Episode 280 ZAMEER KASSAM: Designing Fine Jewelry And Telling Love Stories

Zameer Kassam is known for Infusing storytelling with personal history when designing jewelry. Listen as Andy and Zameer discuss the rings he designed for Hasan Minhaj, Ashley Judd, and Lupita Nyong’o. Zameer also talks about his background working in his immigrant family’s jewelry business, why talking to people about their love stories was his favorite part, the passion that led him to design jewelry plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.

Zameer is the Founder and CEO of Zameer Kassam Fine Jewelry. Zameer continues to be a member of the Rock 100, the 100 fastest growing startups founded by alums of the Harvard Business School. And, in 2015, De Beers group entered a strategic partnership with Zameer Kassam offering exclusive access to their most rare and precious diamonds. 

Zameer is a storyteller, but instead of words, he uses jewelry to tell stories. Listening to the couple’s love stories and designing a ring that encompasses their lives gives him joy. Working with De Beers and using diamonds from the Botswana diamond mines gives him a way to do what he loves but still benefit the country they came from and that is something he feels very passionate about.

“I just brought back thoughtfulness and meaningfulness to something that should be thoughtful and meaningful.” As Zameer speaks about opening a design company, he hated that the jewelry industry was going into the generic mass consumption direction. He believes that when someone buys a ring for the person they love, it should be unique and not the same ring hundreds of others have been given from the same jewelry store.

Zameer shares his process of finding the sweet spot in diamonds where beauty and value are optimized, the thrill of working with celebrities to bring attention to their causes, and how the pandemic is affecting his business and the changes they made to keep production going. Zameer’s story and approach to business is very moving. You don’t want to miss the extraordinary conversation.

The Business of Being Creative is another great show on The Wedding Biz Network with host Sean Low. Sean has taken the creative business advice he shared with accomplished notables such as Preston Bailey, Vicente Wolf, Nate Berkus, Sylvia Weinstock, and many more. He is offering it to you on his new show, so tune in every Tuesday on The Wedding Biz Network.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

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Show Highlights:

Show Highlights:

[02:47] Welcome to the show, Zameer!

[03:30] Zameer speaks about a ring he designed for Hasan Minhaj.

[05:36] He shares his life, growing up around his family’s jewelry business.

[08:27] Zameer discusses his first job at a consulting company.

[09:13] Listen, as Zameer speaks about his parents being refugees and how that shaped his life.

[12:18] Zameer speaks about telling people’s stories because everyone has a story.

[14:21] Was there a moment where you decided you wanted to follow your passion?

[16:28] Zameer talks about his internship with the De Beers group.

[17:17] He discusses spending his second year, the second semester in Botswana, in the diamond mines.

[19:09] Zameer speaks about opening his own fine jewelry company.

[21:36] He tells a story about a friend asking him to design a ring for the love of his life.

[24:50] “I just brought back thoughtfulness and meaningfulness to something that should be thoughtful and meaningful.”

[26:28] Listen as Zameer shares his process from the first meeting to the finished product.

[28:01] What are some major tradeoffs in the attributes of a diamond?

[30:48] Zameer shares another story of a couple that moved him.

[33:14] Zameer speaks about the high profile design he did for Ashley Judd that celebrated women directors in film.

[36:53] Zameer shares his perspective on the Botswana diamond industry.

[38:54] Are you working on a wedding show that will air on Netflix?

[40:27] Zameer speaks about how the pandemic is affecting his business.

[41:03] He describes all the changes they made to focus on getting the rings done.

[44:35] Zameer shares how everything has slowed down and people are focusing on the important things.

[45:32] Thank you so much for being on the show!

 

RESOURCES

 

Find Zameer

Zameer Kassam

@ZameerKassam

Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook

The New York Times

People Magazine

Vogue

CNBC

 

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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by PartySlate – the first website designed specifically for event professionals and venues!

Episode 279 THE NEXT LEVEL: MICHAEL RANTISSI discusses PHILIP CARR, Event Architect and Stylist

The menu for one of Philips events has to be an experience from the food perspective, the fragrance perspective, and total essence of the event. Andy welcomes Michael Rantissi to The Next Level. Michael is an award-winning chef of Kepos Street Kitchen and Kepos & Co out of Redfern, Australia.

Philip is the owner of Philip Carr and Associates out of Sydney, Australia. Philip calls himself an event architect and stylist, completely transforming ordinary spaces into multi-layer theatrical environments, and turns his clients’ fantasies into breathtaking reality. 

