Voted two of Paper Magazine’s most beautiful people in 2005, designing duo Candice Pool and Soraya Silchenstedt of fine jewelry line Finn, have been inextricably linked in work, friendship, and about town since first meeting in Manhattan in 2001.
The best friends and business partners share the key to their success: “Everything is a total right brain/left brain situation with us!” laughs Pool. “I'm the mathematical one, Soraya is more artistic. No one can fight to win. We decided that unless we agree on a thing, it doesn’t happen.”
Deriving from Texas and Westchester respectively, the symbiotic pair have made themselves at home here—embodying the city’s own colorful contrasts as they lounge, fresh-faced and suntanned, upon the dusty discards of their newly acquired and thoroughly gutted Great Jones Street headquarters.
“We had to really visualize we could change it” recalls Silchenstedt about the diamond in the rough slated for a Louis XIV makeover. “Doing all the designs ourselves—it's overwhelming but worth it. We were looking at cookie cutter buildings that didn't feel like New York. This is more true of who we are and where we're going; moving away from being just an office toward becoming a destination”.
But a smart address isn’t the only clincher. The decadent but wearable line already attracts such loyal clients as Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Giselle Bundchen and Naomi Watts, though the two describe their true muse as “cool New York women with great style. It takes confidence to wear a $6,000 bracelet while riding your bike or pushing a stroller over the Brooklyn Bridge.” Pool adds, “These women are that awesome and committed to their style.”
And while the jewelry’s understated chic receives verbose accolades in magazines like Elle, W, and French Vogue, Silchenstedt emphasizes: “We’re only two people working together—we do all our own press. Nobody cares about it more than we do!” This, however, appears poised to change.
“It’s time to grow,” Pool concedes. “Soraya has a file full of gorgeous custom designs. We're ready to bring people here instead of them just going to Barney's. If it blows up, fine, we don't want to push it.” But Silchenstedt has other designs: “I'd like to do china!” she proclaims. “We talked about doing perfumes— it's something we always wanted but didn’t have 2000 square feet.” To which Pool jokingly adds, “To fit an empire!”
But don’t let their repartee fool you; the partners know that the whole functions best when the two halves act in unison. “Most decisions” Silchenstedt happily cedes “are a collaboration!” Clearly, these two make a gem of a team.
They have a crazy wine list and small little toasts that you can eat, and mixed nuts that are really good. And the guys that work here know wine really well—and they aren't intimidating, they teach you about it—and you can sit here and drink delicious wine all night long and talk to your friends. …more
You can take a ballet class or a hip hop dance class. But you can pay per class to go. There's a schedule on their website, and you can just show up that day and pay or you can sign up in advance. …more
It's loud, noisy Vietnamese food. The menus—they have two—are each menu like 10 pages long, but if you stick to the pho—any kind of pho—it's just delicious. …more
Deborah Marquit is a lingerie designer who hand sews each piece of lingerie. She's had her business since the early 80s. She makes lingerie for Madonna and lots of people. …more
I never knew about it, but apparently a lot of people do because there's always lines to get in. I've eaten dinner here and their fried chicken is unreal. …more
You could spend hours looking at small things. The store here is pretty big, but you get lost in the locks and keys and the door hinges. …more