How Different Management Styles Can Impact Employee Retention

Written by Ben Fielding, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Ben Fielding

Ben Fielding

Every organization has a unique way of managing its operations and workforce, and how it’s done can potentially affect the morale of employees and their overall productivity. No organization can thrive without a team working towards a common goal. And once you build a team that is committed and fearless, it becomes all the more important to make them stay.

Here is an overview of how adopting supportive ‘Management Styles’ can impact retention positively—

Boosting Employee Morale

More often than not, when a leader in an organisation chooses to work being too authoritative, establishing a clear difference between a superior and the subordinate, they fail to touch a chord with their employees. This kind of autocratic approach is bound to affect employee retention. Such cases may also result in employee absenteeism, for mere lack of respectful treatment. The idea is to have a mentoring approach than an authoritative one. It has a 99% success rate—it encourages focusing on self-development and offers a sense of belonging. Any organisation that adopts ‘Mentorship’ helps itself with long term employee retention.

Employee Engagement for Productivity

A participative approach in an organisation wherein the leader makes sure to be a part of things, big and small, guarantees employee engagement. It helps to figure out the best way to accomplish the set targets and the company’s goals. A participative approach reduces errors, improves productivity and ensures excellent customer experience. Leaders with a participative approach have impeccable team building capabilities, promoting a culture of awareness and diversity. A diverse culture paves the path for the team to recognize the strength of their co-team members.

Building on Decision-making Capacity 

When a leader adopts an egalitarian style of management, they have created a window wherein the subordinates can freely express their ideas and have faith that their inputs will be highly respected. The idea behind this approach is not merely employee retention but to build a strong bond between the company and all its employees—feedback and suggestions are encouraged from every single individual, regardless of their position or level. It takes a considerable amount of time but it will lead to building a more independent team that can make its own decisions quickly without ensuing chaos.

Working on the Gold Standard

What would be the Gold Standard? It is when a leader in an organisation gives a clear direction and communicates with their team effectively about the strategic goals. When a leader enables their workforce to align with their individual goals to finally meet the goals of the company, it leads to growth and long term profitability. An effective leader does not only motivate their subordinates to eliminate any practice that will not satisfy the consumer but also help them realise their true potential. A company usually becomes dysfunctional in case a leader is unable to effectively communicate the goals or define a path for their team.

It’s a Wrap

Supportive management styles have a higher employee retention rate. When a leader treats their subordinates with respect and makes them feel like an equal, it has better chances of an employee’s individual growth. When a member of staff feels secure and considered for their inputs—it leads to meeting the company goals at large. It begins by boosting employee morale, team building approach, which in turn leads to productivity.

Supportive management styles also ensure the subordinates feel confident and make quick decisions. Last but not least, keep in mind the ‘gold standard’ of paving a clear path for your workforce and enable them to align with their individual goals.

Source at https://www.maximillion.co.uk/event-categories/team-building.

Branding Through Time

In a world of social media influencers and fake news, branding professionals need to carefully craft their company’s persona to build a loyal, trusting customer base. As the modern customer becomes more conscious of how their data is used and where the messages they absorb is coming from, branding is likely to change in the next few years. To predict where PR pros should steer the industry next, we can take inspiration from where branding has already come from.

The ancient Mesopotamians used brands to convey ownership, craftsmanship and quality during trade. This then evolved into symbols used to distinguish a company’s product in the market – early examples still around today include the Quaker Oats man and the lion of Lyle’s Golden Syrup. With the advent of social media such as Myspace and now Twitter, branding has become the complete presentation of a business to the world, from direct customer interaction to evidential employee satisfaction.

As of last year, digital ad spend surpassed TV ad spend for the first time, showing how truly digital has become the most vital landscape for marketing in modern society. However, simultaneous with this shift has been a growth in awareness from consumers on data privacy and internet transparency. 2018 saw the Cambridge Analytica scandal which exposed the misuse of up to 87 million users’ data and the introduction of GDPR brought data sharing to the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Calls for more transparency on social media have led to influencers being required to announce when they endorse a product as part of a paid partnership. This has shown that consumers are still happy to receive branded messages from their favourite online personalities as long as their intentions are clear. This will be vital for branding professionals to remember in the future as only brands with a record of trustworthiness will flourish in this more conscious digital landscape.

