Accessories with Lyrics: Meet the Co-Founders of Budding Jewelry Line, Zoetik
Lately, a spate of new jewelry lines have been popping up everywhere, whether by an A-list celebrity or just a fashion-loving commoner with a knack for bling—and it’s not going to die down anytime soon. Accessories are—and have always been—a hot market and Zoetik (pronounced as zo-etik) is basking in this steady mass appeal. Launched in 2013, what makes Zoetik stand out among the others is its focus on chic style without compromise on quality and affordability—combined elements that many other fashion jewelry brands fall short of. Only using hypoallergenic metals and plated with real gold and rhodium, you can be sure that Zoetik has earned our mark of approval. Collaj recently got a chance to interview co-founders Jason Choi and Vivienne So, who both give us the scoop on how they got the name to their favorite spots in New York (where they are based).
Collaj Magazine: What was your field before Zoetik?
Jason: I graduated with a BA in Biology from Northwestern University and began my career in healthcare advertising in NYC before moving into small business.
Viv: I studied Communications and Sociology at Northwestern. I moved to NYC right after graduation, stumbled into fashion show production, then found my groove in fashion e-commerce.
CM: How did you guys team up and what was the process of coming up with the name and actually getting the business started?
Jason: We wanted to come up with a name that fits our point of view. ZOETIK is great for any day of the week—from office meetings to a dinner date to weekend brunch with friends. It’s also affordable so you don’t have to go breaking the bank to look great. The word “zoe” comes from the Greek word for “fullness of life” and the ZOETIK girl is always living life to the fullest.
Viv: We also love how it sounds. It rhymes with “poetic”!
CM: What is the hardest part in working together? Best part?
Jason: Hardest part would be that we don’t actually work on site together. The best part is that we perfectly complement each other and can divide and conquer!
Viv: Agreed. We’re on the same page most of the time, and our different skill sets help move each other forward.
CM: Zoetik created a collection partnering with Restore NYC. Could you give us the inspiration behind that and how it was designed?
Jason: We wanted to partner with a great local organization here in NYC and came across Restore NYC. They create safe houses for sex-trafficking victims here in NYC—a place where modern day slavery exists but people aren’t as aware of it—and help rebuild victims’ lives inside and out.
Viv: Working with nonprofits has been a part of the ZOETIK DNA from the start, especially ones that also have a message of empowering women, whether local or global. The collection was built around four symbols that represent Restore NYC’s mission: Lionness for Empowerment, Hamsa Hand for Protection, Cactus Flower for Perseverance, and Pearl for Rebirth.
CM: Describe your personal style in one word or phrase, and what is your preference of jewelry/accessory?
Jason: Fitted-classic. Unfortunately, no jewelry…
Viv: I’d like to say classic with a twist. With clothing, I tend to go for classic silhouettes but in modern colors and prints, or vice versa. This applies to how I accessorize too—my favorites are always ones with staying power that can be worn with trendier pieces, like our large black Swarovski studs, worn gold crystal bangle, and the gold cactus flower pendant necklace we made for Restore NYC.
CM: What are the top three things you are passionate about?
Jason: Crossfit, family, my faith.
Viv: Fashion, family and friends. Not necessarily in that order!
CM: Your favorite food spots in NY?
Jason: Anything Danny Meyer (Shake Shack, Maialino, Union Square Cafe, etc).
Viv: Rosemary’s in the West Village for fresh vegetables and simple but delicious pasta, Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo for their canelés (no line-up required & better than cronuts!), and Toby’s in Williamsburg for the best flat white and salted caramel macaroon.
CM: Your favorite reads (news, blogs, websites)?
Jason: NYTimes, PolicyMic, Gizmodo, BuzzFeed.
Viv: I get all my news from Twitter! It has all the important headlines, fashion news, foodie talk, and funny people like Mindy Kaling and Anna Kendrick.
CM: Your perfect day:
Jason: Hanging out with my nieces outside on a nice spring day.
Viv: A great morning SoulCycle ride, lively brunch with friends, a walkabout at the Chelsea galleries or park/beach hangout (depending on the season), and a dinner party.
CM: Is there a motto, quote or saying you live by or always keep close to your heart?
Jason: “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.” “Be joyful always.”
Viv: “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Mad Hatter, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland
To view their jewelry collection or to shop, visit Zoetik.com.