The story of Love & Promise has humble beginnings and is truly an example of the American Dream. The founder of the company, Nancy Chin, saw an opening for a bead stringing position from a window ad after she was laid off from her first job in the U.S. In 1988, she took a leap of faith in order to provide a good life for her two daughters. She started Love & Promise Jewelers knowing little English, a few strands of pearls, and just $2,000. Nancy’s legacy is now continued by her children Sharon and Shirley Kam. Together in 2011, Sharon & Shirley launched Love & Promise Jewelers first proprietary line, Rosados Box, which focuses on jewelry that is designed and crafted with only ethically sourced & sustainable materials.
Today, Sharon and Shirley lead Love & Promise from sourcing to design. Their hands-on approach ensures their partners continue to follow their strict expectations of fairly traded goods and safe working conditions. Nancy occasionally visits to stay abreast of the business. Zen, our furry supervisor, chimes in on Saturdays to ensure the operation is running smoothly and nothing is out of line!
We recently asked them some questions about their roles, what the company means to them, and the growth of the business throughout the years among other things. Let’s get to know them and the company a little more:
1. Explain Your Role
Sharon: I am the COO of the company. I lead the logistics of the company from the back-end. In a nutshell, after we receive your order, I make sure the projects are executed within a timely manner. Sometimes it gets a little hectic in the back-end, especially during engagement seasons!
Shirley: I am the Creative Director and CEO of the company. I’m the vision behind our brand and design direction. In a nutshell, everything you see visually has gone through my approval at some level. Brand consistency is super important to me.
2. What is the meaning behind the name of the company and the proprietary line?
Shirley: The story behind the Love & Promise Jewelers name is that “Love” stands for our commitment to selecting and building everything that is sourced from love and our “Promise” stands for our promise to stay true to our mission! This is why staying fair trade and community-centric is super important to Sharon & I.
Rosados Box actually came to be because it was named after me. My nickname was Rosado when I used to be on a salsa dance team. So Rosado’s Box stood for Rosado’s Box of Creations. We decided to take out the apostrophe and shortened the name for ease and simplicity. And that’s how Rosados Box came to be! Funny huh :o)
3. You and Sharon started running the company when your mom retired. What does continuing the business mean to you?
Shirley: Wow, that’s a loaded question! Legacy is important to me as I’m pretty old school. I find it important to sustain a brand that has contributed so much to our community. Our company, for decades, has supported small/local suppliers and wholesalers. It has always been a mission of my mother to support smaller businesses, especially women, whenever possible because it’s all the “small” parts that make a whole! Sharon & I want to continue to contribute and pay forward as much as possible.
4. What is your proudest moment or achievement since you started?
Sharon: My proudest moment is watching the company evolve from when our mom handed over the reigns. From a tiny little booth that my mom started in a jewelry mall to what we have expanded to today, we’ve come so far!
5. How have you seen the company flourish as time has gone on?
Shirley: The company has gone through many changes from rebranding to re-strategy. Our shop was always a brick & mortar only until 2011. In 2011, we launched our Rosados Box line through Etsy to test and see how the public responds to jewelry online. Our e-commerce presence was such a success, our company has grown 4x from 2011. We are happy to announce that we were able to help over 25 family suppliers/wholesalers along the way! That’s a minimal of few hundred families including their families/villages. It feels good to do good!
6. Do you have a favorite memory while working here (a specific client, story, etc.)?
Sharon: I have too many to share! Every successful proposal is a favorite memory as I don’t like to show favoritism.
7. How does it feel to know that you have helped so many people create something special for an important chapter in their life?
Shirley: I am very grateful I have a career that I love. I mean, we design and craft beautiful jewelry all day what’s not to love! I’m most proud of our process and mission; how each product/material we source is able to help local communities, from providing job security to helping fund local schools for villages. Sharon & I, when we personally handpick our gemstones, make sure to pay our suppliers on time and at fair prices. We are able to keep prices competitive by paying for everything upfront and purchasing in volume.
8. The company supports and gives a percentage of earnings to a few charities. What are those charities and why did you choose them?
Sharon: CASL (Chinese American Service League), Ronald McDonald House, Living Lands & Water, & Purple Heart Homes. CASL is a non-profit organization that helps immigrants acclimate to life in America. This organization is near and dear to our hearts since our family utilized their services when we were children and going through many rough years! Their services are usually free or have a nominal fee. Ronald McDonald House is a great organization that helps with housing families when they have a child going through cancer treatments; it’s hard enough having their child go through cancer treatment, why not help what we can. Living Lands & Water is another great organization that helps clean our rivers and lakes through volunteers; recycling is something we are passionate about at home, why not extend it beyond our homes and into our rivers and lakes. Purple Heart Homes assists with rebuilding homes for our war veterans! We feel a civic duty to take care of our veterans, especially our troops who are disabled. This is the least we can do.
9. Can you explain why the company is environmentally conscious and its importance?
Shirley: A sense of community and commitment towards sustainability is very important to us. My mom, Sharon, & I live a fairly holistic life. We’re not perfect, but we surely give it our best. From recycling to purchasing/eating local, we incorporate that mindset into everything we do, even our business! We recycle in our shop, print our stationery with water-less technology, and even reuse plastic bags shipped to us for repairs. I want to be able to leave this earth one day knowing my children and others can enjoy this beautiful place too. I believe that love conquers all, always.
10. Where do you see the company 5 years from now?
Sharon: We hope to grow our team within our shores while continuing to help our communities when we can! It’s very important to Shirley and I that we pay forward not just with charity, but with our commitment to making this earth a better place than where we left it.
11. What do you hope the legacy of the company will be?
Sharon: Our dream is for Love & Promise to be known as the ultimate destination for all your guilt-free fine jewelry shopping. It’s challenging to find a jewelry brand that is beyond selling just conflict-free diamonds or cool designs. We want to be known as a brand that cares about every facet (pun intended) of the process, from sourcing to handcrafting. Our mother has always instilled in us to “always start and end with kindness in mind.”
We hope you enjoyed learning the story behind our Love & Promise and Rosados Box brand! To get all the latest updates, visit our website, follow us on our socials, and subscribe to our newsletter. Catch you next time Rosettes!4