Listen as Michael speaks about some events he has worked with Philip, why he believes that Philip is truly an event architect, what it’s like creating a menu for one of Philips events, and how they both strive to create an experience. Michael also shares his insights on why Philip likes to extend the experience as long as possible by providing something special at the end of an event.

Michael and Andy discuss combining the business and creative aspects of a business, how Michael is handling the pandemic, and what he is doing with his downtime. Michael describes his restaurants, the differences, and how they came up with the names. Positivity is key during this global crisis and listening to Michael; you can hear he has it in spades.

Don’t forget to listen to Andy’s new podcast, The Music Makers. It’s a podcast about behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most influential music industry pros around including artists, recording engineers, record producers, songwriters, managers, record industry executives, and more. You can find The Music Makers podcast by searching for that term in your cell phone’s podcast app or by going to www.themusicmakers.com

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
Show Highlights:

Show Highlights:

  • [00:57] Welcome to the show, Michael!
  • [01:27] Michael speaks to the phrase, Philip sees himself as an “event architect and stylist.”
  • [02:48] Michael shares that when he creates food for an event he, like Philip, is creating an experience.
  • [03:29] Michael describes designing a menu for an event he did with Philip.
  • [05:12] Michael speaks about Philip’s idea of giving the guests something special as they leave the event.
  • [06:48] Listen, as Michael discusses how he combined the creative elements and the business side of his company.
  • [07:58] Michael shares the training he has that allows him to handle the details on both the creative and business sides.
  • [09:50] Michael discusses how he has handled the pandemic and what he is doing while business is slow.
  • [12:35] Michael believes we all must be positive during this pandemic.
  • [14:18] Michael shares the difference between his restaurants.
  • [17:19] Thank you for being on the show!

 

Find Philip

Philip Carr

@philiipcarrevent

Instagram

@philipcarrandassociates

Facebook

 

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Michael Rantissi Award-Winning Chef

Michael Rantissi

Kepos Street Catering

Kepos & Co

Kepos Street Kitchen

@chefmichaelrantissi

Facebook | Instagram

@keposandco

Facebook 

@keposstreetkitchen

Instagram

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

Episode 278 PHILIP CARR – Event Architect And Stylist

“You build an event; you don’t decorate an event, that is diluting what it is to create an event.” Listen, as Andy Kushner and his guest Philip Carr discuss why he calls himself an event architect and stylist, the events he produced for Nelson Mandela, President Clinton, and President Bush, his process with clients, and much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.

 

Philip is the owner of Philip Carr and Associates out of Sydney, Australia. Philip transforms ordinary spaces into multi-layer theatrical environments and turns his clients’ fantasies into breathtaking reality. Philip has a unique way that he talks about designing events that you will hear in this interview.

 

Listen, as Philip speaks about when he started in the event industry, he means by calling himself an event architect and stylist. Philip believes that the event experience starts when a woman gets dressed to go out and ends with a small gift in their car. He believes that the more layers of detail you can give make the event more memorable.

 

No detail is too small for Philip when it comes to making guests happy. Whether it’s luxurious soap in the bathroom or serving gourmet hamburgers at the end of the event, it’s all in the details. Philip gives more examples of how he keeps the guest experience at the forefront when he is going over every detail for his events.

 

Philip discusses how the pandemic has affected his business and personal life and how it has given him time to slow down and breathe. Philips’ attention to every detail is unparalleled, and the way he thinks about events is extraordinary. This is a conversation you can’t miss.  

 

We are all experiencing quite a bit of stress and other issues during this pandemic. Andy has put together a list of the top ten tips for dealing with stress, which he has compiled from interviews with icons of the wedding and event industry. If you would like a copy, go to www.theweddingbiz.com/toptips.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
Show Highlights:

Show Highlights:

[03:33] Welcome to the show, Philip!

[03:57] Philip shares where he was born and the jobs his parents had.

[05:02] Philip speaks about when he got interested in the event industry.

[06:30] Architecture is where his actual interest was.

[07:39] Listen as Philip explains what he means when he calls himself an “event architect and stylist.”

[08:57] Philip speaks about transforming the experience, which starts when a woman gets ready at home.

[11:25] Philip believes the more layers of detail you give makes the event more memorable.

[12:51] Philip shares details about an Indian wedding he planned and designed for 2500 guests over four days.

