Q&A Session With Baron’s New President Drina Baron-Zinyk
February 1st, 2023 – Aligning with 37th Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day, we are providing a soft introduction to Baron’s new President Drina Baron-Zinyk before the April edition of W.O.W Magazine hits the stands.
How did you get started in the Jewellery business?
Part of me goes right to saying I was born into it, which I was. Growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer and did not want to be involved in the family business. When I was young, I could always hang out at the jewellery shop after school. I clearly remember Peter and I sneaking quarters out of my parents’ jukebox so we could go to the arcade on Young Street. Yes, we used to play on the streets of Toronto. Most days after school, I would sit and watch the one jeweller my parents had working at the store size rings, fix chains and make anything from scratch. I was fascinated that he never burnt himself with that little flame he used. Throughout the years, I would help my parents on ring sizing days, graduations and presentations. Still, it wasn’t until years later, in my late 20’s I decided to really immerse myself in the family business. That’s when my brother and I decided to re-brand Baron and have it be all about Championship Rings. From that moment, I was hooked – we created the company mantra that every ring should tell a story.
As the first female President of a Championship Ring company, what are some of the lessons you have learned from your daughters playing sports that apply to business?
This is a great question! I’ve learned not to give up, especially on the harder days, to start every work day with a smile, not to let anyone bring you down, and when all else fails, HUG it out! I watch my girls on the court, and even at a young age, I am amazed at how they deal with disappointment, and competition, with confidence and grace. I have asked them, “what makes you go back each week?” The answer is simple; they said, “because we love it, why give up something you love because of some roadblocks? You keep going, and you keep working harder!” Wow! Right?! These two amazing teenagers put that fire in me every day to DO BETTER, BE BETTER and show them there is no limit to what can be accomplished.
Describe your leadership style and how you “lead” others.
It’s easy; I LISTEN. We have the most incredibly talented, kind, hard-working employees at Baron, and when you really listen to what they want, it makes leading easy.
What has been your most memorable moment at Baron?
The day the Cleveland Cavaliers told us we were chosen to make their 2016 NBA Championship Rings. They picked us purely on design, not because we knew someone that knew someone; they really didn’t know us at the time. They said we created the perfect Championship Ring, appreciated that we thought outside the box and made a one-of-a-kind ring that had never been done before. They took a chance on us! Until the Cavs, we hadn’t aligned with a professional team before, they took a chance on us, and we will forever be grateful. They could have taken our design and gone to someone else, but they didn’t, and that decision forever changed the path of Baron Championship Rings.
Do you have a favourite Championship Ring that Baron has created?
The Toronto Raptors is my favourite ring we have created for many reasons. The design has never been done before (many copying now, LOL). The top of their Championship Ring with the chevron and the city skyline hits hard because I was born in Toronto and our company was initially started there. Manufacturing this Championship Ring was a surreal full-circle moment for me. The meaning of the Raptors Championship Ring goes beyond business for me.
What do you hope to see from women’s sports in the future?
I want to see the persistence of equal pay for women participating in sports and the business’s marketing and endorsement side.
They don’t have to be your favourite Team, but who has your favourite logo in all of the Sports?
It’s a toss-up between two WNBA teams, the LA Sparks & New York Liberty! I know it was not asked, but my favourite player is Sabrina Ionescu, who plays for New York Liberty.
What are your plans for the first quarter of your transition?
I am excited to announce that I will be launching a President’s Collection of three (3) new designs for our female athletes in 2023 that I plan on expanding every year. Stay Tuned for GREAT THINGS!