about us

The Forecast is Summersalt’s global content hub for all things travel, packing, style, and discovery, packed with informative and inspirational pieces for (and featuring!) women who are going places.

The Founders of AUrate Bring a Global Perspective to Fine Jewelry

Annie Gabillet

A sense of place drives AUrate jewelry. The luxury line is all handcrafted in New York City. And the founders — Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn — bring everything they’ve learned from their life journeys to the business. Bouchra grew up in Morocco and France, which gave her an appreciation for artisanship. Sophie comes from the Netherlands and shares her culture’s passion for clean design. With these backgrounds — and some impressive business experience — Bouchra and Sophie have created an ethical and gorgeous line of fine jewelry that is both affordable and exciting for the modern consumer. We caught up with both founders to find out where they’ve been and where they’re going next.

What inspired you to launch AUrate?

Bouchra: We met while studying finance at Princeton University. After, we both went to corporate jobs. I was a derivatives trader at Goldman Sachs while Sophie was at Marc Jacobs. A few years later, a weekend brunch turned into a big discussion on why modern fine jewelry was so inaccessible, intimidating, and uninspiring. We wanted to address all of that with AUrate.

What are you most proud of?

Bouchra: Our team and how we’re shaking things up in the big boys club in the fine jewelry space.

Sophie: Balancing this entrepreneur-mom thing and feeling like I’m doing well enough at both.

What was the best and he worst business decision you’ve made? 

Sophie: The best decision was to launch retail early on. It started as a lucky test, but really allowed us to get to know our customer and create a superior branding experience overall. The worst decision was hiring based on resumes and profiles instead of really looking at the cultural fit and listening to our gut. I now know to hire slowly, really take our time to meet as many candidates as it takes — since that teaches you things even if you don’t hire them — and to follow your instinct, above all.

Image Courtesy of AUrate

Let’s talk about “going places.” What’s on the horizon for you?

Bouchra: Nine wedding invitations this year. The locations include Ibiza, the South of France, Bologna, Vienna, Beirut, Alexandria, and NYC! We need to pick what’s physically realistic to do.

Sophie: Just more and more and more of AUrate. We’re opening new stores, exponentially growing online, reaching new markets outside of the US, and also continuing to innovate with Curate.

Tell us about the last adventure you took:

Bouchra: My honeymoon. We went to India, Nepal, and the last stop was in the Maldives for a little break from the trekking and all the beautiful sightseeing we did throughout the colorful journey we took.

Sophie: This was actually with Summersalt and AUrate in the Moroccan desert. Such a special trip. 

What is a destination that you’re always telling people, “You have to go there!” 

Bouchra: Marrakesh. I’m biased obviously because I grew up in Morocco. The colors, the history, the people, the food, everything about it is picturesque and magical.

Sophie: I’m going to be loyal and stick with Amsterdam. It has it all — the charm, the history, the culture, the food, the nightlife, the art, the music, you name it. And the Dutch are super nice, too.

What do you never travel without?

Bouchra: My passport holder/debit card and my SPF.

Sophie: Eye-mask. This way I can sleep whenever, wherever.

Got any great advice for solo travelers?

Bouchra: Make sure you connect with a local before you get to your destination. The “lost in translation” journey starts as soon as you land at the airport.

Sophie: No. Kudos to you. I’m way more the social type.

Image Courtesy of AUrate

Fill in the blank. I fell in love with traveling when:

Bouchra: I saw people who spoke a different language and lived differently. I realized how small we are in this crazy planet and that we need to explore to even aspire to have a grasp of it.

Sophie: My head is clear and I can fully immerse myself in my new surroundings

What’s your favorite Summersalt travel piece?

Bouchra: The Capri! Reshma (your co-founder) gifted this piece to me for my wedding in Marrakesh. I get compliments all the time!

Sophie: Your High Kick in black. Sleek, minimal, beautiful.

Got any go-to podcasts, albums, or books for passing time on a plane?

Bouchra: Podcast: How I Built This. Books: Everything Proust and a few business or entrepreneurship related ones.

Sophie: Reading Shoe Dog now. It’s a must for entrepreneurs for showing the power of perseverance

Share your most valuable travel hack:

Bouchra: Avoid checking luggage if you can!!

Sophie: Bring a crying baby and you can cut lines everywhere.