When it comes to forming future branding strategies, the main values consumers will best respond to haven’t changed much since ancient times: trust, quality and craftsmanship.

Check out our infographic for more inspiration from the history of branding.

Branding Through Time

This infographic was provided by The Rolling Bean, mobile coffee van hire across the UK.

Veteran Affairs

Service members make business ownership a post-military career

After they leave the military, veterans often look to start a second career. For many, owning a business is an attractive career path because they have honed many of the skills needed to be successful entrepreneurs, such as ambition and a drive to succeed, during their time in the military.

“There are many unique qualities veterans possess that simply aren’t found anywhere else and make them a great fit for business ownership,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc., and former U.S. Marine Corps captain and Gulf War Veteran.

Skills that transfer

Veterans are uniquely suited for solving pressing challenges life can present, which is part of the reason they can make successful entrepreneurs and business owners. Franchising, in particular, can be a building block for veterans’ careers as they transition from military service.

“Franchising is an opportunity where veterans can empower and be empowered, adding value to the brands they represent,” Davis said. “I have seen firsthand how the drive and discipline gained in the military can be a great advantage for veterans looking to own their own businesses and open franchises.”

Leadership. Work ethic. Discipline. These qualities are exactly what help the more than 200 veteran The UPS Store franchisees succeed.

  • Working as a team: Veterans often know the success of an organization relies on every member working together to build a team, or a business, that’s greater than the sum of its parts. In the case of a franchise, the franchisee must embrace teamwork at multiple levels, not only among the employees of the local franchise location, but also with the franchise’s leadership team on a national and regional basis.
  • Executing a plan: A franchise business typically provides its owners with a proven business model and ongoing support. However, executing the plan is up to the franchisee. All of the pieces are provided, but putting them together and creating a working business plan requires a degree of entrepreneurship. It’s an approach that is similar to the training veterans experience in the military.
  • Acquiring new skills: Franchisees typically complete a comprehensive training program to develop the knowledge and day-to-day operational skills needed to own and operate their own businesses. The training focuses on everything from marketing and operations to human resources and staff management.
  • Thriving under pressure: Veterans know things don’t always go according to plan. The military provides service members the training and discipline needed to remain calm and thrive under the most pressure-filled situations. Particularly when it comes to navigating tricky situations like disgruntled customers or employees, a level-headed approach can earn more satisfying results.
  • Working hard to accomplish a goal: Business owners typically dream of self-made lives, but not all have the commitment and work ethic needed to accomplish their goals. Service members are trained to understand the requirements of a mission and work tirelessly until they achieve them.
  • Accepting responsibility: Operating a business is no small job and it requires a strong sense of responsibility akin to the role service members take in their chosen fields. Business owners assume a hefty burden to ensure the business and its employees grow and thrive.

Getting started

Franchising vs. Starting a Business Solo

As a participant in the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative (VetFran), a strategic initiative of the International Franchise Association and the Franchise Education and Research Foundation, The UPS Store, Inc., allows veterans the opportunity to fulfill their desires for second careers.

The Mission: Veteran Entrepreneurship program offers significant financial incentives – valued at nearly $300,000 – for a select group of qualified U.S. military veterans to help open their own franchise locations. In addition, the first 10 eligible veterans to submit a complete buyer’s application packet and initial application fee by Nov. 11 will be awarded $29,950 in waived franchise fees.

For entrepreneurs exploring business ownership, there are a multitude of options to consider, but one of the first is to determine whether to invest in a franchise or start their own business. There are pros and cons to each path.

One of the biggest differences between investing in a franchise and starting a business from scratch is the initial startup process. When you start your own business, everything is on you. As a new business owner, you have to develop branding elements and positioning, your product and service offerings and logistics, such as a physical store layout.

With a franchise, those elements are captured as part of the franchising fee. If you’re attracted to the idea of a proven business model to help get your business positioned to grow quickly, having the support of a franchise brand can be helpful.

