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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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Press Releases

CIBJO Releases Responsible Sourcing Report

It describes principles applicable to all members of industry.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MILAN, ITALY — With fewer than nine weeks to go to the opening of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Manama, Bahrain, on November 18, 2019, the second of the CIBJO commissions’ special reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Commission, headed by Philip Olden, the report provides an overview of the first Responsible Sourcing Blue Book, which was approved in January of this year. It defines a universally agreed-to set of recommended responsible sourcing principles, which can be applied by all members of the greater jewelry industry.

“CIBJO has steadfastly stated that no ethical member or company in the jewelry business should be denied the opportunity to participate because, at any particular point in time, it lacks the financial capacity to meet the demands of a compliance system. At the same time, CIBJO does not accept the contention that a company with limited financial resources should be exempt from conducting any form of responsible sourcing due diligence,” writes Mr. Olden.

“The Responsible Sourcing Blue Book indicates what initial steps can be taken at minimal expense and effort, and proposes a program of continual improvement, which companies can apply at their own pace,” Mr. Olden adds. The system suggested is based on the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

The special report also outlines a program that CIBJO’ Responsible Sourcing Commission has initiated with the Colored Gemstone Working Group, facilitated by The Dragonfly Initiative, involving the creation of an online toolkit that will provide supporting documentation to help companies address the Responsible Sourcing Blue Book guidance. It will be presented at the upcoming CIBJO Congress in Bahrain, and subsequently will be made available to the industry at no cost.

To download a full copy of the report, click here.

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Press Releases

Gemfind Digital Solutions Announces Launch of DiamondLink App E-Commerce Edition

It lets jewelers sell diamonds directly online from curated vendors.

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(PRESS RELEASE) DiamondLink, GemFind’s well-known retail diamond sourcing app that allows retailers to curate a list of diamond suppliers for shopping on their website, has announced the launch of its E-Commerce edition for WordPress, Magento 2.0 and Shopify platforms.

The E-Commerce Edition brings GemFind to a new level, enabling jewelers to sell diamonds from their vendors directly on their website. By using this new edition of GemFind, independent retailers can not only sell diamonds online, but also select diamond qualities they wish to put for sale on their website — fully utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) in the process. With Click reports jewelers have access to data analytics on who was looking at their diamond list and when. Multicurrency – enables jewelers to open their websites to international customers with automatic currency conversion.

“The DiamondLink E-Commerce Edition is something I have long been waiting for,” said Greg Dolkarian from Derco Diamonds in San Francisco. “Not only can I access diamonds from my own customized list of diamond companies, I can go head-to-head with web-based diamond companies in the online space and enhance the ease of purchase of diamonds for engagement rings for my customers.”

The E-Commerce edition of DiamondLink also allows retailers to sell diamonds in real time without owning them and includes availability for dropship options directly from several diamond companies to the consumer. “The DiamondLink E-Commerce edition enables retailers to compete at the same level with major diamond selling websites, while taking advantage of the unique customization of their diamond inventory, noted Alex Fetanat, founder and Chief Executive Officer of GemFind. “Jeweler-curated virtual diamond inventory, coupled with critical online tools, will develop significant traffic and sales.”

While retail jewelers have used DiamondLink for over 15 years, the E-Commerce edition brings a level of functionality and ease-of-use apps that will be available on Magento, WordPress and Shopify stores. This function, combined with GemFind’s other digital marketing tools that include RingBuilder, web development, social media, geofencing, and pay per click (PPC) management, provides jewelers what is essentially a virtual salesman added to their sales team.

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Press Releases

Plumb Club to Require Members to Join RJC

It’s the first organization of its kind with such a policy.

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(Press Release) NEW YORK – The Plumb Club announced that its members voted to require all new and existing Plumb Club members to become Certified Members of the Responsible Jewellery Council. The Plumb Club, a current RJC association member, is the first organization of its kind to require its members to follow the RJC Code of Practices.

The new requirement underscores The Plumb Club’s purpose to “connect its members and their customers and help shape the future of the jewelry industry.”

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The RJC will collaborate with current and future Plumb Club members to ensure they adopt the RJC Code of Practices and effectively communicate their RJC membership status to their customers and business partners.

“Our new By-Law confirms The Plumb Club’s vision of being a responsible supply side organization recognized for leadership, adding value, and positively impacting the jewelry industry,” said Michael Lerche, Plumb Club president. “We strongly believe that any jewelry retailer who buys product from a non-RJC member is taking a very serious and unnecessary risk. Buying product from a Plumb Club member will greatly mitigate that risk.”

“The Plumb Club’s actions set a clear leadership example for other trade associations and member organizations within the jewelry industry. The Plumb Club’s model of cascading RJC membership through its members is a model for other associations to confidently follow,” said David Bouffard, chair of the Responsible Jewellery Council. “At the RJC, we believe that building consumer confidence is not only important for the future of our industry, but is also an imperative that can be acted on today by joining the RJC.”

Both Lerche and Bouffard called for all current and perspective RJC association members to cascade RJC membership throughout their organizations.

“Having a standardized universal code of practices throughout our industry that the retailer, consumer and even our government, can rely upon to guarantee that these products are the most responsibly sourced and ethically produced in the marketplace is critical. Today, we call on the entire jewelry industry to support the Responsible Jewellery Council and work with us in finding a way for every supplier and retailer in our industry to become a member,” said Lerche.

“As Chair of the RJC, I ask other trade associations within our industry to follow the leadership of The Plumb Club: require your members to join the RJC,” exclaimed Bouffard. “The RJC has a team ready and willing to help your organization develop its own model of cascading RJC membership.”

All certified members of the RJC are able to point their customers and business partners to the RJC’s publicly available Code of Practices to validate how the products they buy and sell are responsibly sourced. The RJC verifies its Code of Practices through full membership of the ISEAL Alliance. RJC members must become certified against the Code of Practices through a third party, independent, certification process. The RJC Code is aligned with international standards from the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information about The Plumb Club, visit https://plumbclub.com/. For more information about the Responsible Jewelry Council, visit https://www.responsiblejewellery.com/.

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