Fortune & Frame of New York succeeds in making lockets that keep fortune safe and close to your heart

What started as a way to keep a fortune in a cookie safe has since blossomed into a full-scale jewelry business.

One day in 2011, New York resident Gretel Going made her fortune from a fortune cookie that she found particularly insightful. She stuck it to the fridge with a magnet and often found it dropped on the floor every day while she was out.

“I thought, I need a framework for this. So I would go to Amazon, I had this vision of a little frame that I could put on the fridge, and how does that not exist? I never typed anything into Amazon and had no existence. So I went to Google, and there’s nothing there,” Going said. “I didn’t consider myself a person capable of doing it, but it was haunting me, so I thought, I’ll figure it out.”

This set embarks on a two-year journey to create Fortune & Frame, a jewelry company specializing in lockets to hold fortunes from fortune cookies. With no jewelry background, it took Going a minute to gain a foothold, but after receiving advice from a jeweler’s wife, Going was able to come up with the first locket designs: a book, an envelope, and the fan. favorite fortune cookie.

“We made these longer medallions that almost look like a storybook, you can swap the words around, I like the idea that it can grow with you, and as you learn a lesson or overcome a challenge, you can put what the next thing is in there,” Going said. “I had presented 300 fortunes that were notes to myself that I was writing on this journey to figure it all out. I knew what they meant to me, but people connected with those words in a completely different way than what originally inspired them for me.

At first, Going was unconvinced by the idea of ​​making a locket in the shape of a fortune cookie. Going says she was afraid she was too kitschy with a fortune cookie, but after being convinced she gave in and added it to the lineup.

The brand was officially launched in 2014 and quickly gained popularity when singer-songwriter Lorde was spotted with the fortune cookie medallion in public.

“I had teamed up with a PR person and she surprised me that day. She came in and showed me a picture of Lorde with our original fortune cookie locket, and she said: “Look what I have, his manager sent it to me,” Going recalled.The day we launched, I thought to myself, “Who am I to design jewelry, who’s going to care, does anyone like it?” But then we immediately got the Lorde thing and people started sharing it. We started getting immediate media coverage at that time, people thought it was interesting and also people could just relate because people carry fortunes.

The company has expanded to create more jewelry, including lockets, pendants, bracelets, rings, earrings, and mini frames in different shapes. In addition to a now very active online sales site, Fortune & Frame pieces are now sold in more than 400 stores across the country, such as Harvey Nichols Hong Kong, Lord & Taylor, Anthropologie, Free People and Von Maur. , and have appeared on QVC a few times as well.

Photo courtesy of Fortune & Frame

Fortune & Frame has since grown until Going did not need to do everything itself. At first, she ran around the Diamond District picking up produce, making chains for jewelry, and handling shipping. Now she has a team of sales reps who help build relationships with stores as well as a team who handle bulk orders.

“We’re not huge, but we’ve come a long way. We’ve never taken any funding, so that’s all the company is doing to grow it. It can grow on its own,” Going said.

Over the years, Fortune & Frame continues to be successful, especially in online sales. Thankfully, the business hasn’t been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic at all — in fact, Going says Fortune & Frame’s online retail business pulled in Black Friday sales during the first pandemic year.

However, Going did not expect the impact of Fortune & Frame’s products on its customers.

“We started getting all these notes during the pandemic saying ‘You got me through this. We weren’t doing anything different in terms of marketing, but I guess it was the citations and the fact that we shared our community stories, which is kind of our thing,” Going said.

The ratings were spontaneous and unexpected, Going said, with customers sending in stories such as:

My daughter’s dog died suddenly while sleeping in the bed between her and her fiancé. Binky was a rescue and only 7 years old. My daughter and her fiancé were so devastated because they had so many plans with Binky and she passed away way too soon. Binky was to be the “dog of honor” at their wedding. I had seen your fortune cookie locket and saved the Instagram post for a future gift idea. The night before Binky passed away, my daughter took a picture of her with her makeshift cookie paper and it said…see the picture below. I thought it would mean so much to my daughter to carry Binky’s fortune from their last night together. Thank you for having such a unique locket. I have always saved my memorable fortunes and recorded them in my diaries. Now we can all keep and wear our own medallions with special keepsakes.

Photo courtesy of Fortune & Frame

“We were getting more of those kinds of notes from people, and more people ordering — we got traffic on Black Friday throughout the first year of COVID,” Going said. “We realized it was because of these notes that people were sending us. It wasn’t just because they were shopping online, they were looking for meaning and hope.

As the company continues to grow, Fortune & Frame plans to release secret fortune candles, which reveal the fortune inside after burning the candle, and Going embarks on the idea of ​​creating journals with provocative writing prompts. Going has learned a lot not just about business, like hiring a business partner who lets her be the soul of the business while he handles finances and logistics, but about herself along the way while building Fortune. & Frame from scratch.

“The whole thing has almost been a spiritual journey as much as a business trip. There were things from a personal perspective, big lessons like you can’t do this alone. You have to rely on others, which means trusting others,” Going said. “It can be very difficult to learn to be vulnerable, you have to learn to say I don’t know. These are huge personal things that continue to this day.

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About Debra D. Johnson

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