In the end, your decision depends on what business ownership style best fits your personality. Starting your own business can allow you the freedom to explore any venture you want, but it comes with the risks and responsibility of being completely on your own. Investing in a franchise provides the framework within an existing business model while still enabling you to be your own boss, expressing your creative side within the structure of a proven system.

To learn more about franchise opportunities and special incentives for veterans, visit theupsstorefranchise.com/veteran. (Family Feature)

SOURCE:
The UPS Store

Dreaming of Spring with the March – April 2019 Edition of InFluential Magazine

We’re thrilled to welcome you to our multi-award winning March – April 2019 edition where we are Dreaming of Spring.

Subscribe to us at www.influential-magazine.com and connect with us at Facebook (@InFluential Magazine), Instagram (@InFluential Magazine), LinkedIn (@InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential), and Twitter (@InFluentialMag).

The March – April 2019 Edition of InFluential Magazine

Reese Witherspoon and Dr. Brené Brown Speak Out on Women in the Workplace

7,500 Women Gather in Austin at Pivotal Time for Women In America

Reese Witherspoon speaks during the KEYNOTE LUNCHEON during the 2018 Texas Conference For Women at Austin Convention Center on November 9, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/WireImage).

Reese Witherspoon speaks during the KEYNOTE LUNCHEON during the 2018 Texas Conference For Women at Austin Convention Center on November 9, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/WireImage).

Just days after women played a key role in the 2018 midterm elections, 7,500 women gathered in Austin for the 19th annual nonpartisan Texas Conference for Women, headlined by Reese Witherspoon and Dr. Brené Brown.

With the growing focus on women in the workplace, as a result of the #MeToo movement, a 2018 study that revealed that progress has stalled for women across all levels of corporate America, and other developments, this conference has become a key forum for discussing and advancing women in the workplace.

Dr. Brene Brown speaks during the KEYNOTE LUNCHEON during the 2018 Texas Conference For Women at Austin Convention Center on November 9, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/WireImage).

Dr. Brene Brown speaks during the KEYNOTE LUNCHEON during the 2018 Texas Conference For Women at Austin Convention Center on November 9, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/WireImage).

Dr. Brené Brown, researcher and #1 New York Times bestselling author, discussed the critical role of courage in women’s personal and professional lives today. “Women have this idea that they are supposed to be a certain way in order to be successful, but true success comes from self-acceptance because that allows you to be vulnerable, authentic and imperfect, which takes great courage,” she said.  

This nonpartisan, nonprofit event is part of the largest network of women’s conferences in the country that attract an estimated 40,000 women a year in Texas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and California. Themed “The Power of Us: Amplify Your Voice”, the conferences offer access to some of the most successful women in America and more than 100 experts who share practical skills and strategies related to business, philanthropy, health, finance, media and professional development.

Keynote speakers Marjorie Clifton, Nina Shaw, Renata Quintini, and Tyler Haney during the 2018 Texas Conference For Women at Austin Convention Center on November 9, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/WireImage).

Keynote speakers Marjorie Clifton, Nina Shaw, Renata Quintini, and Tyler Haney during the 2018 Texas Conference For Women at Austin Convention Center on November 9, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/WireImage).

Other keynote speakers included Shawn Achor, bestselling author and speaker on happiness and success, and Nina Shaw, entertainment lawyer and a founding organizer of Time’s Up.

“This event continues to be Texas’ pre-eminent event for women, and it is a privilege to see so many strong, motivated women supporting each other each year,” said Carla Pineyro Sublett, President of the Texas Conference for Women Board of Directors. “We are proud to support this dynamic community of women through this annual conference and all of our year-round resources.”

The Texas Conference for Women is generously sponsored by Liberty Mutual InsuranceRackspace; TargetCisco; DellRetailMeNotUnited AirlinesUSAAVisaAccentureApplied MaterialsArmAT&TCharles SchwabEquinorHarvard Business School Executive Education; IBMMary KayOraclePhillips 66QualcommHEBTexas Beverage AssociationDeloitteDickinson Wright PLLCExpress ScriptsExxonMobilHuston-Tillotson UniversityKate SpadeMerckPaula’s Choice SkincarePlanviewSilicon LabsTokyo Electron (TEL)UnitedHealthcare; and media sponsors Austin American-StatesmanKVUEOutdoor Advertising Association of Texas; and The Texas Tribune.

