Talking to Cool People w/ Jason Frazell

Kat McCoy - Owner of Best Kept Jewelry

November 23, 2022 Season 3 Episode 45
Talking to Cool People w/ Jason Frazell
Kat McCoy - Owner of Best Kept Jewelry
Show Notes Transcript

Kat talks about what it's like to spend to a be a regular in the Diamond District in NYC, what had her leave her successful management consultant career to become a business owner and how Jason is likely the IDEAL client for someone like Kat.

"Do no harm, take no shit."

Kat McCoy is the owner of Best Kept Jewelry Concierge. She’s on a mission to take the stress out of buying fine jewelry for yourself or a loved one. You can think of her as a cross between a personal shopper for fine jewelry and a private jeweler, working with the nation’s top designers, jewelers, wholesalers, and collectors to source and commission special pieces across a variety of budgets and styles for her clients.

Her “gift for gifting” is in finding unique selections that highlight the recipient’s personal style and taste.

Prior to launching Best Kept, Kat worked as a management consultant. She realized the process of buying jewelry was way too confusing and intimidating, and decided more people would take the leap to buy a great piece if there was someone trustworthy to guide them through it.

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Jason Frazell:

Everybody, this is a first this is the first on the show and I was just catching up with this lovely human that you're gonna get to know. I've done I've recorded 150 episodes and or I've released 150 episodes. How do I know that because my platform tells me that and told me that this morning. And here with me today for the very first time we're going to talk about jewelry. Which if anybody might avid listeners know, it is my sweet spot. So I can't wait to educate you on the jewelry business cat. No, I'm gonna I'm gonna learn so much. One of the best parts about this podcast is learning about things that otherwise I don't spend much time on. And I'm probably actually right, your ideal customer because of that, too. So my guest today is Cat McCoy. Cat McCoy is the owner of Best Kept jewelry. Calm she is based in northeast, available nationwide. Cat. Welcome.

Kat McCoy:

Thank you, Jason. Thanks for having me.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, Best Kept jewelry. concierges, man, I Where were you in? 2000 2008?

Kat McCoy:

I hear you. I hear you. I started in 2018. So I was still finding my way all the time. But engagement rings are absolutely a specialty of mine and milestone gifts. So yeah. anniversaries and birthdays and holidays.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, we've we've met too late. I went through that process. And yeah, it was 2008. And I am like the prototypical like what the heck is going on i You need to tell me exactly what you want. Because I know nothing about this. And just I'm like the perfect person to go, Hey, can you do this for me? around this topic specifically. We're gonna get into all this and more, we're gonna get to know you today. So cat, let's kick this off and tell us about something you nerd out about.

Kat McCoy:

So on the jewelry side, I would say I nerd out about prongs. I make a lot of customer engagement rings. And there are so many factors that go into creating a very, very beautiful ring. But I think prongs are one of the most kind of underrated under talked about components of an especially beautiful ring. But on the personal side, I love sports documentaries, and I don't really need to care about the sport. I just am so drawn to this maniacal pursuit of excellence and I find it intimidating and inspiring and a little nuts. But I love seeing people just so far on the edge in the pursuit of something.

Jason Frazell:

One of the great things about being a podcast host is I get to get free recommendations from my guests. I'm a sports person. And I like I like some so actually it's funny cat as you're saying this. I like good sports documentaries. But you know what's interesting is I hate sports movies. With the exception of a few of them, like fictional sports movies I don't really like but I like the real motivational stories. Yeah, yeah, it doesn't come the same intensity so quickly. What are your What are your for for everybody listening? What are your top sports documentaries?

Kat McCoy:

So recently watched the preseason for hard knocks which covered the Detroit Lions.

Jason Frazell:

I can't tell you the Detroit Lions. Yes.

Kat McCoy:

I can't tell you I've seen any lions football but um, by the end of it, I was rooting for every single player. And this was pre season so they show you how they cut the roster essentially in half. And just some heartbreaking decisions and you feel for the coaches you feel for the players. And I have to say and listen, I'm sure a lot of it's editing every single player. Every single player they cut who was just on the line was so gracious about it. I kept waiting for someone to like throw a lot of bottle but total pros and you're rooting for everybody so so most recently I love that.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, Hard Knocks it's pretty cool. I watch Hard Knocks sometimes, since it doesn't sound like you're a football fan. Like normally I'm just gonna give you some information the Detroit Lions are terrible. They're they've been terrible for they might be the worst. They might be the worst team in all the NFL in the last 10 years. If not the worst. Yeah, even the Browns the Browns have made the playoffs the Lions have just been terrible. But you know like they have a great coach right Dan Campbell is like a really funny. He's a very charismatic guy which makes for good, good, good reality TV. And I love Hard Knocks do and they're doing a mid season Hard Knocks with the Cardinals Arizona Cardinals now. That's absolutely new. There you go put it in your queue. It's out there at HBO Max, we can sponsor this podcast by age. So cat, what's something that's inside of your comfort zone that you know other people will not either do or they're uncomfortable with it and I'm going to take talking about jewelry and prongs right off the table because that would be an example of something that I barely know I know what a prong is. But if you said anything else, I didn't know there's a difference in prongs, I thought it was a thing. It was a utilitarian thing that held the desk.

