I Finally Reached All My NYC Dreams — But The Struggle Was Real

Every milestone is worth celebrating, no matter how big or small. That’s why we partnered with Shane Co., purveyors of timeless handcrafted fine jewelry, to highlight the unique stories of those celebrating special life moments. Whether they found success in following their passions or are embarking on the next chapter of their journey, we’ll learn how these individuals are commemorating each milestone — and the role their jewelry can play in marking these significant events. Ahead, a social media producer shares how being goal-oriented and open to unexpected pivots — and sheer New Yorker tenacity — led to finally living in a place of her own.

“Is today an eating day or not an eating day?”

That was the question a coworker asked Jordan Bogigian every morning at her fashion internship four years ago. “I would read out all the things I could afford to eat throughout the week, so some days, I would just get four-piece chicken nuggets from McDonald’s, because it was only $1.50,” she recalls. “Money was tight…it was really tight.” 

Borgigian had just moved to New York City with no job, no apartment, and no savings. So she did what every New Yorker, transplant or not, has done ad infinitum: She hustled. It’s that gumption, that drive, that glorious, insatiable appetite to “make it” no matter what, that not only characterizes, but also unifies all New Yorkers. At one point she had up to six jobs: as an intern, as a retail associate, as a personal assistant to a photographer, as a marketing coordinator, and more. 

“I’ve had a job since I was 12 years old, so I know how to be scrappy and make ends meet. When I moved here, I did jobs I didn’t necessarily want to do, but it gave me a paycheck,” says the 27-year-old VICE branded social media producer. “Thinking back on it now, I’m glad I did it when I was younger…I was very determined to make it work, in whatever way that I could. I remember being like, This is really hard, but I was just so happy to be here.”

Bogigian can’t pinpoint exactly when she wanted to move to New York, except that she’s wanted to all her life, with “no doubt in my mind.” She was born in Massachusetts, but was raised in Georgia — and having a “very northern background while growing up in a very southern place” struck a chord of angst, of resentment, of displacement. And yet, it wasn’t until she was 16 before Bogigian was able to visit New York City for the first time — a school choir trip during which she performed at Carnegie Hall. And for her, that trip validated what she knew all along: She belonged here.

“It was the energy…it was so exciting to leave your small town and come to a place where there’s so much at your fingertips,” she says. “After visiting, I knew I could never be bored here, the people here were so cool — and I wanted to be a big city girl. I couldn’t wait to come back.”

Bogigian’s post-grad life has been measured by goals. The first one was to, obviously, move to New York. She and her mom packed up the car and drove up once she graduated. The problem was that she had no idea where she was going to live, and she didn’t have a guarantor, a salary, or credit to secure one on her own. But miraculously, once she got to the city, she found a listing on an app — a girl was looking for a roommate. There was no lease, and it was extraordinarily cheap. “I was really lucky that I just walked into that apartment and put my stuff down…and stayed for four years,” Bogigian says of her Bushwick place, of her first New York home.  

Her second goal: landing her dream job — after knowing when to pivot. Bogigian majored in apparel and textiles technology, and assumed she’d always work in fashion. But priorities shift as they’re wont to do, and a job in social media was an opportunity she couldn’t turn down, even if it was one she didn’t see coming. 

Which brings us to her latest goal: living on her own, which she achieved two months ago, having found and moved into her very own place in Bed-Stuy — a space she can decorate however she’d like. “I’ve never lived alone before and I really want to have that experience, so it was a big goal for me,” explains Bogigian who’s determined to make her apartment feel like home, starting with vision boards that manifest a soothing, neutral-forward aesthetic and a spreadsheet that lists potential furniture buys for each room.

Bogigian may embody the spirited tenacity of New Yorkers, but she hopes she’ll never experience the jadedness that so many feel, especially once dreams have been realized and goals have been reached. And she’s making sure of that with a 14k gold diamond-accented Shane Co. necklace engraved with 8.3.19, the date she moved to New York — a new addition to the timeless collection of fine jewelry she wears daily, all of which hold incredible sentimental value, like her mother’s ring, gifts from her boyfriend, and her grandmother’s engagement ring. 

“My very first night in New York, after my mom pulled away, I walked up the street and I could see the Empire State Building, and it was an ‘Oh my god’ moment. I used to see it every day on my way to work, and it’s a little reminder of how lucky I am to live here,” she says. “I don’t want those moments to ever feel mundane — they’re special, because I’ve waited so long to get here. It was hard, but it was worth it.” 

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