Born in a small Bulgarian town and raised by a single mother, from a very young age the value of hard work was instilled in Boryana. Developing a penchant for hard work, Boryana graduated highschool as class valedictorian. The year was 2000. To commemorate this accomplishment, her mom gave her the gift of a lifetime: a 30 gram 24 karat gold necklace. It immediately became her most prized possession.
Gifting gold to a child in Bulgaria is equivalent to giving them an investment account. It's a functional gift. It’s also a beacon of hope and a promise of a brighter future. The gold necklace was also an incredibly generous gift that required years of saving and sacrifice.
The price of gold that summer was $280/troy ounce (~31 grams). 20 years later, that same necklace is worth $1,900 after appreciating 580%. The S&P 500 appreciated 160 % over that time.
Not only was this necklace a symbol of accomplishment and a mother’s love, it delivered an important life lesson: the value of appreciating assets. For generations gold has been a way for families to pass down wealth and over the past 20 years, Gold has outpaced the returns of the stock market.
With the launch of Generation Investment Jewelry, Boryana hopes to help more families accrue wealth in environmentally sustainable metals and celebrate life's most meaningful accomplishments.
Boryana is passionate about helping accelerate the transition to an environmentally sustainable future through products that actually benefit people. An analytics and human behavior powerhouse, Boryana has dedicated her life to work with data-substantiated, positive societal or environmental impact.
Boryana co-founded the Straubel Foundation with her husband, JB Straubel. At the Straubel foundation she focuses on data-driven human leadership prediction and investing in innovative early stage ventures striving to fundamentally re-engineer the world.
Boryana spent over a decade at Tesla and the Wikimedia Foundation. An Analytics and Operations expert, has led key functions such as People & Business Analytics, Systems, Operation, and M&A Integration. Boryana is on the board of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.
Boryana holds an B.S. in Economics from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in Management (Sloan) and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering (MS&E) from Stanford University. Additionally, she is a Presidential Leadership Scholar. A life-long learner and global nomad, Boryana was born and raised in Bulgaria, and has lived in Germany, Austria and Russia. She calls the United States home since 2005.
Ian loves 24 karat gold as a vehicle for heritage preservation and value accumulation. His most precious item is his grandfather’s gold graduation ring from the National War College.
Ian spent the majority of his career at Nike Inc, where he led key teams such as Nike’s Olympics (Rio) and Nike’s Retail global strategy teams. Ian was the creator of an award-winning, innovative new retail format.
Prior to Nike, he was at PwC focusing on divestitures, financial effectiveness, and venture integrations.
Passionate about brands that shape society, Ian also co-founded a management business which crafted global marketing campaigns for brands including Gucci, Chanel, Prada, MAC Cosmetics, Sephora and Miu Miu. He was also part of the onsite tour management for artists Katy Perry and Xzibit.
Ian studied Economics at Princeton University, holds an B.S. with honors in Accounting from University of Washington, and a M.S. in Management from Stanford.
Ian and Boryana met as grad students at Stanford and share a passion for the environment and impactful brands. Two positive impact juggernauts, they are excited to create businesses that make the world a better place.
Alex is a two times Olympic Winter Games finalist: Sochi 2014 & Korea 2018. With 17 titles from FIS Snowboard World Cup Tour, she was among the best 10 females for over a decade.
She holds degrees in Sport Management from the National Sport Academy and in Marketing Management from the New Bulgarian University. A growth-mindset evangelist, Alex continues her education in the fields of software and coaching. She is dedicated to developing the next generation through her International Coaching Federation coaching practice.
In 2018, while CEO of her first clothing line Alex was discovered as a brand ambassador for brands such as Tag Heuer, Audi, Re/Mind, Burton, Avon, Bioderma & Moroccanoil.
As one of the most significant Bulgarian winter sports athletes, Alexandra is a thought-leader fueling environmental and social campaigns promoting a conscious lifestyle.
Alexandra joined forces with Generation Collection because of her heritage and relationship to gold. The oldest gold, dating ~4,200 BC, was discovered in Varna, Bulgaria.
Finally, as a master of the elements, Alex has an extraordinary connection to nature. Generation’s commitment to sustainability celebrates the values she holds sacred.
Design is non-verbal communication. And in Erica Bello’s case, it sends an important message of quality and long-term thinking. Erica’s focus on timeless lines that will transcend time is felt through Generation Collection.
Erica is influenced by icons of value and strength. Her signature style communicates an interest in the reinterpretation of powerful imagery. She captures believes that forms rise from reoccurring motifs in culture and recede into minimal silhouetted structures. Through the use of traditional and contemporary metalsmithing techniques graphic imagery is translated into wearable objects. Using steadfast materials all Bello designs support sustainability.
Erica’s work has been showcased during New York Jewelry Week, SOFA Chicago, and can be found internationally in several contemporary craft galleries.
Erica’s deep desire to create modern heirlooms spoke to Boryana. The two women are in absolute sync when discussing designs that honor the past, yet incorporate the wisdom of this generation so that it can leave a positive message for the next.
Southern charm, innovative mindset, sharp business acumen, and passion for environmental sustainability are not descriptors typically used to reference the same person -- which is what makes Julie so uniquely suited to Generation Collection.
Born and raised in Texas, Julie was steeped in all things Southern from a young age. Her (always) perfectly presentable grandmother had a love for fashion and beauty, driving home the importance of quality over quantity every chance she got. While her father was a successful entrepreneur and businessman who still continues to stress the importance of smart investment. It is because of these influences, combined with her deep care for the environment and the future of her children, that Generation Collection's mission resonates so deeply with her.
Julie spent her early career in marketing where her team represented top fashion and retail brands before pivoting toward operational and analytical roles. In 2013, Julie joined the Silicon Valley rocket ship start-up, Tesla Motors. At Tesla, Julie ran one of the largest teams at the heart of the beast: HR Operations. A bright powerhouse, Julie applied her analytical, operational, and people skills to build effective processes, relationships, and systems. Her innovative approach was presented in HR Executive Magazine.
Julie holds a B.A. in Marketing from Texas Christian University. Her southern pedigree, love for fashion, operational excellence, and innovative mindset are already leaving a mark and driving positive impact for future generations.