Kat McCoy:

Nothing else you learn something, learn something. It's great, flattering. So, you know, absolutely. The business side of things. I think selecting jewelry for other people is a strange skill that I have. It's very intuitive work. There's no algorithm that sources the recommendations for people. So often, you know, Jason, if we were shopping for your wife, I'd asked you to send me a picture of her dress and jeans and a picture of her dress to to a black tie wedding. And from that I'd be able to kind of parse out what option for her. So it's just a weird little esoteric skill that I have. And I've always had and have sort of developed, of course over the last few years. But I think more broadly. Perhaps I'm not proving it. Now. I like to think I'm pretty good, small talk, which some people really hate. But I think that there is an art to small talk where you can connect with someone and listen, it can still be transactional, or just to kill time, but I think the art of small talk has really gone away because even you know ordering a coffee, like oftentimes you'll order it ahead of time on an app. Um, but I'm really into just talking to random strangers.

Jason Frazell:

random strangers. Yeah. I mean, obviously, I love small talk. anybody listening? Like, I live, I love small talk. I love small talk, medium talk, large talk, deep talk, shallow talk, it's out. I just like to communicate with people. That's so man, that's so cool. I didn't realize that. That's how you did it. I'm I'm relating this I'm relating what you do back to how I purchased my the ring for my wife. And I was referred somebody and he was an he wasn't a jeweler. He was a jeweler. I don't but I think he went and sourced the materials. But I don't think he likes that, hey, send me a couple of pictures. It was more like, Do you know what she wants? Which had me go, Hey, do you know what you want? Which the answer for my wife, plug for Episode One of the season season three. She knows what she wants most of the time. So like she came in like kind of, you know, showed me a diagram. And then he basically built that. But I think there's something really cool about like working with somebody like you and saying, let's actually see the surprise, like what is what, what is this purse? That's super cool cat Allah, I love that model.

Kat McCoy:

So I should say that the engagement process is a little bit different than sourcing a great gift, I think the element of surprise for a gift is so crucial. I have to say you did much better than you think you did for the engagement ring. Because one of my kind of core tips is, you know, nine times out of 10, a woman has some idea of what she wants. And for an engagement ring, you want to stick the landing, it's something you have to wear on her left hand everyday for many, many years to come and not be looking to upgrade in five or 10 years. So the engagement ring is one area where almost always I think that there should be some input from the person who will be wearing the piece. But on a gifting side, I really encourage a lot of my clients to move away from links or you know, exact specifications. And you know, how can we work together to find an opportunity to be extra thoughtful. So I recently did a guest with the client who the first thing he told me was his wife had beautiful blue eyes. So we saw something with blue sapphires. And he was so excited to tell her that he thought the Sapphire was gonna make her eyes pop. And it was just a cool experience of, of being able to again, like find an opportunity to make it a little bit more meaningful. But I have to say, I'm engaged. ringside is a bit of an exception. There are design opportunities to customize it a little bit, but you got to respect what the brand wants.

Jason Frazell:

Man. Yes, I think that's a really good rule. Respect what the bride wants. I like the, you know, from a marketing perspective, like the branding, like, I'll do it for you. And you'll also get a lot of brownie points, you will you will, you will really, you'll do well with your partner. I like that.

Kat McCoy:

Just knowing that you are a marketing guy. When I first started the business, I wanted to be the hero like, look what a amazingly accurate, wonderful recommendation I sorted. But I've realized that the person buying the piece has to be the hero. And so to the extent the client had such a great experience, that they're parroting back what I've said, which was the sapphires would make your eyes pop, like that's how I know. That's how I know I've done my job. So I'm looking for clients who absolutely want to be held, but I've learned they need to make the final call. They need to own the decision so that they can then be really proud of the decision. Whenever we get down to the last two options. They're like, I don't know you pick, it never turns out kind of as well as I hope because with something so personal with the stakes, you know, feeling kind of high jewelry is very, it's such an intimate purchase. They have to, you know, 1010 times out of 10 they have to make the final call.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, that's interesting. So, let's flip that question and talk about something that is uncomfortable for you something outside of your comfort zone cat that, you know, other people are down down for and I see you're laughing, which means this seems like a very accessible thing for you. So what is it?

