Confidence and resourcefulness became apparent in Tal Man, cofounder of Talia Jewelry, at age 16, when she decided to pursue a modeling career. “I started modeling because I wanted to have my own money, so I wouldn’t need to ask for money when I wanted to buy clothes and other things,” she said.
Entering the modeling industry proved to be an auspicious move that propelled Man into a flourishing career not only in her hometown of Tel Aviv, Israel but also in Japan, where she became the face of cosmetics giant Shiseido.
Her next career decision brought her to television, where Man became a co-host on the Israeli version of Wheel of Fortune. She went on to host talk shows and make appearances on a popular TV series. Although Man was fully engaged in a successful television career, her grandmother was nevertheless moved to give her professional development advice. Man’s grandmother was adamant that she should step away from television to complete her education. “My grandmother, my beloved Polish grandmother, who was an artist, a painter, insisted that I go to school and earn a degree. My grandmother insisted that I go to Shenkar,” Man said.
She was not enthusiastic about walking away from her livelihood to become a student, but Man said she did not know how to refuse her grandmother who had never steered her wrong and always knew what would be good for her in the end. So, she made herself apply and she was accepted at Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art near Tel Aviv. Man said she decided to study jewelry design because she thought it would be easy.
Once she’d earned her degree, she headed back to television. However, what she learned wouldn’t be put on hiatus forever. Several years after completing her studies, she was overcome by a sudden urge to make jewelry. One creation led to another and then another and after a few months, Man opened a workshop where she designed and sold custom-made fine jewelry. Her customer list grew and the venture did as well.
The mother of two daughters. Her partner in life and business is Ronen Berka and the two, along with investor Alon Arabrov, launched Talia Jewelry in 2017.
Disrupting The Norm
As she got to know her customers, Man was able to grasp what they valued most. The insights she gained from customer development helped her to understand that after a while her customers no longer felt the same excitement they once for the same piece of jewelry. She believed in order to truly satisfy customers, her designs needed to be interesting and evergreen. Her jewelry needed to cater to a shifting kaleidoscope of customer moods and priorities. “There was a need for personalization and for change,” she said.
She decided that a pendant suspended from a delicate chain would become the signature of her game-changing approach to designing jewelry. Because she is a talented artisan who trained at one of the world’s top-rated jewelry design programs, Man was able to develop a disruptive technology, a process she patented, that allows customers to personally design their pendants to reflect individual taste.
Customers visit the website and either choose one of three pendant styles that can be individualized with colorful brilliant stones or consult what is called the Little Black Box that contains a selection of charms that allow Talia Jewelry owners to easily create a personalized pendant for themselves. Talia fans can reconfigure the pendant charms whenever a fresh look is desired. The combinations are endless.
“Talia Jewelry is fun luxury and our customer is a bright lady and she is creative. She is strong, she is confident and wants to show her individuality. She is also connected to her inner child and she likes to play,” Man said.
Still, as she transitioned from operating a small custom jewelry house to becoming the creative director of a much larger enterprise with customers on every continent, Man faced many challenges. Not surprisingly, she is ready to inspire and advise fellow entrepreneurs. “Never take no for an answer. I don’t even hear the word ‘no.’ When someone closed the door in my face, I went in through the window,” she said. “Know who you are seeking business advice from. Know what that person’s fear is. Is that person afraid of trying new things or going in a new direction? Or is the person’s fear about losing money? Don’t listen to the fears of others. Ask the right person for advice, ask someone who doesn’t have fear.”
Man is excited about the new jewelry that will soon join her line of pendants. She and Ronen are perfecting design concepts and filing patents. “We will have collections for years to come,” she divulged. Visit mytalia.com for updates.