Q&A: Crystal-Clear Life Lessons from Nadja Swarovski


Q&A: Crystal-clear life lessons from Nadja Swarovski

A: When I joined the family business in 1995, I saw an opportunity for our brand to align more closely with leaders in those areas like art, architecture, fashion, design and culture. I saw a terrific opportunity to introduce another creative material, mainly crystals, to the visionaries of our time.

My father was also was fond of saying: “If the boss doesn’t show up, others won’t come either.” In business, you need to show up if you expect others to do the same.
I think that is what attracted the likes of Alexander McQueen, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Zaha Hadid and others to implement this material to satisfy their artistic needs.

Q: Will your kids be involved in the family business also?
For latest in Reuters’ “Life Lessons” series, Swarovski spoke with us about how to polish and perfect a high-quality stone of a lifetime.

Released at Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:18:24 +0000
A: they are quite young still. The family company is always a possibility, but I want them to choose their own route.

There is a real-life Swarovski behind all those flawless crystals: Nadja, the forty-something great-great-granddaughter of the company’s founder. After joining her family’s business in 1995, a hundred years after it was founded, Swarovski has been a member of the executive board since 2011 and is head of corporate communications and design solutions.
Q: How do you decide where you can have the most philanthropic impact?

Q: How can you manage to carve out your own niche within the company?
A: I think the best advice is the oldest: Diversify. Stocks, bonds or real estate can all be great if you’re thoughtful about what you’re investing in.

Q: With your own assets, do you tend to prefer a specific asset class?

Q: Did you grow up hearing stories about your great-great grandfather, and how he created his business?
A: Clean water and sustainability could be high on the list because those are so ingrained in the company and my everyday life.

A: It is challenging. Mostly, because Swarovski has over 30,000 workers, with a presence in 170 nations. There are a great deal of interests, opinions and people vying for attention.

We have a water school in seven states that provides clean drinking water and sanitation to communities in need and also educates communities on the importance environmental, economic, social and cultural problems that affect water use. We have nearly 9,000 teachers working on behalf of over 500,000 community members.

He went into the first electricity fair in Vienna and watched creations by Edison and Siemens, and his mind opened up. He invented a machine to cut crystal, and within a decade, he had been able to refine it to brilliance. The best lesson from him was learning to never settle.

Daniel Swarovski was a pioneer, entirely ahead of his time.
He was an outstanding man and endlessly curious. He was a glass cutter from what’s now called the Czech Republic. He also learned the art of glass cutting by hand.

My job is to give them my best, always support them, and let them take it from there.

A: There’s a German expression which translates to “The constant drop hollows the rock.” To put it differently, just keep it up.
However, I also like investing in art. I collect quite a bit by Marc Quinn, who works in visual arts and sculpture. And I’m fond of collecting many design bits.
Q: What did your dad teach you about money and the responsibilities of continuing a family business?
Q: What’s it like being the only female member of the executive board?
I had many different work experiences before joining the family business, and the company is better for it.
But also, because I’m a woman, I see the world differently and see value in things that my male counterparts may not.