Kat McCoy:

Um, you know, I consider myself to be, you know, fairly intelligent and I love to tell a good story. For the life of me, I am so bad at game night games like charades, and any of those sort of performative games. And it's like, every time my friends are like, we thought you would be so much better this than you are. So, I think listen, I think some of it's a little bit of practice, like, you know, in my house growing up, like we weren't playing those types of games, but it looks so fun. And it looks so easy. And then you want to hop in and for whatever reason, I just, I can't connect the dots. I guess I'm always looking to use words, which is usually

Jason Frazell:

but yeah, that's funny. Like charades? Like, that doesn't make any sense compared to the word like the word you like, what are you doing cat that that has nothing to do with? No, I didn't.

Kat McCoy:

Like either cheating or like mouthing the words. So. And I'm competitive. So I don't like to leave it. So the whole thing game night for me is? Is that my thing?

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, well, game night. If it's more like Scattegories or something, it's probably good for you. anymore. It's me too. I like to trade stuff. It's not that we played we played live kids now with our kids, which is kind of fun.

Kat McCoy:

Well, you're doing them a huge service teaching me on there

Jason Frazell:

there someday when my daughter is on a podcast, she will not have to answer. Sure it is a thing. But with we've always succeeded as parents, she's succeeded as a cert, charades player. Cat, let's talk about speaking. I don't know if you do speaking or not. But if I was to give you the global stage, and everybody on the planet was going to hear this, like your five minute TED talk, but it was the most viral TED talk of all time. What is it that you would speak to all of us about? And what would you want us to do at the end of that five minutes.

Kat McCoy:

So I've read a little while ago, that they were planning to remove a statue of Elvis from the Las Vegas airport, because so few of the younger generation that want to come and you know, do bottle service and spend a lot of money. So a few of those people knew who he was. And I would love to talk about this idea of, of legacy. And then also, you know, when you can really realize just how small you are in the long, long game, you can ironically, start to think bigger in your own life. But I think having a little bit of perspective and feeling less fear around going for what you want, because within the scheme of things, even Elvis, who I mean, not just like within Vegas, who like took the entire nation by storm, you know, 50 short years later, you know, people don't know who he is. He was literally the king. And so it's not to diminish any of your accomplishments or that you shouldn't be thinking long term about your legacy or your impact. But I mean, there are Roman Empires that neither you nor I could name. And so you got to do what feels good for you. And you got to help other people along the way. And it's both more serious and less serious than everybody thinks.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, I love that. I think that's such a valuable message first of all, I did not know that story. I'm not like a huge like Elvis was before my time for sure. And like he died before I was born, I believe no, he died and what it doesn't matter. But the fact that there's anybody on the planet who doesn't know who that person is, if you saw statute him just blows my mind because it's like she's such a cultural and pop icon. I heard I really I'm aware Do you on this? Well, now there's the movie, right? Well, now there's the movie out to the new movie with Tom Hanks and Austin, whatever his name is replayed. Elvis is supposed to be like a dead ringer scarily like him. But what I was gonna say is I have I had another guest on and they were talking about this idea of legacy. And their stances, like, do everything you need to do now. Like, do it now. Because, yeah, legacy is important. Especially I'm a parent. So like, that part of the legacy is important. But like, nobody's gonna remember Jason the podcast or cat jewelry, you know that the thing like that's not going to be our legacy on this planet, it's going to be so like, why not make an impact right now, as opposed to these people like, oh, I want to leave this. I want to plan for this huge legacy. But then it like takes so long. And also, as you know, like, nothing is guaranteed, like we're not guaranteed the next day. So all that can go away very quickly. And even thinking

Kat McCoy:

about, you know, the Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk who want to send people to the moon. I think so much of this is centered around this Master of the Universe persona. And 100 years from now, nobody's gonna know who they are, either. There'll be in the history books, but we are all so incredibly temporary and so to the extent You can tear to, you know, to your point like do right by people pay attention to kids. Still go for it, you know?

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, the thing I'll say, before we go for it to a quick commercial break is, I'd like to believe that nobody's gonna remember them. The other part of me is like, well, they might have a head on some sort of robot or like, might like, they might be in like cryo stasis and like, they, yeah, they might be on their spaceship somewhere and like find the fountain of youth. Or it's just like, it seems like there might be something there maybe not for this generation or the next one. But like at some point, one of these people who have the unlimited resources are going to figure out some way of like, true longevity.

Kat McCoy:

That's definitely coming. Maybe maybe not for us but

Jason Frazell:

maybe not for us, we'll be will be gone. And I will have left as this this podcast episode. But you know, the coolest podcast live on the longest as long as you're as long as the software you use to host them stay long stay. Stay up. So, cat, we're gonna take a brief commercial break. We'll be right back after this.

