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AJS August 2019 Show Is One for the Record Books

Through new routes, AJS provided its attendees the tools needed to stay competitive in an evolving marketplace and retained its reputation as the fun show.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ATLANTA, GA — The Atlanta Jewelry Show, the jewelry industry’s largest regional trade event in the country, recently concluded its August, 2019 edition. During the four-day event, AJS August brought together over 1,200 industry professionals, and a record number of new buyers. “While staying true to our roots by providing exceptional products and resources for independent jewelers, we were proud to expand our theme of New Routes, through introducing new concepts and feature areas throughout the show that were extremely well-received by all attendees,” states Executive Director Libby Brown. “Our overall mission is to strengthen and maintain our jewelry community, and this show solidified that commitment. I believe my team and I successfully accomplished our goal of providing a comprehensive event that literally changed the course, and positively impacted the businesses of many retailers and vendors alike.”

The vast array of vendors, including many veterans and newcomers to AJS, played a huge role in the success of the show. Troy Hailey, With You Lockets, reported, “From a sales standpoint, we had our best show yet. We met our goal, which was a robust one, because of the high quality of buyers in attendance. This is our favorite show,” Hailey continued.

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The upbeat atmosphere and reports of steady order-writing and growing retail attendance from outside the show’s traditional region had exhibitors talking. New AJS Exhibitor Earth Pebbles owner Rebekah Anderson, GG, said, “We immediately fell in love with this show.” Anderson added, “Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and we were thrilled with the constant traffic. We will most definitely be back.”

The aisles were filled with retailers as they visited with friends and made new connections. Buyers Josh and Darrell, The Little Gold Mine, (TN) explain, “We have not missed a show in nearly ten years, and we never plan to. The team you have assembled here is top-notch and they go out of their way to make sure we are happy, productive and safe.” New buyer Bar-Kay Jewelers (PA) owner Kim says, “I have been to many shows, but never one as wonderful as this Atlanta show. Everyone is so hospitable and there’s so much going on, at all times, on the buying floor. Great vendors, great times. I’m thrilled and I am definitely coming back!”

AJS-University

With a phenomenal lineup of educational sessions presented by influential industry experts, Atlanta Jewelry Show provided an exceptional package of educational opportunities for every sector of the industry. Powered by the support of Diamond Producers Association, Instore Marketing, Stuller and Synchrony Financial, over 50 educational seminars and panels, and onsite GIA Grading Lab Sessions were featured at AJS.

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When asked about the success of the event, Director of Education Cindy Chandler said, “Education is an integral part of the Atlanta Jewelry Show. We are entrusted to provide our attendees with real insights and real solutions to take back to their store, and we take that very seriously. As promised, this event offered only the finest learning opportunities to our valued retailers. It would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and exhibitor members, and heartfelt thanks to all speakers who graciously shared their time and expertise with the AJS community. See you next decade!”, Cindy added.

Hundreds of retailers were on hand ready to be inspired, and they were not disappointed. Click this link to view select sessions on the AJS Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pg/atlantajewelryshow/videos/?ref=page_internal.

Kids Jewelry Camp

The Atlanta Jewelry Show Kids Jewelry Camp was a tremendous success, with 24 young jewelers enrolled. Under the guidance of Coordinator Mindy Spritz and certified jewelry instructors, KJC Rock Stars learned several jewelry techniques, marketing strategies and even hosted the KJC Trunk Show, where they displayed, sold and shared the inspiration behind their handmade creations. Spritz states, “It’s overwhelming when I think about when KJC debuted less than two years ago, and now to see where we are today. I think I can safely say we are truly making a difference in these children’s lives, and we are honored to play a role in cementing their legacy, thereby ensuring the future of the jewelry industry. It was such a joy work with these immensely talented students, and we are grateful for the AJS community’s support with this endeavor.”

Parents were delighted with the camp and were grateful this opportunity was available for their children. John Carter, AGS President and Owner, Jack Lewis Jewelers, said “My daughter has literally grown up in this business. She learned more during these two days than her entire life. What a great program.”

The next session will be during the Spring show, March 8-9, 2020. Interested campers should register early, as the camp was sold out in August. Designed to foster excitement and passion for the jewelry industry among our next generation, KJC is open to children of AJS exhibitors and retail buyers, ages 7 and up.

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The Runway

Atlanta Jewelry Show introduced an all new pavilion, The Runway, A Brand New Experience. This upgraded area included industry favorites Beverley K, Danwak, Waterford Jewelry, XO Jewels and Zeghani, each housed in specialty booths. A dedicated hostess, flight attendants and a pilot ensured that buyers “walked the Runway” in style and experienced a new way to shop for merchandise. Limited booths available for March 2020, so interested exhibitors should contact AJS immediately to reserve space.

