We will be featuring Women in Retail Leadership Circle members and advisory board members in Inner Circle Q&As over the next several months. We want you to get to know our members! The interviews will highlight what makes our members so special, from their leadership styles to their favorite vacation spots and everything in between. This week’s Q&A is with Ivka Adam, a member of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle’s Advisory Board as well as founder and CEO of Iconery, a fine jewelry marketplace.
Taylor Knight: What are your thoughts on the retail industry today?
Ivka Adam: The next generation of brands will be built by influencers. There’s so much choice out there that in order to cut through the noise, a brand will already have to have a built-in audience (or be willing to pay massive amounts of advertising dollars to Facebook, Instagram, Google, and other advertising behemoths). It’s no longer enough — or even necessary — to be a talented designer.
We’re still in “Influencers 1.0,” where influencers push other brands, but we’re quickly progressing to “Influencers 2.0,” where the next generation of products are produced by private label manufacturers/designers and offered by influencers. The exciting thing is that manufacturers are quickly evolving their supply chains to produce products for even the smallest influencers. We’re seeing a democratization of access to manufacturing that we haven’t seen before.
TK: What types of retail technology trends are you most interested in right now?
IA: I’m excited about tech trends that simplify and evolve the manufacturing landscape: CAD design, 3-D printers, and computer vision technology are making supply chains more intelligent and less wasteful. At Iconery, CAD and 3-D printers are central to our prototyping and production processes.
TK: To whom (or what) do you turn to for inspiration?
IA: I’ve been practicing transcendental meditation since I was young (my parents were teachers). I meditate daily and usually do a retreat once a year.
TK: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
IA: On a trail in the mountains. Right now I’m preparing to do a portion of the John Muir Trail for the third time. The trail is located in the Eastern Sierra Mountains of California and ends at Mt. Whitney.