Unknown:

The talking to cool people podcast is brought to you by Jason for sell coaching. Jason works with amazing people who are looking to find and develop their passion and purpose and create their journey to wherever it is they want to go. Check us out at Jason frazell.com, Facebook or on Instagram. Jason loves hearing from anyone who thinks it would be cool to connect, to be coached, or to be a guest on our show. email him at podcast at Jason frazell.com. Or DM him on Facebook and Instagram. And now, back to some more amazing conversation on talking to cool people.

Jason Frazell:

Alright, cat we are back. So what would you like us to know about you?

Kat McCoy:

I would say you know, I think the one kind of interesting thing here is, um, prior to starting best kept, I was a management consultant. And I studied business in school. So I do not come from the jewelry world, I don't have a background or formal education in jewelry. But I was able to identify a space in the market, which is gifting jewelry is incredibly difficult and the stakes feel high. And you know, the true insight there was if you could make people feel like they couldn't get it wrong, that more people would take the leap and buy a really special piece of jewelry for someone they love. And so my business model has changed a little bit. My budgets and pricing minimums have changed. But that has really been just a really consistent through line the last five years, which is how can you eliminate risk and amp up this idea of thoughtfulness and really matching the right piece of jewelry with the right person?

Jason Frazell:

Mm hmm. Perfect. Well, it's anything you'd said had been perfect. But this is great, because I didn't realize you're like a corporate to a side hustler to you know, like, I didn't realize I was a pivot because we're just getting to know each other. So I have a question for you. Do you remember the very first time that somebody paid you for your service as as as a business owner?

Kat McCoy:

Absolutely. I was very much still in the test and learn phase. I'm actually one of this. I don't know if if I had read about this or what inspired me to do this. But as I was starting the business, I had friends and family send me a list of five men that they knew I really focused primarily on men gifting to spouses. And I just took interviews, I interviewed about 25 people and ask them, Have you ever bought jewelry for a partner? How'd it go? Did she return it went through the whole thing. And from those 25 calls, I got my first four or five clients. And it's just a great, you know, listening is of course, really, really important. I did go into the conversation with no expectations. But people love to talk about their experiences, they love to connect in that way. And so it was such a great way to, to bring on my first few clients. And at the time, you know, I mentioned I didn't have any experience in the jewelry space. So I didn't have any wholesale suppliers. I didn't have any industry relationships. And so I was buying a piece of jewelry from another source online and then just charging a consulting fee or markup on top. And the whole thing felt a little like a little just sort of strung together. But it's wild to me looking back how at least on the sourcing side. The process hasn't changed that that much for me. I just know more people within the industry and better use the source things like good prices, but

Jason Frazell:

very cool. I love that I love I love I'm a fellow corporate to something to doing my own thing as well. Let's see I had a question for you about jewelry. About jewelry. So When somebody comes to you, and we're gonna, we're gonna peel back a little bit of a layer of your business model without giving away the trade secrets, I think. And if we're giving away trade secrets, you can tell me to shut up. So like, I'm going to assert how I believe this to work. So I say, hey, cat, I want you to go find my wife, necklace. And we and you and I, together as partners, figure out what that thing is going to be. You then go to your suppliers, hopefully multiple suppliers and say, Hey, this is the piece I need. And then you would, and I think this is how the jewelry business works overall, and then there will be kind of a like, give me your best price for this piece, and then you'll select based on best price. So like the is that, like, that's my understanding how the jewelry business generally works, especially in wholesale? It can Is that true?

Kat McCoy:

You know, I would say my process is a little bit different. Typically, we'll start with a consultation. And we'll drill we'll have some sort of game plan, by the time we're done speaking, which is, my budget is x, I think we want to do an everyday necklace. And let's make sure that if broadly goes with a bracelet, I got her five years ago that she loved. So we'll have a general game plan. But you know, most of my clients aren't able to tell me from that first meeting, I want it to be, you know, a seven inch bracelet with small diamond accents. Ideally, it has sort of a painful, you know, they don't know exactly what they want, they just know they want her to love it. And they can say, I want to, you know, this time around, I want to do a necklace within this budget. And then I'll go out and source anywhere between three to five really great options for you to choose from within your budget, I send them over in a PDF. And I include lots of pictures on the body, because I think that's one of the most difficult things about buying a piece of jewelry online is that sense of scale, and include information on the designer, how it was made, and also why I think it's a great choice for Suzy. So that's sort of the personal kind of touch that's involved. In terms of negotiation, I would say the larger, more established brands have a line sheet that they'll send you at the beginning of the season, which is these are their items. This is the wholesale price. This is the suggested retail price. When I'm partnering with a jeweler in the diamond district or someone who I know more personally. And you're who sort of sells you know, piece by piece. That's when it can become you know, definitely more of a negotiation.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, I think that's such a, I love that model. Yeah, just thinking about for me, like, what would I want to work with somebody like you? And that's what I'd want? I would my first thing I'd say you go, Hey, what do you want to go? Well, I don't want to stand. I don't want to step into any store anywhere. That's my step number one. Number two, I want you to tell me what the trends are? Because I'm sure you're up on like, what's the latest trends around different pieces? Yeah, this is we may need to talk after this. It's probably about time that, that we maybe make a move on that, that I we being me make a move with my wife and that you're like, and for those listening, she's like, Yeah, I think that's probably true. Checks. Check. Yep. So cat, let's, let's give you the hosting Mike here for a minute. And I'll be your guests. So what do you want to ask me? And we just met 30 minutes ago or so? And that I can answer for you and for the audience.

