Naomi is my first interview where I have to take the train in from Newark. I am little nervous making sure I am exactly on time, and hopefully I am early. I leave my baggage with my niece in Newark so I feel like I can get around the city a lot easier. The train lumbers into Penn Station and all the commuters pour out of the train at morning rush hour. I walk out on the 7th Avenue side with a cold blast of air and bright sun.
I stand in line and shiver in the frigid wind with all the other people waiting to slide into the warmth of a taxi. As we pull up to the building, it is always comforting to see Hardy is there waiting for me.
As we walk into her building, the concierge knows we is the interview team, and approves our visit. A short elevator ride up, and the door opens, we are greeted by Naomi in her world a vibrant, creative studio.
I had been referred by a long time friend to meet with Naomi. Her studio is filled to the brim with interesting objects, from large unusual crystals and jewelry, to books and plants. It is a challenge for Hardy to set up the backdrop, but we manage to squeeze it in between her laser welder and the window, and then I wedge myself into a chair in front of Naomi and the backdrop. She sits down, pleasant, calm, helpful and ready to tell her story.
Naomi feels like a good friend from the moment we meet. She makes us an incredible cup of coffee, and we stay with her for over 5 hours. In the middle of the interview we take a break and go downstairs to the most wonderful cafe and pick up incredibly fresh food for lunch, udon, sushi and steamed vegetables, and back to her studio we continue the interview for another 2 hours.
Naomi is a gem cutter, a very rare skill in this day, and especially for a woman. She is a recent student of gem cutting and jewelry design, yet has won several AGTA awards for her creations. Originally working as a sculptor gave her the skills and eye to design jewelry on a very small scale yet in the same genre and style as larger, 3-D works.
Naomi is kind, thoughtful and brilliantly talented. We vowed to be fast friends. After the interview I was on my way home to Newark and I receive a lovely text. "When you leave something at someone's home, it means you want to return". You left your food here from lunch!" It was true, as I intend to return to meet Naomi again.