Occasions Shop

Occasions Shop, successfully launched at the spring show, was expanded to include more breathtaking geodes, opals, lighting, luxury gift items and high-end display units. This area featured innovative methods of enhancing a store’s aesthetic and offered innovative merchandising tips. With all proceeds benefiting Kids Jewelry Camp, the Occasions Shop offered yet another solution to help independent jewelers succeed in the marketplace.

CAD Challenge

Another popular AJS CAD-CAM Challenge made history, and AJS recognizes outstanding competitors Meghan Proctor, Designer/Manager, Hubbell Jewelry Design; Gary Dawson, Owner/Designer, Gary Dawson Designs, and Shele Letwin, Owner/Designer, Shele’s Jewelry Design Factory. This event was a real show- stopper, as hosts Joel McFadden and Kyle Bullock kept attendees, plus livestream viewers, informed and entertained during this intense, all-day competition. Meghan was named the Winner for her inspired creation based on an original Rémy Rotenier hand rendering.

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Loupe + One-Stop Shop

An entirely redesigned Loupe and One-Stop-Shop neighborhood was quite an attraction, created in the spirit of small-town America, and complete with green space, park benches and gathering areas. Attendees were enticed to follow the road to the American Watchmakers Clockmakers Institute Mobile Classroom for expert timepiece instruction inside its massive bus, right on the show floor. Along the route, many resources offered retail solutions, including marketing, software, retail services, trade organizations, engraving and bead stringing. There was even a podcast recording by AJS partners Four Grainer and WJA, happening live, which was a tremendous success. Listen up for Inside the Jewelry Trade’s exclusive coverage of AJS at https://fourgrainer.com/inside-the-jewelry-trade-radio-show/.

Special Features

Buyers and exhibitors alike enjoyed many special touches at the show, including the ever-popular Mingle after-party. Another huge success, with more people than ever in attendance, further proving that the AJS jewelry community knows how to party. Surprise pop-up parties were sprinkled all over the show floor with tasty snacks and trendy drinks to enjoy. Carpool Karaoke in a luxury sportscar, relaxation areas with massages and cool beverages, themed pit stops like Whiskey Business, and Studio 555 – all designed to add to the vibrant and fun Southern Hospitality that is exclusive to AJS.

Future Show Dates

March 7-9, 2020 and August 8-10, 2020

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IEG/Vicenzaoro January 2020 Focuses on Responsible Supply, Sustainability and SMEs

The panel saw interventions from some of the most important voices in the sector.

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(PRESS RELEASE) — With the support of the main Italian associations, including Federpreziosi and Club degli Orafi, the workshop organized by CIBJO dealt with the topics of responsible sourcing and sustainability, with an eye on small and medium-sized enterprises which make up the largest part of the jewelry sector on a global scale and play a leading role in Italy’s economic fabric.

How are the new standards in terms of due diligence to be faced? What is the key to a prosperous business without forgetting the United Nations’ sustainable development objectives? These were just two of the questions put to the panel, which featured some of the most authoritative voices in the gold-jewelry world, including Steven Tranquilli, director of Federpreziosi, who gave the opening greetings, Gabriele Aprea,president of Club degli Orafi, Marco Carniello, manager of IEG and Gaetano Cavalieri, president of CIBJO.

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Philip Olden, president of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission and panel moderator, outlined the implementation stages in CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Policy, the responsible supply policy launched by the Confederation in 2018. Olden’s intervention was followed by another from Iris Van der Veken from the Responsible Jewelry Council, who underlined the importance of a responsible production chain, suggesting strategies able to create virtuous synergies between environmental and manufacturing sustainability.

Moya McKeown from Carbon Expert presented the Jewelry Industry Measurement Initiative, a project that aims to make sector companies responsible in terms of their own environmental impact by promoting a reduction in emissions that can optimize production rhythms. Next came Enzo Liverino, President of CIBJO’s Coral Commission, who for years has been battling to protect coral and its precious ecosystem.

To complete the panel, Pomellato spoke about best practices. For years the company has only accepted pure gold supplies that meet strict in-house sustainability standards based on the selection of eligible sources according to RJS-CoC certification. Moreover, Pomellato is enacting a project to improve controls on the origin of silver and on the diamond and colored stone supply chains. Its Nuvola collection is the product of these intentions, a line of responsible supply solitaires which exclusively uses gold from the world’s 10 Fairmined certified mines – in other words, those that meet the highest international standards in terms of social development practices and environmental protection – and which guarantees total traceability right back to the original mine. The same goes for diamonds, certified by the Gemological Institute of America.

