave Shilpa and Jenny Wang, another Harvard student and the co-managing director of the Startup Girl Foundation, advice and helped them form connections with others in the business, they didn’t meet each other for almost a year. However, there were helpful, more local mentors for Shiffon as well. For example, Sarah Slutsky, who is Emma Watson's stylist and is based in New York City, mentored them from the beginning and is now their Creative Director. Jenny says, "It's been an incredible experience learning from all the girls on the team, like Kim and Shreya."

 

Despite Shiffon's successes to date, Jenny feels, "We still have a long way to go.” She says of herself and Shilpa,  "We’re always thinking, 'What can we do to bring more women into the Shiffon community and create more meaningful jewelry? How can we have a greater impact in empowering young women entrepreneurs around the world?'" It is important to them to build the greatest possible impact. That’s why they are both taking time off from school to focus on the company. They are dedicated to building a community in New York and San Francisco, where they host events for women entrepreneurs to provide their mentees with the support they need, and they are dedicated to continuing to create gorgeous jewelry with a lasting impact.

What women inspire you? What women do you support to the end? Who would you take the pinky pledge with? Post about them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tag @hcharvard,@shiffonco, and @startupgirldaily and we’ll repost our favorites!

 

To join the Duet Pinky Ring family or check out Shiffon’s other jewelry go to www.shiffonco.com.

 

Duet Pinky Ring in Sterling Silver

Available for $90.00

 

Duet Pinky Ring: 14K Yellow Gold

Available for $375.

 

Duet Pinky Ring: 14K Rose Gold

Available for $375.

 

More available at www.shiffonco.com.