To learn more about the Texas Conference for Women, visit www.txconferenceforwomen.org.

#TXConfWomen

Follow on Twitter: @TexasWomen

Like on Facebook:  @texasconferenceforwomen

Follow on Instagram: @txconfwomen

Folio: 100 Honorees To Be Feted at Celebration Luncheon on December 6 in New York City

Folio:, the publishing industry’s go-to source for news, business intelligence and peer-to-peer networking, is pleased to unveil its 2018 Folio: 100 Honorees. Each year, an elite group of media professionals are selected to represent the best and brightest minds in magazine and digital media today.

The 2018 class of honorees includes: Hearst Magazine’s Troy Young, National Geographic’s Susan Goldberg, Trusted Media Brand’s Kari Hodes, Adweek’s Jeffrey Litvack, Meredith’s Tom Harty, New York Times Magazine’s Gail Bilcher, and more.

View the 2018 Folio: 100 Honorees

“The Folio: 100 is a veritable who’s who in magazine media,” says Folio: Content Director, Caysey Welton. “These are the folks who are changing the face of our industry, across every sector and every discipline. Their leadership, creativity, vision and entrepreneurial spirit is truly inspiring.”

For more information, visit www.FolioMag.com.

Honorees will be recognized at a Celebration Luncheon on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at the Yale Club in New York City from 12:00 – 2:30pm. To register for the luncheon, click here.

For questions about attending the Folio: 100 Celebration Luncheon, contact Folio: Marketing Manager Jessica Dombrowski at jdombrowski(at)accessintel(dot)com. To become an event sponsor, or secure a congratulatory ad in the program guide, contact Folio: Senior Account Executive Tania Babiuk at tbabiuk(at)accessintel(dot)com.

William Jackson, Founder & Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential.

William Jackson, Founder & Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential.

Congratulations to our very our Founder & Chief Business Officer, William Jackson, for being recognized as a 2018 Folio:  100 Honoree!

About Folio: 

Folio: is the information resource publishing executives turn to for news analysis, commentary, and thought leadership in driving business strategy, value creation and revenue growth. Folio: delivers this insight across several newsletters, social media communities, special reports and live events. For more information, visit www.Foliomag.com.

This Key Threat to Fortune 500 Companies Often Goes Unaddressed

Written by Kim Del Fierro, VP of Marketing for Area 1 Security, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine 

Kim Del Fierro, VP of Marketing for Area 1 Security.

Kim Del Fierro, VP of Marketing for Area 1 Security.

Fortune 500 companies have an impressive aura around them and well-earned reputations. Their leaders have achieved what many smaller companies’ executives aspire to accomplish. However, they also encounter more difficult challenges than one might expect. Despite the major resources that Fortune 500 companies possess, or rather, precisely because of them, Fortune 500 companies still face plenty of security risks. The target on a Fortune 500 company is much bigger than that of a small business because there’s inherently more value in compromising them.

Unfortunately, these companies also experience breaches coming from a widespread threat that no one seems to know how to address. It’s the cause of 95 percent of big attacks on Fortune 500 companies; namely, theft of employee credentials, usually via phish. How do cybercriminals exploit the threat to these companies?

It Starts with Stealing Credentials

Even though Fortune 500 companies go to great lengths to prevent breaches and data theft by hackers, it’s still happening. That’s because despite these companies’ heavy investments in cybersecurity, humans will always be the weakest link in almost any security system.

For example, if a phishing email finds its way into an employee’s inbox, there aren’t many ways to prevent that employee from opening it, and then clicking on a suspicious link or otherwise letting hackers compromise their credentials. Once that happens, hackers can move on to inflict further damage with malware, gaining access to essential servers.