Thanks to its virtuous partnership with CIBJO, once again this year, Vicenzaoro confirms its role as an arena for debating, reflecting and making decisions on key topics for the gold and jewelry industry, by integrating ethics with entrepreneurship and state-of-the-art.

The subjects presented during the seminar will be available as of Wednesday 22nd January on www.cibjo.org

For further information, consult the following website: https://www.vicenzaoro.com/en/january

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Third Annual OPTImum Retail Award Open for Submissions

Deadline is Feb. 7.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ALEXANDRIA, VA – Vision Expo East 2020 announces the third annual OPTImum Retail Award is accepting submissions from independent boutique retailers. The OPTImum Retail Award aims to celebrate independent boutique retailers by allowing them to showcase their products, stores, visions and stories to the optical industry.

Businesses in the independent retail market are encouraged to submit their stories for consideration by Feb. 7. Applicants are asked to share their in-store innovations, individuality, culture, brand loyalty and technology usage. Last year’s winner, Edward Beiner (South Miami, Fla.), received the award based on its dedication to providing customers a meaningful experience through innovative initiatives including the Eyes Forward vision, designed to promote wisdom, passion and foresight by educating customers and instilling a sense of pride into purchases. The award also coincided with the release of an exclusive collection of 3D-printed eyewear designed by Edward Beiner.

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“It was an honor to receive the 2019 OPTImum Retail Award at last year’s Vision Expo East,” said Edward Beiner, founder of a collection of optical boutiques in Florida and 2019 OPTImum Retail Award recipient. “I am constantly inspired by the incredible community of independent boutique retailers in the vision community. I look forward to seeing the original and creative ideas put forward this year and wish all the entrants the best of luck in the 2020 OPTImum Retail Award competition.”

To determine the top three finalists, a committee of the industry’s top leaders will deliberate and vote on which retailers they feel are most deserving of the award. This year’s committee members include Dr. Arian Fartash, optometrist and influencer of @glamoptometrist; Christian Roth, eyewear designer and the first Council of Fashion Designers of America member in the eyewear category since 1990; and James Spina, 20/20 Magazine editor-in-chief and senior vice president.

Three finalists will be announced on Feb. 21. To determine the final winner, Vision Expo social media channels will be opened for voting from Feb. 21–March 6 to be factored into the judges’ scores. The 2020 OPTImum Retail Award winner will be announced at Vision Expo East during the Independence @ The Creative Edge panel on March 28.

All independent boutique retailers are encouraged to submit their application by Feb. 7. To submit your application or to find out more information, visit VisionExpoEast.com.

Vision Expo East kicks off in The River, one of three new neighborhoods being introduced at Vision Expo East 2020, on March 26, one day earlier than the general Exhibit Hall. Education at Vision Expo will take place March 26–29, while the general Exhibit Hall is open March 27–29.

For more Vision Expo East updates, follow along on all of Vision Expo’s social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Press Releases

Jewelers Mutual Hires Additional Surveillance for Commercial Lines Policyholders

This is due to suspicious activity in the Midwest.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI — As a result of suspicious activity detected earlier this month within a state in the Midwest, Jewelers Mutual arranged additional surveillance for commercial lines policyholders in the immediate area.

This is the second time in in the past four months Jewelers Mutual has provided additional surveillance to policyholders in ongoing efforts to keep members safe and secure. In October 2019, extra security surveillance was provided to policyholders in the state of California during widespread power outages.

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As an ongoing best practice to help protect your business, Jewelers Mutual strongly encourages all jewelers to secure merchandise within a safe or vault. Jewelers should also review our do’s and don’ts during a jewelry store robbery. Below are a few of the don’ts:

  • Don’t call police, press a hold-up alarm, or panic button
  • Don’t make eye contact with or threaten the robbers in anyway
  • Don’t pursue the robbers after they leave

Along with advising jewelers of what can be done to prevent crime, Jewelers Mutual will continue to monitor developing criminal situations and deploy additional targeted loss prevention services to protect commercial lines policyholders and the jewelry industry when possible.

“Jewelers Mutual is committed as a proactive business partner in the protection of jewelry and providing a safe environment to our customers,” said Larry Spicer, vice president of Loss Prevention and Risk Management Services.

Policyholders are also encouraged to contact their agent with any questions regarding additional security measures they can leverage to protect their property.

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