Kat McCoy:

So Jason, given you know how many interesting people that you speak with every month, and you seem just like such a curious guy? I'd love to know, what was the last major thing that you changed your mind about?

Jason Frazell:

Oh, man, that's cool. You don't understand how good a question that is. For somebody like me. I am not somebody who changes my mind very often. I'm a fast decision maker. And when I make a decision, I am pretty much at go ahead with it. So let's see. major decision, major decision are you. Um, yeah.

Kat McCoy:

It's such a good time right now that I

Jason Frazell:

know no crazy political time. Yeah. I think it's the thing. I'm just going to answer what's coming up for me. And I guess this, it's not that I've completely changed my mind. But I think it's I'm growing into. So for background, we have a almost seven year old and a just turned two year old. And if you have friends with kids, or you have kids like this will resonate, you'd like you have this way that it needs to go, especially with your first one. I'm going to raise them this way. And we're gonna do this and all these things. And I've just changed my mind about how little most of that matters. And I'm talking about like things like screen time, or strict bedtime and all these things, how little that matters as compared to just being a good parent and like paying attention to them. And that's that it's not that I ever like we were never going to be the parents who were that Correct. That was not that's not really my style or my wife style, but it was, you know, like, they're like, oh, like you read these things about screen time and oh my gosh, they here's the problems or, you know, kids this age, they need to be in bed by this time because if they're not or like they need to wake up this time and don't let him sleep in because then data and what we just moved to like, let's just let them be little humans. And we have a focus on instead of like having all the rules. The rules we do have in this right change my mind is more around like curiosity based questions. So not How was school today? Because if you ever talked to a six year old, the answer that is usually good. But hey, what did you like about school? What was good about school today? Or what was the most fun thing you had? It's like open ended questions. And we've even started asking our two year old that now. And like, you know, you get like little two word answers. But like, that's been a shift. Because you know, a lot like a lot of pop. A lot of culture is like, here's all these bad things that as a parent you shouldn't be doing. And we've just, I've just shifted my mindset and maybe like, had some new learnings that what what seems to be making the most difference for our daughter especially is just being present with her. Having fun talking about how things are going treating her like a human that actually has a sleep rhythm that isn't perfect to go to bed at 8pm Every night isn't perfect to wake up at 7am. But like what is actually going to support her. That's the thing that's coming up for me. The other thing that I've changed my mind about that's a much more lighter topic is the the Vikings actually have a chance to go far in the playoffs this year because I'm a Minnesota Vikings fan. And they're eight and 181 right now and they had the game of the year on Sunday. We're recording this in the 60s. They beat the bills this Sunday, and it was one of the greatest football games of all time. So I have changed my mind because I have so many years of trauma. As a Vikings fan of loss and trauma and heartbreak. I'm not going to use the dreaded SP word. I'm not going to say that and jinx it but I will say I think they might have a chance to go far. I'm not going to totally jinx it. Awesome question cat. Nobody in 150 some episodes has ever asked me that.

Kat McCoy:

Well, I love what you were talking about. I have two little ones as well. And something I have found really freeing is a concept which was introduced me called like the and just in this instance of the 8020 rule, which is 80% of the time you're shooting for healthy eating habits everything else but 20% of the time. It's it is what it is. And everybody needs a little baby Bender, baby Bender, and yeah, we're traveling if Yeah, at 20 It has been just very freeing.

Jason Frazell:

Perfection doesn't exist anywhere in the world, including, including diamonds. There's no such thing as a perfect diamond. Right? Like there's not part of what makes diamonds unique is there's no such thing as perfect jewelry. Yeah, like as parents, we're never gonna be perfect because we're dealing with other humans who have their own thoughts, feelings, emotions, body sensations. Really great question. Thanks, Kat. How old are your kids?

Kat McCoy:

One and a half and three and a half? Yeah. Okay, so

Jason Frazell:

you got a little into the almost talking and then a lot of talking stages.