Executing the Attack

Once they breach a company’s defenses, hackers can carry out their attacks in various ways. There are plenty of targets they can infest with malware and make inoperable. Criminals can steal or wipe valuable data, destroy the backup systems, and wreak havoc on disaster recovery systems. It’s a costly battle for Fortune 500 companies, and extremely difficult to recover from.

Preventing the Phishing Threat

Once the cybercriminals invade your infrastructure, it’s hard to rout them out before damage is done. That’s why preventing that first successful phishing attack is critical.

Relying on training your employees to recognize and report phishing attacks does not always yield the desired results. Even alert and motivated employees don’t have the knowledge and skills of a security manager.

Fortunately, once you stop the 95 percent of threats that arrive by phishing, the remaining five percent of attacks are easily preventable by regular patching and updating your security systems.

Area 1 Security offers phishing protection that you can add to the cyber security solutions you already have. We proactively cover your greatest vulnerabilities and prevent the majority of dangerous attacks, while your existing cybersecurity tackles everything else.

Detecting a phishing attack proactively, before it even becomes a threat, is the only way to stop phish from continuously landing in your employees’ inboxes. With Area 1 Horizon, you can stop phishing once and for all.

Innovate Business Models with SophiaTX: A Revolutionary Enterprise Blockchain Platform Pushing Adoption in the ASEAN

A successful enterprise blockchain event dubbed BUSINESS REDEFINED 2018 was held on September 25 at Suntec City, Singapore and September 27 at Connexion, Malaysia, representing the first step in building an ecosystem across ASEAN.

[Welcome Remarks] Jaroslav Kacina, CEO of SophiaTX

[Welcome Remarks] Jaroslav Kacina, CEO of SophiaTX

The invite-only events were hosted by a Swiss-based company Equidato Technologies AG, delivering the innovative SophiaTX Blockchain platform. SophiaTX is the world’s first public blockchain primarily focused on integration with ERP systems such as SAP. The Singapore and Malaysia events provided a unique opportunity to learn about the enterprise-grade blockchain and delivered groundbreaking debate by participants from diverse businesses and industries – including Apple, Cheng & Co, EY, British American Tobacco, Averis and GlaxoSmithKline, to mention a few.

During the events, the CEO of SophiaTX, Jaroslav Kacina and several other team members revealed a spectrum of blockchain capabilities which SophiaTX can offer to companies across a variety of industries. The team also showcased vast opportunities for enterprises seeking to reimagine their existing business models and processes, or simply achieve greater efficiency in their existing business networks.

Today, business systems such as ERP and CRM are a backbone to every company, regardless of its size. Along with its unique blockchain, the SophiaTX team also provides a set of tools and technologies enabling companies to integrate with and enhance enterprise systems such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, and many more.

Delivering the keynote at the event, Jaroslav said: “As the blockchain is already becoming a real opportunity for many companies and their future, it is crucial to have both mindset and know-how to make blockchain part of new digital strategies. It is vital that you, as top leaders, take a hard look at operating models, identify potential disruptions within industry and markets, and simply push forward. Joining SophiaTX can accelerate the business innovation cycle dramatically.”

Mr. Kacina’s speech was followed by a live SophiaTX platform demonstration by team members Marian Hires, Martyn Harler and Lubomir Vranka. The team showcased supply chain optimization opportunities in the automotive industry with integration to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business One systems. The demo and discussion extended into how the platform can enhance enterprise systems to enable innovative use cases and processes within several other industries. For example, SophiaTX helps companies overcome common problems such as lack of end-to-end supply chain visibility with insight to planned and current demand, traceability of critical items and inventory, constraints in supply at any desired level of the product hierarchy, and improper management of changes to already placed orders.

“Use of blockchain-based applications in supply chain management streamlines the sharing of data, ensuring both the accuracy and availability of the information among all members in a multi-tier supplier ecosystem” Mr. Vranka explained during the live demo.

“In summary, the SophiaTX blockchain platform, build on a fast and secure protocol, provides efficient sharing of data and removes the main obstacle that companies face in collaboration. It simply enables new breakthrough efficiencies in coordination across entire value chains.”, Jaroslav explained during the discussion.