[14:49] Listen as Philip speaks about an engagement party for 800 family members.

[16:18] Philip discusses how he got invited to do events for Nelson Mandela.

[17:47] Why did you leave South Africa and move to Australia?

[20:37] Philip shares his process from the quote to the event.

[24:12] Philip speaks about how he gets a feel for what his clients want.

[26:32] He always tries to stay one step ahead of what his clients need.

[28:16] Philip likes when guests get immersed into an event the moment they arrive.

[31:14] Listen as Philip gives some examples of challenges he has faced during an event.

[36:55] How do you feel about the business side?

[37:38] Being super organized is one way he keeps his business on top.

[38:14] Philip discusses how he got invited to organize some people’s dressing rooms.

[39:58] Listen, as Philip shares how COVID-19 has affected his business and his personal life.

[41:10] Philip speaks about how the pandemic has allowed him to slow down and take time to breathe.

[44:07] Have you taken time to grow and change?

[45:56] Philip, thank you so much for being on the show!

 

RESOURCES

 

Find Philip

Philip Carr

@philiipcarrevent

Instagram

@philipcarrandassociates

Facebook

YouTube – setting up an event

YouTube – A tribute to brides and grooms

YouTube – A proposal event

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

Mentioned:

Ceci Johnson episode 94 on The Wedding Biz

Episode 277 THE NEXT LEVEL: JENNIFER STEIN discusses MATT PORTEOUS/Photographer: The Way He Sees The World

Andy welcomes Jennifer Stein back to The Next Level. Jennifer is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Destination I Do Magazine, which can be found at newsstands in all fifty states and twelve countries. She also publishes a daily blog, consults, custom publishes and has a podcast called CONFETTI.

Matt is an award-winning photographer who has gained a world-class reputation for his exquisite documentary style photography. Matt is considered the Royal photographer for his work with the Cambridges. He helps change-makers make a difference and shoots on behalf of Ocean Culture Life, a global community of storytellers, photographers, filmmakers, and environmentalists whose lives have been shaped by the sea. 

Jennifer and Andy discuss Matt’s love of travel, how he immerses himself into the culture of the people he photographs and how he connects with his clients by taking them to the places they love and getting them to relax. They also speak of Matt’s charity work and the fact that he doesn’t just take photos of beautiful things, he takes photographs that can change lives.

If you knew this pandemic had an end date, would you change how you live your life right now? Andy shares that he is using this time to take a day to himself to recharge and how it is allowing him to come up with fresh ideas. Jennifer speaks about the Black Lives Matter movement, and how it’s coming on the heels of the pandemic has allowed people to think about what it means and take the time to listen.

If you haven’t listened to Matt’s interview, sit down, give yourself a moment to listen and be inspired to look for the positive things when right now it seems easier to focus on the negative. 

Don’t forget to listen to Andy’s new podcast, The Music Makers. It’s a podcast about behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most influential music industry pros around including artists, recording engineers, record producers, songwriters, managers, record industry executives, and more. You can find The Music Makers podcast by searching for that term in your cell phone’s podcast app or by going to www.themusicmakers.com

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
Show Highlights:

Show Highlights:

  • [01:09] Welcome back to the show, Jennifer!
  • [03:34] Jennifer discusses Matt’s love of travel and how he immerses himself in the people’s culture he shoots.
  • [05:02] Matt’s goal when he takes photos is to connect with them so they can relax.
  • [06:27] Andy shares that Matt gets his clients together before the wedding and asks them where they love to go on a weekend and takes them there.
  • [09:43] Jennifer speaks about how Matt does charity work and how he does so much more than just take photos of beautiful things.
  • [11:14] Still feeling joy during this pandemic is not only allowed but encouraged. 
  • [12:29] Jennifer says that if we had a crystal ball that said the pandemic would be over in six months how would it change the way you are living your life today?
  • [14:04] Andy shares that he is taking Friday afternoons off, for the summer, and having some time to himself.
  • [15:03] Jennifer thinks people would relax more if they knew when this pandemic would be over.
  • [17:53] This pandemic is a change for all of us to reset, recharge, and reflect.
  • [18:23] Jennifer speaks about the Black Lives Matter movement happening now when people have more time to think about what it means.
  • [20:36] Thank you so much for being on the show again!
  • [22:40] Don’t forget to listen to Andy’s new music podcast called the Music Makers.

