Cocktails With - Christina Cox
Texan-born Christina Cox is feeling the Christmas spirit. As regional sales manager for Ippolita, she's on The Rock to launch the luxe Italian jewellery line at Bijoux, and tells us she's in a festive mood, and swears it has absolutely nothing to do with the wine she is yet to sip. Dressed in a gorgeous Rachel Roy ensemble, Cox radiates a personable charm and as we sit for cocktails at Bijoux's New Kingston store, she tells us about the jewellery business, President Obama, and just how deep her connection to Jamaica runs.
What are you sipping?
A glass of red wine.
How's your day going?
My day has been incredible. It started off with meeting special clients of Bijoux, and the response has been phenomenal. It's been fun and and it's that great time of year when everyone comes together.
How did the link between Ippolita and Bijoux come about?
I felt that Bijoux was a fantastic partner because they cater to fine designer jewellery. They have some of the finest brands and a team with a great eye for design. Bijoux has a clientele that loves and appreciates fine jewellery so I felt it was a great home for Ippolita.
What does the Ippolita line bring to Bijoux?
Something fresh and new. We are known as a fine fashion jewellery brand and there are so many beautiful, fashion-forward women here in Kingston, I'm positive it will be a fantastic success. We're a relatively young brand and have only been around for about 13 years, but we are growing so fast. If you haven't heard about Ippolita yet, you will very soon.
Is this your first time visiting Jamaica?
No, actually; I have a long history here in Jamaica. I was married to a Jamaican right here — in Montego Bay — and I lived in Negril for four years. But as far as the Ippolita connection, it's the first time we are launching the brand here.
We're loving your Rachel Roy dress, by the way. Do you have any other favourite designers?
I love Gucci, it's probably my favourite. I also love Armani and Accra. I love the big designer houses but, as far as couture and fun fashion, definitely Rachel.
Jeans or LBD?
I am from Texas, so there is a time for both. You have to have one of each in your wardrobe.
Flats or stilettos?
I'm 5' 4", so I was definitely meant to run around in stilettos.
Who does your hair?
Milan at the Factory Salon in Fort Lauderdale. She's amazing.
Who does your nails?
I do. I'm a road warrior, so whenever I have time to do them.
What are you listening to on your iPod or car stereo?
My favourites are everything from Wale, Miguel, Frank Ocean and a little Wiz Khalifa thrown into the mix. I'm also in love with Bruno Mars; he's my new love affair.
Having lived here previously, what are your favourite Jamaican haunts?
The Blue Lagoon, and believe it or not, there is a little spot called Sweet Spice in Negril that has the best food on the planet. Rock House in Negril on a Sunday afternoon is beautiful and the Caves are amazing, as is Mayfield Falls.
As an American, how do you feel about President Obama's recent re-election?
I hope he continues to do what he started out doing. He perhaps needed more time. I am, however, afraid of the stand-off with Congress but if everybody could grow up and get to the table and get something done, we have a fighting chance.
So, what's your hope for America?
Just that, that everyone grows up and starts doing what's best for our country. I think we need America to be strong and other Caribbean nations need America to be strong because there is a feed-off effect of tourism and we are all interconnected so we need it, all of us.
The gold market is in flux right now in terms of pricing. Do you foresee this impacting the jewellery market?
A couple of years ago I felt I was a commodities broker because gold was skyrocketing and I was selling gold and silver, but I am fortunate enough to work with a brand where our growth has not stopped, which is very rare. But, I have seen a big slowdown in overall gold jewellery sales in the Caribbean, whereas we are still growing.
Do you then chalk up Ippolita thriving because it's a luxury brand?
Exactly! Plus, you can't touch the Italians on design. I think Ippolita has a distinct edge because she is a prolific designer who wows with her collection every three months and I have seen a universal acceptance of all her designs which means the line will have a very long life.
What would you like most for Christmas?
What's your idea of the perfect man?
Someone who is thoughtful, considerate, respectful, mature and intelligent.
What's your idea of the perfect date?
Nice dinner, nice wine, good conversation and, with the right person, it can be anywhere.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I live my life by three mottos: the first is, go big or go home; the second is, live or everyone goes on vacation; and the third is, do what you love and the money will follow. That's where I'll be in 10 years.