Mr. Kacina pointed out the example of the Internet of Things (IoT), where the technology and sensors represent one of the fastest growing techs today. Combined with blockchain technology, IoT sensors can provide true transparency, trust, and level of collaboration that will lead to a completely new set of market behaviors and subsequently products and services.

Noticeably, SophiaTX’s roadmap also includes not only IoT integration but also wearables, smart devices, and other technologies including Analytics and Big Data, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence. This range of technologies allows traditional ERP systems to evolve into more hybrid Enterprise / ERP systems with new digitally enabled business functions and processes with greater agility and independence.

[Panel discussion] (From Left to Right) Jaroslav Kacina, CEO of SophiaTX, Jan Peter Speijer, Head of Products at SophiaTX, Effendy Zulkifly, CEO of Blockchain Academy Asia, & Tom Wong, CEO of Cheng & Co.

[Panel discussion] (From Left to Right) Jaroslav Kacina, CEO of SophiaTX, Jan Peter Speijer, Head of Products at SophiaTX, Effendy Zulkifly, CEO of Blockchain Academy Asia, & Tom Wong, CEO of Cheng & Co.

The event concluded with a discussion panel between CEO of Cheng & Co, Tom Wong; CEO of Blockchain Academy Asia, Effendy Zulkifly and Head of Products at SophiaTX, Jan Peter Speijer.

Top Three Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Your Business Faces Right Now

Written By Kim Del Fierro, VP of Marketing for Area 1 Security 

The business world has become more competitive than ever. Not only is there increased pressure on companies to be profitable, but also to keep information safe. For many companies, cybersecurity is an area that’s easy to cut back on, but that can prove to be an expensive mistake.

According to the PwC Global Economic Crime Report, cybercrime is now the second most reported economic crime, affecting 31 percent of organizations. The percentage is high, and if cybersecurity doesn’t become a priority in business, it will certainly get higher. As the leader and owner of a company, do you know which cybersecurity vulnerabilities your organization may have right now? Let’s take a look:

1. Lack of Policies that Prevent Most Common Threats

The first and most apparent vulnerability in any system relates to security fundamentals. Today, every company needs a cybersecurity policy to set security standards. Specific, well-established practices such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) have proven risky and need to be strictly governed. According to the 2018 Verizon Mobile Security Index, 74 percent of businesses say that their mobile security risks have gone up in the past year. Therefore, if you haven’t set strict security standards for your employees to follow, it’s time to start.

2. Reactive Mindset

Due to resource constraints, many organizations will do only the bare minimum when it comes to cybersecurity. However, in this day and age, covering the basics is not enough. Waiting for an attack to happen and then reacting is a sure-fire way for you to be much worse off when everything is over than if you had taken proper steps to protect your assets.

While having a reaction plan in place is generally considered good practice, that can’t be the extent of your cybersecurity solutions. Considering how fast cybersecurity threats are evolving, investing in proactive security solutions is quickly becoming a must for businesses.

3. The Human Factor

According to Experian’s 2018 Managing Insider Risk Through Training and Culture Report, 66 percent of surveyed professionals felt that employees posed the greatest vulnerability when it came to cyberthreats.

This isn’t unexpected, considering that the human factor is usually the weakest link in any security system. While training can help to eliminate the most common causes of human error in cybersecurity, described as “general carelessness,” it isn’t enough.

When you take into consideration the fact that a majority of organizations face phishing email attacks frequently, the scope of the problem falls into perspective. Even when employees are rigorously trained, mistakes happen. All it takes is one careless reaction to a suspicious email.

This is why we must work on solutions that prevent phishing cyberattacks before they even reach your employees’ inboxes. Area 1 Security’s Anti-Phishing solution offers precisely that, by spotting phishing attacks days in advance.

Businesses today might be even more vulnerable than they seem to their owners. It’s crucial for every C-level executive to know precisely what type of damage a data breach can inflict, and which proactive solutions can prevent it from happening. When it comes to phishing attacks, you’ll be far safer with Area 1 Horizon, the anti-phishing technology that neutralizes today’s most dangerous cybersecurity threats.

