Starting a new business venture can be intimidating, but when that business is a passion and your partner is someone you can really trust, things have a way of falling into place. That’s just how Agmes, a modern jewelry line designed by sisters Morgan and Jaclyn Solomon, first got its start.
A few years back, both sisters were working in the fashion industry, with Morgan as a buyer and Jaclyn as a designer at Proenza Schouler. One day, a meeting with an old friend reminded Morgan of her dream of pursuing jewelry design.
“Jewelry-making was always my passion but never something that I thought I could make a career out of,” Morgan reflects, “After that dinner though, I had a light bulb moment and left my job to take jewelry classes full-time.”
Jaclyn was also seeking a change. “Around the time that Morgan was working on the collection, I was ready to branch out into something new. I left my position to take a little time off, but that time ended up going towards Agmes pretty quickly,” she says.
The serendipitous timing led the women to launch the brand in 2016. They’ve recently debuted their fourth collection, and the brand’s signature silver and gold pieces all have a sleek, sculptural aesthetic.
“We strive to create modern heirlooms and don’t delve too much into trends. The customer is normally drawn to and inspired by the jewelry, rather than following what’s in for the season,” says Morgan. The earrings, cuffs, rings, and necklaces display interesting shapes, and one quick scroll through the Agmes Instagram feed can reveal the latest inspiration. “We research photos of architecture, art, and interior design,” Jaclyn notes, “There’s a lot of sculptural inspiration with global art combined. Our wave pieces, for example, came from a Mexican serving piece we both really loved.”
The duo works together to sketch and design, but each also handles separate aspects of the business. “I usually handle order fulfillment and production, while Jaclyn takes on the more artistic side, including social media and look book direction,” says Morgan. The sisters note that Agmes’ full collection is a collaborative effort, and the latest holiday look book was shot on a rooftop in Soho.
All of the jewelry is handmade locally in New York City, and the sisters have a keen interest in sustainability. “Because there can be so much waste in this industry, we try to reuse materials as much as possible. Our jewelry is made of recycled precious metals,” Morgan explains.
Today, the two sisters have even bigger plans for the future—hoping to experiment with new materials and eventually expand Agmes internationally. When asked what their family thinks of their successful business, both sisters agree that they are proud and that it’s helpful to work together. “They think it’s great, but I do feel bad at family dinners when we’re always talking about work,” Jaclyn laughs. Morgan smiles adding, “We can’t help it, the brand is always on our minds.”