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LincUPtoLearn 2019: Stefanie Casinelli Taylor '97

LincUPtoLearn–Lincoln’s mentoring program that connects current students and alumnae–took place during the first two weeks of April, and last week, Sophie Rockwell ’22 and Sophie Zakin ’20 visited Stefanie Casinelli Taylor ’97, President of Gennaro, Inc. and  President/Founder of Zaxie by Stefanie Taylor. They each reflect on their LincUPtoLearn experience in this blog post!

Sophie Rockwell ’22
The first part of our visit was where we learned about the history of the company and had a tour of the building. After that, we spent time with each individual team. We saw what the marketing team did and the design team, and we even got to sit in on a call with DSW and other design meetings. They showed us each step of the production process, from the design stage to when the product is in stores. My favorite part of the visit was seeing how big a small company could be, and to see how they are changing, dealing with change, and growing. I also really enjoyed seeing the creative process come to life and seeing all the finished creative jewelry. What surprised me the most was how friendly everyone was and excited to work with us and show us around. Everyone was really friendly with each other too, and all the different departments blended together.

Sophie Zakin ’20
On our visit, we shadowed Stefanie Taylor at her jewelry business, Gennaro. We got to take a look behind the scenes by sitting in on various design meetings, as well as a phone call with DSW. We spent a portion of time with all the different sections in the business, such as the marketing, sales, and design, and got tours of the various spaces. We also learned about their online store, Zaxie, which was created about a year ago. At the end of the day, Stephanie was very generous and gave us the opportunity to pick out some jewelry for ourselves. It was incredibly interesting to see what goes on behind a company like this, I enjoyed every department!

One of my favorite parts of the day was the design meetings we got to sit in on. It was really interesting to see the process of creating a collection and to see them come up with ideas that were then drawn up on the computer. They had a bunch of different inspiration boards out and a color scheme, and would pick and choose different designs and ways to enhance them to make them unique. It was also pretty cool to get to see the racks of samples that they had made. It felt like the boxes went on forever!

What surprised me most on my visit was how fast all of it had to happen. In a company like Gennaro, they have multiple due dates when they are shipping to consumers, which means that they have to get the samples out to the factories and have time for mistakes that might happen where they would have to start the product again. They also have to work very far ahead. When we visited them, they were already making products for Spring 2020. Overall, I had a great time and learned so much about the company and everything going on behind the scenes!!

Stay tuned here for more reflections on our final week of LincUPtoLearn visits!

Are you an alumnae interested in participating in next year’s LincUPtoLearn? Reach out to Courtney Trafton, Associate Director of Advancement, at ctrafton@lincolnschool.org.