Kim Del Fierro, VP of Marketing for Area 1 Security.

Kim Del Fierro, VP of Marketing for Area 1 Security

New Jewelry Line from Designer / Entrepreneur Vivian Storms

Features One-of-a-Kind Sculptural Artwork from Acclaimed Cold Glass Artist Jack Storms

Even though Vivian Storms has accomplished much in her young life — she’s only 31 — including being a child star in her native Brazil, a publisher, CEO, manager of an art gallery, marketing expert, fashion designer, and mother, she never imagined she’d become a designer of her own jewelry line.

Viv Storms Fine Jewelry launched its new line of exceptional jewelry, fashioned from one-of-a-kind, original cold-glass artwork produced by her business partner, artist Jack Storms, on Aug. 1.

There were 500 pieces available, with five different designs for necklaces, rings, cuff links, earrings and pendants, all affordably priced starting at $500, and up. A pre-sale was launched on Aug. 1, with 360-degree videos of the pieces on the website www.vivstorms.com. Those who pre-ordered pieces received several perks, including deep discounts and entry into a giveaway of a $15,000 Jack Storms sculpture. Pre-ordered pieces will be delivered on Nov. 1. A portion of the proceeds of the pre-sale will go to charity.

“We have an amazing team of designers helping me take this crazy idea of a jewelry line based on fine art from a piece of paper to reality,” said Vivian about the process of creating the line.

Over the last decade, Jack has become a dominant force in the landscape of cold-glass art. The effect of his work is palpable. Take one look at any of his masterpieces, and it’ll become obvious that, aside from technical prowess, there’s something else at work. It’s that artistry that Vivian, the brains behind the Storms company, thought of harnessing three years ago.

Vivian believed Jack’s craft had a lot more to offer, so she set herself the task of reinterpreting his art and expanding the reach of the Storms name. Rendered in jewelry form, Jack’s art could be worn, carried and someday even passed down. With this venture, Vivian also combined two of her greatest passions: art and fashion.

But the scale of Jack’s sculptures and their sheer weight posed a challenge. Taking Jack’s work and striving for the same excellence — and the same painful precision and meticulous attention to detail — in a fraction of the size was by no means an easy task. The former husband-and-wife duo worked feverishly, side-by-side, to translate Jack’s creation into stones as small as 8mm. It took two and a half years, and various episodes of trial and error, to develop and perfect the process, but Vivian’s jewelry line is finally slated to launch in November.

With the brilliantly reflective core in mind, Vivian dreamed up the designs — which come in gold, silver and platinum — for her debut line, her first foray into fine jewelry.

In the Sophia collection, the stones drive the narrative and dictate the settings. The collection makes good use of simple, modern lines and contemporary features, all executed with an obsession with quality and elegance.

The Aria collection, on the other hand, sings another tune. While the stone is still the star attraction, it works hand-in-hand with ornate settings to display all facets of the duo’s vivid imagination. Here, Vivian opts for drama, in place of more minimalist design elements. The shimmering, light-catching stones are presented in romantic, storybook-like settings adorned with intricate scrollwork.

Manufactured entirely in the United States, between Los Angeles and Miami, both collections boast a timeless aesthetic, a true embodiment of outstanding work at the service of a radical vision.

When asked why someone should buy her jewelry, what with so many jewelry lines on the market, Vivian didn’t hesitate to answer.

“Because they are buying a piece of art from the foremost cold glass artist in the world,” she said. “These pieces do not exist anywhere else in the world. Every one of these pieces is different, they’re all original pieces of art, made by a master sculptor, one of only three in the world. The colors are just surreal.”

Vivian says she has more of an overarching view of the jewelry line than just selling necklaces and rings, beautiful and intricate as they are.

“It’s always been about bringing enlightenment with Jack’s art, it really changes people’s perception of everything, it’s more than a sculpture, he’s able to create something truly unique,” said Vivian. “For me it’s about bringing this art to the world — to see, to believe and to see the beauty of art. To involve more people and have this work touch them.”

Visit Viv Storms Fine Jewelry at www.vivstorms.com.