Kat McCoy:

I've been told once they're both five. So once they're five and seven, life will open up to me again. So we'll say

Jason Frazell:

it will be I think that's true. Yeah, what you'll get to experience is, Oh, you're home from school? Or you want to snack? Oh, it's you know where it is? It's in the cupboard or what you want to color? Oh, you know where that is? Like, you know, the self stuffed cat. It's it's delightful. Yeah, I mean, we're just turned to stage which is all there's no self sufficiency in any stretch of any imagined. There's more trouble they can get into more trouble. And also, I was going to ask you, how do you manage because you have a nice piece of jewelry on how do you wear jewelry around your children? Don't they yank it.

Kat McCoy:

So I have girls. And my husband thinks that I must whisper in their ear as they're sleeping. They both love jewelry. It's just like a natural thing. So they'll like maybe tug on a necklace but by and large like they they're just so fascinated by it. And my older daughter she likes the small and expensive so you would think like a three year old will be drawn to the biggest faux pas. She she's got a nose for the small and the expensive which is

Jason Frazell:

funny. I can assure you. If our little guys saw diamond necklace, he would rip it right off. Like immediately like it would be like it'd be gone. Gone. Great question cat. Great question. pet cat, what are you passionate about?

Kat McCoy:

Um, I really am passionate about you know, as we've alluded, I work in fine jewelry and I think that there can sometimes be a misconception that jewelry is frivolous. And it's just for a certain kind of person. But I really really do believe that. A thoughtfully selected piece of jewelry can be one of the most meaningful purchases you can make. for yourself or someone you love. And I think that this idea of something that you can love and cherish and wear all the time, and then pass down is really, really special. And so, I think there are a lot, you know, my primary platform is definitely Instagram. And so what I call diamond porn, you know, plays really well. It's such a visual platform. I love it. I love a good diamond but and I love a big diamond. But my whole thing and I think where I have, you know, a little bit more of a unique point of view is this idea of like really thoughtfulness and aligning the right piece for the right person. And something I felt really strongly about.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, I love the idea of jewelry is a legacy. My sister, my sister has my, my late grandmother's wedding ring is her wedding ring. And they redid it, but it's like it's the I think they kept the stone and some of it and maybe they redid the prongs, maybe nominally now I can be like, Hey, did you redo the prongs? But they so it's like, and you know, it's like a piece from the 40s I believe, which is kind of cool. Yeah, so cool. It's like an our grandmother was a huge part of our life, like we you know, like she was big part. So you can always see that. Very cool. All right, let's see. What are you most proud of cat.

Kat McCoy:

I mentioned this earlier, but I entered the space with not a single industry contact. And the jewelry industry at large is, you know, notoriously very insular, wary of outsiders. The majority of the people you're going to meet in the diamond district are third or fourth generation, very skeptical of new people. And I think just I'm so proud to say that five years in I can help you source or make just about anything. And a lot of it has been through building these relationships, not just on the client side, but also on the supply side. feeling silly, saying the wrong thing, but just bouncing back. And I think knowing when to be humble, and then also knowing when to you know, kind of fake it till you make it. But I've learned a lot about myself trying to break into an industry that wasn't looking for a new entrants.

Jason Frazell:

No, no, probably not. How often do you spend time in the diamond district in New York City? Is there you're just a quick Train, train right away?

Kat McCoy:

Exactly. So I'm usually in the diamond district. Most typically two days a week, I'll either have client appointments will be going up to diamond wholesaler to select the stone for an engagement ring. I'll be checking on custom projects that I have picking things up dropping things off visiting vendors. So I love working for myself. And it sounds cliche, but it really is true for me that you know, no two days are the same. Yeah, it's something that I really, really love.

Jason Frazell:

Did you see uncut gems? Yes. Did you find it the portrayal of the diamond industry realistic, because that took place on 46th Street.

Kat McCoy:

You know, I have this exact conversation with a couple of my industry friends. And they were all for like they it all hit for them. And yeah, a lot of those scenes were shot directly in the diamond district, which is on 40 sevens between Fifth and Sixth. And so anybody on the street is very, you know, it's kind of like a lot of people know where they were when JFK was shot. People know where they were when Adam Sandler was dangling out the window, because the production team had not told, of course, the block that this would be happening. So yeah, I have a couple different friends who said they were looking out the window and they're like, is that Adam Sandler thing?

Jason Frazell:

It was very intense. As somebody who's never really shopped there, I've never really had a need to the idea that like they're not, they don't look like nice shops at all. Like at least they were portrayed. They weren't that nice. And then it's like, you get buzzed in. And then you stand in this little cube, which was actually a big part of the plot, right, like sitting inside of that, I guess it's like a holding area, a bulletproof holding area, which was, as you know, seen it, everybody's seen it, that's actually literally part of the plot. But like, and then going in, it's like one person at a time. And then you go in and it's like it, it looks intense. It is intense.