 

Find Matt

Matt Porteous

Weddings M

Ocean Culture Life

@m_weddings

Instagram

@mattporteous

Instagram

 

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Jennifer Stein Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Destination I Do Magazine

Destination I Do Magazine

Destination I Do Blog

Jennifer Stein on the Wedding Biz

Facebook

Instagram | Twitter

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by The Music Makers Podcast, where you can get behind-the-scenes stories from the most influential music industry pros.

 

Mentioned:

Colin Cowie Episode 267 on The Wedding Biz

 

Episode 276 MATT PORTEOUS/Photographer: The Way He Sees The World

“I’m lucky now because I get to go to really beautiful places and photograph wonderful people.” Listen, as Andy Kushner and his guest Matt Porteous discuss the small island he was born and raised on, when he became interested in photography, how the way he saw the world differed from other kids his age, his years surfing and taking pictures plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz

Matt is an award-winning photographer who has gained a world-class reputation for his exquisite documentary style photography. Matt is considered the Royal Photographer for his work with the Cambridges. He helps change-makers make a difference and shoots on behalf of Ocean Culture Life, a global community of storytellers, photographers, filmmakers, and environmentalists whose lives have been shaped by the sea. 

Matt speaks about the small channel island near France where he grew up, how he became a stonemason when he left school, then took off for two years to travel and surf. Matt shares that when he takes photographs, he likes to immerse himself in the culture of whoever is being photographed and how he balances all the different genres and projects he is involved with.

Have you ever heard of the documentary style of wedding photography? Matt shares his process with his clients and how he gets the guys he photographs to relax for photos. Matt discusses how he became known as the Royal Photographer, his work with Ocean Culture Life, and with some charities that helps rescue children in India from child labor.

Matt says he feels very blessed to live the life he has and he doesn’t take one moment for granted. During the pandemic, he put together a tutorial to help others navigate the world of photography. This was a very dynamic conversation that you won’t want to miss.

Don’t forget to listen to Andy’s new podcast, The Music Makers. It’s a podcast about behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most influential music industry pros around including artists, recording engineers, record producers, songwriters, managers, record industry executives, and more. You can find The Music Makers podcast by searching for that term in your cell phone’s podcast app or going to www.themusicmakers.com

We are all experiencing quite a bit of stress and other issues during this pandemic. Andy has put together a list of the top ten tips for dealing with stress, which he has compiled from interviews with icons of the wedding and event industry. If you would like a copy, go to www.theweddingbiz.com/toptips.

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
Show Highlights:

Show Highlights:

[02:25] Welcome to the show, Matt!

[02:43] Matt speaks about being on a small island called Jersey, which is tucked inbetween Britain and France and is part of the channel islands.

[03:43] Matt shares where he grew up and the culture he was raised with.

[04:30] Listen, as Matt speaks about when he became interested in photography.

[06:04] Matt discusses how he saw the world as a teenager, which differed from most kids his age.

[08:09] When Matt left school, he had no idea what he would do with his life.

[09:58] He went into the building industry as a stonemason because he was told it was a great way to make money and see the world.

[11:02] Matt describes becoming a surfer and traveling the world surfing.

[15:00] When Matt takes photographs, he submerses himself in the group’s culture.

[17:23] Matt discusses how he balances all the genres of photography that he is involved in.

[20:08] Matt describes what documentary style wedding photography comprises.

[21:46] Listen as Matt shares his process when getting to know a couple.

[24:06] Matt talks about how he gets the guys to relax for photos.

[25:32] How did you get chosen to be the Royal photographer?

[28:12] Matt speaks about how being the Royal photographer was a game-changer for him.

[29:51] “In order to inspire others, you must first tell an inspiring story.” 

[30:02] Matt shares his work with Ocean Culture Life and change maker storytellers.

[31:56] Matt speaks about some charities he has been working with and shares a story about working in India to rescue children from child labor.

[34:35] Matt discusses how he has been affected by the pandemic.

[37:07] Over the last few weeks, he has spent a lot of free time at the beach at home in Jersey.

[39:45] Matt is putting tutorials together on how to through the photography world during this pandemic shut down.

[41:23] Thank you so much for being on the show!

 

RESOURCES

 

Find Matt

Matt Porteous

Weddings M

Ocean Culture Life

@m_weddings

Instagram

@mattporteous

Instagram

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by The Music Makers Podcast, where you can get behind-the-scenes stories from the most influential music industry pros.

 

Mentioned:

The Wedding Biz Network