The man at the counter, Joseph Vasquez, 18, offered to clean all the other rooms she had. Ms. Harris’ neat French manicure dug into several pockets until she found the note she was looking for. Of the 2,600 businesses in the district, Ms. Harris has only found a handful that she trusts to be as meticulous as she is during their part of the grill-making process. Molding, casting, stone setting, polishing and sometimes laser honing are things she would eventually like to do in-house.
“I’m initiating everything,” Ms. Harris said in her soft, warm voice. “I have suppliers that I have wholesale relationships with and manufacture products with in the Diamond District, Florida and Louisiana. I think these people are all the best at what they do. What my guys in Florida do, the people in New York don’t. So, as a business owner and as a designer, I truly believe that I sell a product with integrity, even if it’s not my hands that do. »
Growing up in Milwaukee, Ms. Harris has always been certain of her identity and values. She remained confident even though she was not always well received by others. Dealing with people in the jewelry industry isn’t always easy, she says.
“The Diamond District is a tough place to navigate if you’re a diverse person, of course,” she said as she rushed into another building.
“It’s racist, sexist and homophobic,” Ms Harris, who is gay, said of her experiences in the diamond district. “Sometimes someone is generous enough to admit it to me out loud and try to help me find the best path to do what I need to do.”
One such person is Amir Farsijany, 70, owner of Sarah Jewelry and who has run a stall in the neighborhood for 45 years. Mr. Farsijany advises her on who she can trust and whether she is paying too much for a service. He keeps an eye on her. “She’s one of the most honest people I’ve ever seen,” he said. “If one day I don’t see her, I text her, ‘What happened to you?'”