We had the good fortune of connecting with Saif Latif and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Saif, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I’ve never really believed in the idea of giving up. I’d shift that perspective and ask myself “Should I let this go?” Knowing when to keep going and when to step away is really all about your gut instinct and following your passion.
If something’s feeling too hard and isn’t bringing you joy anymore, just step away from it for a while. Maybe it’s a few days, maybe it’s a few years. Maybe you never go back to it, that’s OK too. But don’t label it as giving up. We are constantly growing, evolving, and changing. It’s OK to step away from something.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I launched my eponymous jewelry brand with the intension of reimagining antique jewelry and ancient history through a queer and diverse lens. Each piece of jewelry I design is deeply rooted in history and has a story behind it – a reason to exist. And that’s part of what sets the brand apart from so many other jewelry brands out there. The collection isn’t just filled with pretty accessories. It’s filled with stories from our collective past and symbols of the human condition. These stories and symbols just happen to take shape in jewelry.
One of the most exciting parts of my job is researching the stories to tell. It’s incredibly fulfilling to take a deep dive into history and discover long-forgotten legends or symbols. I get the opportunity to manifest these as tangible products. I see my role slowly transform from designer to storyteller. When I meet customers who feel connected to the brand and product through these stories, I feel extremely proud of the work I’m doing.
The brand is still in its infancy, and it took a lot of missteps to get here. But being in charge of the vision and direction my brand can take feels empowering. It might not always manifest as jewelry, but I want to keep telling stories from our past, and keep reimagining our shared history.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To me, New York City is all about the food. Luckily my friends agree. All of our favorite things to do are anchored with a great meal. Standouts including the glorious sandwiches at Alidoro in Soho and the richest ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery in Red Hook. There’s so much to do and see in NYC, it can get overwhelming. So I always recommend starting with a great meal.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The people that deserve the most recognition are my family and close friends who have supported me and believed in me. Any success I’ve found in my life is because of the people in it, and I’m grateful for every single one of them.
Photography – Sarah Hopp