Sheina Ebrani is the co-founder of stefanonavi.com, located on 5th Avenue in New York City. She was raised in the suburbs of New York, where she and her husband currently raise two children. Sheina is an entrepreneur by day and mother by night. She graduated Baruch College with a degree in marketing, and further pursued a master’s education.
Sheina founded StefanoNavi.com during the covid lockdown, as her jewelry industry was crippled for months. Her solution was to bring the jewelry store to the consumer, and make the engagement ring buying process as covid friendly as possible. She created a complimentary home try-on kit for diamond rings, being offered in an array of shapes and sizes. Her thought process was that engagement ring buying should be as stress-free as possible, and that couples should not have to enter a jewelry store to see what diamond shape is for them.
Sheina is a third generation family-jeweler. She has strong roots tied to the natural diamond world. Although her history was with earth-mined diamonds, she saw a need and opportunity with ethical, conflict-free lab-grown diamonds. Hence, her website strictly sells lab created diamonds and sustainably sourced recycled metals.
She has invested a lot of time in this small business startup, and hopes her product brings happiness to the lives of many couples in the world.
Where did the idea for stefanonavi.com come from?
My husband has been in the diamond business for many years. His father started began his operations 45 years ago. Once the pandemic started, everything was shut down and his jewelry stores were struggling immensely. We realized he needed to have an online presence, and that is when I told him he has to stand out; not only to have an online presence, but to offer an experience to online consumers that typically would only be offered at a Jewelry store. I loved trying on different diamond shapes and sizes as we were engagement ring shopping- and it was something I needed to do before my husband made such a big investment. I thought that there was no reason for that experience to not be offered online.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up at 6, get myself ready for the day and prepare breakfast for my family. I spend some time with my two young children, get them ready for their day and take them to daycare. I finally start my work day at 9:30 am and work until I go to pick up my kids.
How do you bring ideas to life?
love jewelry and always have. My inspiration for designs come from within when I think of my dream ring or earrings or think of what I would like to wear to work or out to dinner. My signature style is twists on classics and most of my inspiration comes from my personal style. I also spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram to learn about new trends and to see what people want to be wearing.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am a millennial and my generation cares a lot for sustainability and ethical products. I have always cared about using sustainable products in my own life and I am super excited to be able to offer beautiful jewelry to my customers that falls into this category. Lab-created diamonds have been growing in popularity so much the past few years, and it will only continue to do so. It is significantly more affordable and chemically identical to an earth-mined diamond. To me- this “trend” is a win-win for all because not only is it more affordable but also it is better for our planet.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My creativity, vision, and ability to make decisions. I can walk into any shop and know exactly what I am looking for. When I am hosting an event, I walk into the florist and have my mind made up within seconds. I trust my instincts and just go with them.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust your instincts- take what you are good at and run with it. I interned and worked for other companies for years and as much as that helped mold me into who I am today, I wish I would have become an entrepreneur much sooner. I am doing what I love and I am good at it 😉
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
My concept of a home try-on kit is complimentary. Others in the industry keep telling me that it is a crazy idea and not everyone will eventually buy their engagement ring from me. They keep telling me it is a big waste of money and that my advertising budget should be spent elsewhere. At the end of the day, I want couples to be able to make such a big decision without any pressure and I want to offer to them what I wish had been offered to me.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Exercise. It is the one thing I do for myself that benefits all those around me.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I am not embarrassed or ashamed to ask others for help. I knew very little about e-commerce, (except for being an online shopper) so I met a number of times with friends of mine who have strong e-commerce websites. I am always happy to help others when they come to me for jewelry advice, so I felt comfortable going to experts in this field for their advice.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Thinking I can do it all. I juggle a lot of responsibilities throughout my day and I realized I need to delegate certain tasks or else I will fail tremendously. One of the best things we did was hiring designers and photographers who can lessen my load.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I wish there was some sort of price comparison website like “Kayak” for more industries. For example- I recently needed a new car (suburb life!) and it was such a daunting task to contact numerous dealers to get prices. It could have been so much easier to just shop the prices online!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
In my business- $100 on Fiverr for photo editing! There are so many talented people on Fiverr- you can get almost anything done for a great price! In my personal life- a few puzzles for my son. It is amazing to watch him work on these puzzles that are above his age level and succeed without any help.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love Shopify. It is so user friendly and simple to use- I never thought I’d be able to develop such a beautiful website so easily! They completely simplified the website building process.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
As cliche as it may sound- Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” is the most important book I have ever read. I believe in principles, both in the business realm and with my children.
What is your favorite quote?
I have many- but recently I was reading my kids a book and this quote stood out to me. “We all can dance,” he said, “when we find music that we love.”
― Giles Andreae, Giraffes Can’t Dance
- Think of the consumer first
- Ask others for help.
- Exercise your mind/body every day.
- Don’t be afraid to do something different than the norm.