Silent Auction Spotlight: Jewelry Exec Director Shines In Family Business
Visiting Rome after college and viewing the masterpieces of 17th century sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini proved to be a career shift for Maria Soldier, executive director of Alex Soldier, an international jewelry enterprise created by her father.
“When I saw the work of Italian master Bernini, my favorite sculptor, these sculptures were a revelation that would move me closer to my dad’s work because I could see his genius in his won creations. My dad is of the same caliber of talent and artistic aesthetic,” says Soldier, who has been working in the family business since 2004.
Soldier is donating several Alex Soldier items to Take The Lead’s 5th Anniversary Summer Silent Auction, ranging in value from $1,300 to $2,200 per handcrafted piece.
The items donated to Take The Lead include an Alex Soldier Cora Cuff Bracelet, made in sterling silver with 24 karat yellow gold and dark platinum (black rhodium) infusion with a retail value of $2,200, paired with Carnelian Earrings: made in oxidized sterling silver with carnelian and black spinel, retail value of $1,300. Another pair of Carnelian earrings is valued at $1,300 plus an Alex Soldier Pearl Coin Necklace, made in oxidized sterling silver with finest freshwater coin pearls and signature metalwork, with a retail value of $1,800. Bid here.
Managing all the sales, marketing and public relations for the family business centered on her father’s innovative designs, Soldier says her education and training led into this natural connection to the family business. And yes, she only wears her father’s jewelry.
“No other jewelry appeals to me the way his does,” Soldier says. “I love his work and feel I should be the ambassador to his brand and his artistry.”
Graduating from Fordham University in 2001 with a degree in international studies and diplomacy, Soldier held an internship at the United Nations, working for the radio station. After three years of part time work for her father’s company, and for international non-governmental organizations, Soldier, an only child of Alex and Galina Soldier, went to work full time in the family business.
“I was going door to door to stores,” showing her father’s work. “Ninety-five percent of it was rejection and it’s really hard to constantly hear no,” Soldier says.
“My mom would say, ‘Pay attention to your goals and things will come through.’ She was absolutely right,” Soldier says.
That practice taught Soldier patience, and she says that is the number one lesson she offers to young people—particularly women—starting out. “That’s my main takeaway.”
Now traveling the world for the family company, that carries lines from the Silver Collection, starting at $350 per piece, up to the Haute Couture Collection, with pieces valued at $10,000 each. The Alex Soldier “extensive line of conceptual jewels” has earned a Platinum Passion Award from Platinum Guild International and in 2002 a Spectrum honor from American Gem Trade Association.
With a vast celebrity client list that includes Queen Latifah, Christie Brinkley, Kate Upton, Miranda Lambert as well as Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Soldier says she would never tell stories about clients. “It’s all confidential,” Soldier says. “They like their privacy.”
What Soldier is not private about it her passion for her work and the company her father has created, with her mother behind the scenes supporting him.
“Once I realized the world needs to know about him, then transferring that passion from myself to the rest of world to tell our story on a large scale,” became the mission, Soldier says.
While many find working closely with family difficult, Soldier doesn’t agree.
“It can be hard sometimes, but if you are on the same page with your family, it is much more harmonious,” Soldier says.
As the voice for the company, Soldier says it is also important for her to advocate for younger women and to serve as a mentor to all women. A proud Fordham alum, Soldier says she has a few students per semester as interns from Fordham.
“I coach them and make sure they get as many positive ideas as they can to go forward.I think education is the pivotal aspect,” Solider says. “I don’t think greed is good. We need to share education and information in order to buld a better future together.”
And this is why she and the Alex Soldier company support Take The Lead.
“We are always happy to contribute to a good cause with the right partners for a better future.”