IN CONVERSATION WITH: Mathematics Founder Beth Macri
YOU HAVE A BACKGROUND IN STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING AND BRIDGE DESIGN. WHEN DID YOU HAVE THAT AHA MOMENT FOR PENDANT NECKLACES?
I had always had an interest in product design and modern jewelry while working as a structural engineer. I was working on a few different jewelry concepts informed by parametric architecture when a friend of mine had her first baby. I wanted to make a personalized nameplate necklace with her new daughter’s name that was unique and subtle. As an engineer I spent my days working in cross-sections on blueprints, the idea was almost subconscious. By using letters as the cross-section, I shifted the purpose of the i-beam to something more personal and scaled it down to jewelry
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO EXPAND YOUR COLLECTION TO INCLUDE FINE PRECIOUS METALS AND STONES?
The pendants themselves are inspired by an I-beam used in steel construction, a perfect intersection of strength and longevity. I wanted the materials used in my jewelry to reflect that strength and longevity. Precious metals, like silver and gold, can retain their original beauty for years to come. I also like to add new variations to the pendant charm library every so often, the diamonds and gemstones offer a whole new world of customization and a great pop of color and texture. The options to create an incredibly unique necklace continue to be nearly endless!
WHAT WAS IT LIKE SWITCHING CAREERS?
Scary. It’s been over 5 years and I am still learning. However, my current career couldn’t exist without my former career. The design, manufacturing and production of this type of jewelry requires a scientific understanding of materials and a strict attention to detail. These are skills that were honed from nearly a decade as an engineer.
I am glad I was so naive when I started this business, otherwise I might not have done it. Starting a business from scratch is much more work than a 9-5 job, but this has been the most challenging and rewarding 5 years of my life.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
There is no one single person. As a whole, it would have to be entrepreneurs who disrupt their industry; people who took passion projects or a pain-points and built them up to successes. People who persevere despite the challenges and setbacks; You can learn a lot and be inspired by someone who has created a successful business by learning from mistakes and never giving up.
ANY DAILY RITUALS?
My husband is up and out of the house before 6AM each day, so my son Harvey and I spend mornings together.
The daily re-adornment of jewelry. Before I leave for the office the necklaces, the earrings, the stacking rings. I have a specific way I like to layer and mix and match; being surrounded by jewelry is so tempting, but I’ve finally curated my everyday jewelry look.
FAVORITE MATERIAL TO WORK WITH?
Once 14k gold and diamonds came into the collection they quickly became everyone’s favorite materials to work with. The production pieces are just so stunningly beautiful. Also, a lot of the gold used in our production is recycled and the diamonds are all reclaimed and conflict free. So it’s beautiful and ethically conscience.
ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?
I have taught myself everything I use on a daily basis for the business via YouTube tutorials. From designing in CAD, retouching photos, creating marketing materials to Digitally rendering jewelry. I personally crafted all of the renders and animations on my website after teaching myself how to use the program – There are over 2,000 renders, so it was a process that took over 6 months!
FAVORITE NEW YORK MUSEUM?
Hands down… MOMA.
ARE YOU SOMEONE WHO LOVES VALENTINE’S DAY, OR IGNORES IT?
Professionally, it’s hard to ignore Valentine’s Day. It’s one of the biggest holidays for Mathematics Jewelry. Because there are pendants for every letter of the alphabet, as well as symbols like the Heart and an Ampersand, it’s easy to create the perfect personalized Valentine’s Day Gift for your loved one. The best-seller is two letter pendants (yours and your SO’s) flanking a Heart or an Ampersand pendant.
Personally, I am pretty neutral, but demand dark chocolate.
WHAT’S A FUN FACT WE CAN’T LEARN ABOUT YOU FROM GOOGLE?
I won an Annie contest when I was 5 years old. I was the only one NOT wearing a wig.
BEST BRIDGE IN THE WORLD?
My favorite is the Forth Rail Bridge. A stunningly beautiful cantilever bridge over the Firth of Forth in Scotland. I had a spectacular view of this bridge while I was working on top of the cables of it’s parallel suspension bridge, the Forth Road Bridge.
MATHEMATICS IN SIX WORDS?
Luxuriously industrial jewelry. Innovative engineered personalization.