I am very proud to be on the national board of Womens’ Jewelry Association. This 30-year-old trade group was formed to help women break through glass ceilings, achieve their personal and professional goals, and create a strong network of friends and supporters to keep the company along the way. Last week we had a terrific event called Jewelry Night Out – 14 parties across the country all celebrating the friendship, professional development, and fun that comes with being a part of this group. I attended the event in Miami, but here are photos from parties in New York, Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, and other places across the country! If you are a member of any part of the wonderful world of jewelry, see if there’s a WJA chapter near you at http://www.womensjewelryassociation.com/. You shouldn’t let us have this much fun without you!
So excited that NYC will be filled with my industry friends this coming week during 3 Jewelry Shows! Visions of a big apple will be replaced with big diamonds ….and I can’t wait to scout for hot new designs and catch-up with industry insiders! There will be lots of parties and after-parties, too; after all it is NYC!
Experience the Joy of a New Jewelry Wardrobe Without Breaking the Bank!
A friend of mine told me that she received a new jewelry box for Christmas, which meant touching , polishing & enjoying her quality jewelry all over again. More importanly, after a little care and attention she now says she has an entirely new jewelry wardrobe! What a terrific idea! You don’t have to receive a new jewelry box to do this (though a new jewelry box is such a fun thing). The new year is a terrific time to refresh your jewelry wardrobe with a bit of attention. Here are my tips for taking your jewelry wardrobe in hand:
Of course, it’s always exciting to acquire a wonderful new objet d’fine jewelry, but why wait? You might find that you have treasures untold hiding in your jewelry box right now. Have fun!
- Sort your jewelry to determine which pieces you no longer wear. They’re just taking up space! You may be holding on to a few pieces for a daughter or granddaughter, and if that is the case, carefully wrap them (don’t forget the anti-tarnish strips if the item is silver) and tuck them away in a safe place. That way they stop taking up space in your jewelry box and you’ve stored them safely for the future. As for the rest? Gift them, melt them, or remake them! Take your un-worn jewelry items to your local independent jeweler for a discussion of all the possibilities (and don’t forget, Erica Courtney offers an amazing Repurpose! Relove! program for those of you who want to redesign your jewelry)!
- Clean your jewelry. Every time you wear your precious gems and metals they pick up body oils, lotions, soaps, and environmental pollutants – just like your clothing! If you don’t own a home-use ultrasonic cleaner, this is a terrific item to invest in. Delicate items like pearls, opals, and other soft gemstones should always be taken to your local jeweler for professional cleaning.
- Play with your jewelry! Try different combinations than the ones you have been using. Pair your jewelry up with different outfits. Jewelry is supposed to be a fun, motivating part of getting ready for each day – a way to add a bit of creative flair and personal identity to your every-day look.
- Consider where your jewelry box is located! I’ve talked to people who said they forget to wear their jewelry because the jewelry box is in a dark spot on a closet shelf, underneath other items that are a hassle to move, or otherwise inconvenient to access. Fix this, and make selecting your jewelry the part of getting dressed you most look forward to!
Give Gifts of Meaning and Lasting Value
We all seem to be in search of the more meaningful Holiday . . . less stuff, more value. Some of this is economic; currencies worldwide are depreciating and in many places times are tough. And some of it is emotional – we all want to focus more of our energy on gifts of meaning rather than just giving things. My strong belief is that we should only purchase those gifts that hold or increase their value while expressing the strongest emotions . . . gemstones and jewelry of course.
At the Top of My List . . .
For women . . . diamonds still take a woman’s breath away like no other gift, and of course, a Diamond is Forever. Pearls are also a classic choice that I have always loved, as did my mom.
What’s in Your Jewelry Wardrobe?
All women should have a basic jewelry wardrobe – and this is a necessity for any woman in business! So when choosing gifts of meaning for the woman in your life this year, in addition to Quality and Value, Versatility should lead the way. Here are my recommendations:
- A beautiful timepiece
- Pearl necklace or pendant
- Pearl stud earrings
- Diamond stud earrings
- Diamond ring (’tis the season for engagements and anniversary bands! But it’s also always a good time for a right-hand ring).
- Diamond pendant or necklace
- Fine jewelry brooch (diamonds or pearls, or a brooch with both)
What about the men in our lives?
Watches are the easy choice, but I’m always shocked when I see a man dressed with a fine timepiece, but with shirt cuffs (peeking from his sleeve) closed with plastic buttons. Where is the fine pair of cufflinks? It’s always the little details that matter, and for me cufflinks are as important to a man’s polished look as his shoes. If you want to see a truly different collection of cufflinks made of the highest quality gemstones and hand-crafted in the United States, check out what Seaman Schepps has to offer.
Men are also buying more accessories, and the selection of fine men’s bracelets has never been better! When you stop in at your independent retailer, make sure you look at men’s jewelry. The offerings from designer lines like David Heston, Todd Reed, David Yurman, Scott Kay and more are genuinely exciting and look terrific with a magnificent Italian suit or jeans and a jacket.
I suspect we’re all at the point in our lives where we’d rather have one beautiful, meaningful gift of lasting value than 10 – or even 20! – lesser gifts whose pleasure will fade quickly. Remember, it’s not just Diamonds that are Forever . . . it’s also the true thoughtfulness that goes into selecting them.
Happy Holidays my friends!
Independent Jewelers are best choice for consumers
Black, Starr & Frost is America’s first jeweler and I do mean first, as in founded in 1810 and still in business today. If the name sounds familiar to you, maybe it’s because you remember Marilyn Monroe naming them in the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 blockbuster film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Or perhaps you’ve visited the Newport Beach store that includes a waterfront patio, a fireplace, a bar and beautiful chandelliers to light your way. Perhaps you heard mention of the countless celebrities who have purchased their most important jewelry pieces from Black, Starr & Frost or read of the premiums paid at auction for Black Starr & Frost items.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and pink is the color of breast cancer awareness. If you didn’t notice pink rubber awareness bracelets throughout the year, you’ll have a hard time missing them during this month. Purchases of those bracelets provides income for breast cancer research and support, so here’s an example of how a rubber bracelet can claim a type of quality all its own – the quality of philanthropy. But if you want to give back while wearing something with more fine jewelry appeal, you have several options. First, stop by your local independent jeweler. Many independent jewelers create their own cause jewelry and donate a percentage of each purchase to research. Ostbye in Minneapolis offers a 14k two tone pendant with diamond melee that makes a simple, delicate . . . and fine statement of support. Studio 2015 Jewelers in Woodstock, Illinois designs a new breast cancer awareness piece each year that is auctioned off for breast cancer research and is available for sale through the store. Chances are very good that an independent jeweler in your area is doing something special too.
Jewelry designers create cause pieces as well. Tacori’s 18k pink gold pendant with diamonds is a beautiful statement piece, and at the other end of the price spectrum Sara Blaine designs a series of silver dog tags in her “It’s the Journey” series supporting breast cancer research. My point, as always, is that quality can be part of every jewelry purchase. Of course, my preference for pink this month would probably be Omi Prive’s amazing pink tourmaline ring – with a personal donation to breast cancer research on the side.
Studio 2015 18k White Pendant
Tacori 18k Rose with Diamonds
- Ostbye 14k 2-Tone Pendant
As jewelers continue to shrink in great numbers, it makes sense to discuss how their value to the consumer has changed. Click on the Link to National Jeweler Magazine
Here is a link to an article that I wrote for NATIONAL JEWELER about the shrinking number of Independent Jewelers throughout the US. Feel free to leave commentary.