Kat McCoy:

And so I think the demonstrate isn't a great place to wander in on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and sort of window shop, you want to know who you're going to what you're going to them for. And so it can be really intimidating. So a lot of what I can offer to is particularly on the engaging side, most of my diamond wholesalers, you know, aren't on the ground floor. They've got private private offices up on the 15th floor. And so these are people that you under no other circumstances would be finding if we weren't working together and so providing access to the right people is a huge part of the value I offer particularly on the engagement side. I have grown to really love the hustle of the diamond district but it can be really intimidating and you know, absolutely see people kind of wandering in and are you buying or you're selling and it's it's a lot but it's such a cool place. I mean nine The percent of all diamonds, the United States pass through the diamond district at some point, really, really is, you know where it happens.

Jason Frazell:

That's really cool. One more question about this, because I got you here. What how do you? How do you make sure you don't get, you know, taken advantage of slash robbed? Like, I've always wondered that, because they, you know, it gets portrayed in television and movies sometimes like, oh, it's changed here, it's chained to your wrist, or I can imagine it would be easy to see that people are in there, like somebody's not saying just like you, but somebody who's shopping and they've got a bunch of pieces that are worth multiple 1000s of dollars, that would seem to be a target rich environment for people that wanted to do that, like our I mean, I know their security on the street, obviously. How do you like how do you just keep it quiet? And, you know, try? And like, how do you do that?

Kat McCoy:

Yes, when you're exiting the building, you always want to look somewhat discreet. And one of the best things that I did, you know, in the early days, you know, you're monitoring every single expense. But, you know, the bill that I'm so excited to pay every year is for my insurance. And so, because I just, you know, you mentioned that I take the train into New York City at different points, I'm on the train with, you know, 1000s and 1000s of dollars of pieces on on me, and so you feel like you have insurance. I of course like to enter and leave when it's so laid out. Yes, huge advantage being right. In Midtown, you're sort of, you know, around the corner from Rockefeller Center, and these major kind of tourist areas, you know, right next to Times Square as well. But it's something you know, New York City is still New York City, you got to keep your eyes open and kind of keep your wits about you.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah. Okay, what's something that you're afraid might actually be true about you?

Kat McCoy:

Um, you know, I was, I was thinking about I mentioned, you know, everything going on with politics has kind of shaken me up. And, you know, when I'm being really honest, myself, I think I have the great privilege of being able to ignore a lot of the really nasty stuff happening, because it doesn't directly affect me. And so I can acknowledge my great sense of privilege. But, you know, a part of me thinks that I don't do enough to use that privilege for good. And I think it can sometimes be a little bit easy to touch just not not pay attention or, or not, or feel like that doesn't apply to me, because it doesn't directly affect my life every single day. But, you know, I was walking my car last week, and I was being written up for a parking ticket. And I apologize profusely, and I guess I seem polite, and had a big smile, and he ripped up the ticket. And there are other people who, you know, a parking ticket violation can turn deadly. And I just started driving back and, you know, I was gonna call my best friend and be like, Haha, almost didn't get a ticket. And then I was like, no, like, I just seem nice. And I didn't get a ticket.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, there you go. Second part of this question that you probably don't know, maybe you do, if you've listened to podcast is what do you do to compensate for that fear?

Kat McCoy:

I think talking about it, is kind of the first steps of bringing it out to light. Um, I think you can ruminate about And sorry to bring the podcast to sort of such a dark place here with this, you know, talk of privilege and everything else. But I think talking about it with other people who I respect and admire wondering how other people are kind of thinking about things and facing things. And then, you know, trying to be really thoughtful about the way I talk to my daughters and their understanding of their place in the world. But it's certainly not something that I have totally figured it out. And between a three year old, a one year old and running a business, you can kind of convince yourself that you don't need to be pursuing too many extracurriculars. Yeah, but I think there are times when I give myself too much of a pass.

Jason Frazell:

Hey, go in processes they say yes process. If you figured out the secret sauce of that, would you please let me know?

Kat McCoy:

Yes, exactly.

Jason Frazell:

We'll have you back on and you'll you'll have your three step process to be fully enlightened in this world. It'll be great. Episode 251 to 51 cats coming back to share her three step process and it's a million dollar. It's a million bucks to get the process but if you get it you will be you will gain enlightenment and you will be the perfect human it'll be amazing. And it comes with a free small piece of jewelry just a free bonus. Yeah, exactly. It's like a QVC thing. It's like get this and you get the little extra thing with it. Cat well, how do you see the world?

