Eddie Borgo named Jessica Kates as the brand’s first chief executive officer.
This story first appeared in the March 13, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The appointment coincides with the company’s fifth anniversary and hints toward Borgo’s plans for expansion. A graduate of the Harvard Business School, Kates began working at the company in June 2012 as chief financial officer and chief operating officer following stints as vice president of finance at Folica and M&A manager at VF Corp. “She just moved into the daily lifestyle of our company so well,” said Borgo.
Kates’ appointment as ceo also marks a change of role for the designer himself. “In the beginning of every small business, the designer is acting as ceo,” said Borgo. The designer’s new official title is creative director and chairman of the brand. “I will be in charge of all creative, which includes marketing, advertising and, of course, design,” he said.
The ceo appointment marks a period of growth for the brand. Borgo projects the company’s annual sales will surpass the $10 million mark in 2015 and will hit $25 million in the next five years. The brand plans to open its first brick-and-mortar store and launch new categories outside of jewelry. Both endeavors will lead to growth of Borgo’s internal team, as well.
“The design team is going to more than double in the next year as we start to launch new categories,” he said. “There is a following now for our jewelry, and I think we can very easily expand that into new categories. That’s going to be my focus — bringing our brand focus that we’ve worked so hard to develop and communicating in different ways to our customer.”