Connect with us
Apply Now


How This Millennial Female Entrepreneur Started A Luxury Jewelry Business During a Pandemic, A Founder’s Story with Irina Kharina

Irina Kharina is a GIA-certified gemologist and a luxury jewelry concierge who takes pride in working with ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones. As the founder of Tsarina Gems, she is a millennial female entrepreneur who started her business during the pandemic after spending 12 years in the gemstone and jewelry industry. Irina now provides 1:1 private consultations on luxury custom jewelry to clients all over the world. Irina has lived in 5 different countries and is currently based in Toronto, Canada.


Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I am originally from Russia. When I was 11, my parents came across an opportunity for my brother and me to receive a British education. As they were not able to immigrate to England with us, my brother and I joined a private boarding school in England, while they moved to Prague, Czech Republic. I hardly spoke any English but was excited about this new adventure. I previously visited England and loved it! At school, my days were filled with studying as well as extracurricular activities like playing field hockey and going on various school trips. I also enjoyed art and learning Spanish. Growing up, I spent Christmas, Easter, and summer holidays in Prague and traveling around Europe, which I am very grateful for. Thanks to my parents I was able to see many different countries and cultures from a young age.


How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
In 2020, when I was working from home during a lockdown in Toronto, I realized that I didn’t need to be working for someone else and be going to a 9-5 office job to follow my passion for helping clients achieve their jewelry dreams. When I first became an entrepreneur, I didn’t have a website, a fancy office, or even a physical product in my hands that I could sell. I was selling the “idea” that my clients could “create a piece of custom jewelry of their dreams”. It was challenging to explain what that actually looked like, but I also realized that thanks to modern technology, I could provide private consultations to clients all over the world from the comfort of my own home via Zoom. I could source ethically sourced gemstones, and work with CAD designers, jewelers, setters, polishers, gemstone suppliers, and fellow gemologists to curate unique, high-end pieces of jewelry from home or anywhere in the world. So that’s what I started doing!


What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
Be open to changing direction. When I quit my job to start my own business, many people including myself assumed that engagement rings and bridal jewelry should be my main focus (this is the niche most jewelry businesses focus on). However, although engagements are an incredible milestone and should be celebrated, I believe that women should not have to wait for jewelry to be gifted to them. So I decided to pivot, my new mission is to encourage women to treat themselves to a custom piece of jewelry to celebrate themselves and their work and personal achievements. I am open to the fact that my business is constantly evolving and moving in a different direction. I strongly encourage you to do the same.
Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 Disrupt ™ Magazine is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company - Disrupt ™ was founder by Puerto Rican serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Delgado who is on a mission to transform Latin America using the power of education and entrepreneurship.

Disrupt ™ Magazine
151 Calle San Francisco
Suite 200
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901

Opinions expressed by Disrupt Contributors are their own. Disrupt Magazine invites voices from many diverse walks of life to share their perspectives on our contributor platform. We are big believers in freedom of speech and while we do enforce our community guidelines, we do not actively censor stories on our platform because we want to give our contributors the freedom to express their opinions. Articles are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by our community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Disrupt or its employees.
We are committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online so if you feel an article on our platform goes against our community guidelines or contains false information, we do encourage you to report it. We need your help to fight the spread of misinformation. For more information please visit our Contributor Guidelines available here.

Disrupt ™ is the voice of latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities both here in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. Disrupt Magazine was designed to give the world a taste of that.