Kat McCoy:

I have to say the older I get the more half glass full. I get And I think I've become a little more woowoo the last couple years and I really do believe that our thoughts that we can kind of control our realities with the way that we think about things and and just putting really good energy out into the world and into everything that you do. So it's strange, but I, you know, I just mentioned the politics and everything else weighs heavy on me, but I'm hopefully becoming more optimistic with time as well.

Jason Frazell:

That's, that's exactly. That's exactly the case for me as well. I think a lot of it is. perspective. I think as you get older, and you have children, least for me, and it seems like you really like what you do. Most. I mean, it's probably not perfect. Now. It's like, it's work. But you really like what you're doing, you have a passion for it, I feel the same way. And you probably have a lot of friends who are still management consultants who, you know, it can be a good, it can be a fulfilling career, but I know a lot of medical consultants who hate what they do. It's a grind, and it can be a grind, right? It can be a grind, it depends on the client and the kind of work you do. But yeah, I think also, it sounds like, you have a lot to be grateful for, especially not getting that parking ticket. I mean, wow, what a gift. Ah. But yeah, I mean, I think that's, I think that's really great. I have a similar perspective that, and also I have, I don't know if this resonates for you, but also the idea that Perfection isn't really a thing. And then if, like, I don't know, like, I was never a perfectionist, but it makes life a lot more fun. And you're like, you know, it isn't going to be perfect. This might not be the perfect podcast episode or, you know, like, oh, this client might talk to you and do an intro call. And they might not end up doing business with you. But you know what, that's actually okay. Because there's a lot of people who could use you, they just don't know you yet. As opposed to the scarcity context of like, I need them to do business with me, because I need like, I need clients. And you know, like, probably how most people feel when they first start out. Who's going to do business with me?

Kat McCoy:

I think it can be such a great excuse to not get started or to not put yourself out there because you're waiting for perfection. But um, you know, something I've thought about the last few years is this idea of like, being a business owner or kind of like playing house with your business. And so a business owner recognizes that, you know, you make sales every month, and you need to ship the piece of content, even though it doesn't have maybe Netflix cinematic quality to it. And so standing behind some of the imperfections or just finding a new way, I think, has been a skill that you kind of develop over and over again.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, I'd love it. I think we're on the same page. Alright, let's talk about where people can connect with you find out more about what you do. Give us give us the deets. Where can we not find you in the diamond district cuz you're gonna be very discreet.

Kat McCoy:

Yes, I

Jason Frazell:

said, she's out there. She's like, Hi,

Kat McCoy:

I'm here. I really just sort of paste the block looking for confused men. And

Jason Frazell:

that's actually the perfect target market for you.

Kat McCoy:

It's not it's not about a way to generate leads. So our best place to find me is on Instagram. The handle is at best kept jewelry, or my website is best kept.com. And I love to you know, to your point. I love what I do. And I'm always looking for people to help them find something really special.

Jason Frazell:

Yeah, we were just we're just catching up before we press record. It's a hot season. This is the season. This is one of the seasons with the holidays and also engagements and all that good stuff. Good stuff.

Kat McCoy:

Find the perfect holiday gift. I'm not sure when this will air but um, you know, holiday gifts and engagement rings are kind of the big thing right now.

Jason Frazell:

I might need one of those. I definitely don't need the other one. I'll let you figure out which. Alright, cat it's been awesome to have you on to get to know you live in real life. Last thing you mentioned Instagram, I'd love if you'd live at least leave us with some words of wisdom that would fit on an Instagram post you got for us.

Kat McCoy:

So one mantra that I have developed this year that I have found to be really empowering is do no harm, take no shit. And I think that's something that I say that when I'm at a crossroads and and only you can kind of authentically know if it feels true to you, but do no harm take no shit.

Jason Frazell:

Don't. I love that I'm gonna offer you and I'm gonna start I'm gonna see I'm gonna just get a straight up steal that. I love that do no harm. Take no shit. I have a friend who just told me this. She's a coach too. And she's like, she's like, I'm like what's philosophy business? She's like, it's pretty simple. Don't be weird. Don't Don't be a dick. I might not, that is good life advice for all of us. At some point, maybe I'll figure out a way to say that, uh, maybe a little more per six year old but I love that. Don't be worried. Don't be a dick. And also do no harm. Take no shit. I love that. Cat. Thank you so much for being on.

Kat McCoy:

Thank you, Jay. True pleasure for having me. Thanks.

Unknown:

Thanks for listening to another episode of talking to cool people with Jason for Zell. If you enjoyed today's episode, please tell your friends. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and give us a shout out or take a moment to leave a review on iTunes. If something from today's episode pique your interest and you'd like to connect, email us at podcast at Jason for zell.com. We love hearing from our listeners because you're cool people too.