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Independent Jeweler Event Garners Rave Reviews

The show was a great success, with full houses reported throughout the weekend.

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SJO Fall Show 2019 show floor

(PRESS RELEASE) CHARLOTTE, NC – A large crowd of independent jewelers from across the southeast gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 25th and 26th to learn, network, buy, and build their business at the SJO Fall 2019 Show. The show was a great success, with full houses reported throughout the weekend.

The event was hosted by the Southeastern Jewelers Organization (SJO), the oldest buying group in the nation, and the fastest growing with top quality independent stores.

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Existing and new members enjoyed connecting with a wide variety of leading vendors and receiving superb “SJO” deals for the upcoming Holiday Season. Vendors enjoyed tremendous traffic and the opportunity to spend real quality time with top class jewelers from far and wide.

“The Fall show was a prime opportunity for independent jewelers to set themselves up for a strong 2019 holiday season” says Paul Downey, president of SJO. “Our elite vendors brought in the latest lines and trends, tremendous deals and jewelers not only the chance to meet directly with the sellers, but also use the educational opportunities to increase their knowledge selling effectively to the modern consumer.”

SJO also announced new initiatives for 2020, including an industry leading dividend rewards program for members, and the provision of a full range of digital services including web design and ecommerce solutions. They will also be rolling out a range of sophisticated billing, distribution and collection services for vendors in the coming year.

In addition to buying opportunities on the show floor, members gained from the amazing educational seminars, conducted by the Diamond Council of America (“DCA”). According to Terry Chandler, president & CEO of the DCA, the seminars were very well received and enjoyed almost a hundred percent participation over the weekend. Members found the topics and content extremely relevant, with lots of ideas to bring back to their stores.

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“We always gain so much from the educational seminars provided by SJO at their shows,” says Neil Hennes, Morris Jewelers. “With new types of consumers entering the market, and increased competition online, it’s so valuable to continue to develop our knowledge plus the DCA made the seminars interesting and fast paced as well as informative”

The Ballantyne Hotel once again provided superb luxury, spa treatments, and quality food over the weekend, allowing members and vendors the opportunity to mix and mingle throughout the weekend in comfort and style, share ideas, and generally enjoy a top class show and the opportunities to drive business for the rest of the year. The amazing hotel facilities gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy the show and spend real time together doing deals and getting ideas to bring back to their stores.

The SJO Spring Show will be held in Charlotte on February 22 through 24, 2020 at the Ballantyne Hotel. For more information contact Aisling at 877-996-9850 or show@SJOrg.com, or visit www.SJOrg.com.

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Lark & Berry Launches Collaborative Collection in Design Partnership with HBO ‘Vikings’ Star, Alicia Agneson

It will debut a new 15-piece fine jewelry.

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(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — Disrupting cultured diamonds jewelry brand Lark & Berry is set to debut a new 15-piece fine jewelry range in design partnership with HBO ‘Vikings’ actress Alicia Agneson, aptly named ‘Alicia.’ Lark & Berry’s new Alicia Agneson designed range will feature jewelry crafted in 14k yellow gold, and 18k white gold with the brand’s signature cultured diamonds and sapphires. All new pieces will be available starting December 2019 online at larkandberry.com ,as well as in Lark & Berry’s flagship Marylebone, London location just steps away from Selfridge’s.

Agneson’s keen eye for detail and inventive design has yielded pieces that are sleek in style, with unusual cuts of stones and delicate cultured diamonds. As a compliment to Lark & Berry’s Veto Petals necklaces and earrings, the new Agneson-designed Alicia set also features inspiration from the natural environment, in the form of “leaves” hanging from diamond cut chains, creating a sense of movement.

“I made the decision a year back to be more environmentally conscious. It resulted in me taking the decision to never again wear newly made clothes. That led to Lark & Berry and me finding each other,” Agneson states. “With Lark & Berry, I share the same love for the smaller beauties in life but with a conscious mind along the way. Designing the Alicia collection has been a hugely exciting from start to end, with all the hours spent in the studio finding what represents both me and the brand. I’m proud over what we’ve accomplished, and I hope we can together open eyes to cultured stones. We can be beautiful and save the planet at the same time, bit by bit.”

Lark & Berry’s 3 new high-jewelry pieces are crafted in 18k white gold and feature beautiful, elongated cultured forest green quartz paired with grey cultured pearls. This includes is a unique new radiant pearl necklace with forest green quartz and diamond clasp, designed to give the wearer the option to self-style the piece in multiple ways.

The open cocktail ring from this range sits well alongside the 14K yellow gold cocktail rings, including a 11.4ct violet sapphire in an emerald cut with double talon claws and a 6.1ct burnt orange sapphire ring with stunning diamond set leaf detail in the setting.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have such a creative, prestige-actress as Alicia joining us to design a collection. Alicia’s love of nature and sustainable fashion inspired the naturalistic features of this new collection,” said Lark & Berry founder Laura Chavez.

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Gem Legacy Offers Year-End Giving Opportunities

Jewelers can demonstrate to clients their commitment to colored-gem supply chain sustainability.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ROYAL OAK, MI — Gem Legacy, a 501c3 nonprofit organization launched in 2018 and dedicated to supporting gem mining communities in East Africa, is offering members of the gem and jewelry industry a quantifiable and tangible avenue for making year-end charitable donations. Those who contribute will be supporting a cause that positively impacts small colored-gem miners and their communities.

Contributors will also be given pre-written materials to immediately announce their donations to their clients during the holiday giving season.

Year-end giving opportunities include:

  • A $750 sponsorship for young adults to receive a four-month training program in gem faceting, gemology and gem identification
  • A $550 scholarship for secondary school fees for Kenyan orphans in gem sourcing communities
  • A $200 donation to adopt an in-need family in a gem sourcing community for the holidays

Industry members who make a donation to any of these initiatives will receive a pre-written message and photo they can use for email or social media posting. The materials will reference the gem-mining location and initiative that will benefit.

Gem Legacy gives 100% of donations directly to its initiatives, which are located in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. All focus on entrepreneurship, education and in-need children in gem mining locales. Other kinds of donations and fundraising ideas can be found on gemlegacy.org/partners and interested parties can create their own fundraising efforts from the templated materials.

“We are so excited to provide this opportunity to the global gem and jewelry trade: giving back to those who have given us the foundations of our businesses,” said Roger Dery, executive director of Gem Legacy. “Gem Legacy is committed to exponentially expanding the positive impact of gemstones on sourcing communities and sharing a public image of how gemstones are improving lives within these often challenged areas.”

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Alisa Announces New Ownership

It’s effective the beginning of 2020.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Alisa, best known for its versatile and affordable fine jewelry products in sterling silver, 18K gold and diamonds for 25 years, will be under new ownership effective the beginning of 2020. Industry veterans Marci and Adam Staub will head the company as its new principals. “We are delighted that the Alisa brand will continue to be available to our many loyal retailers through such highly talented people,” say current owners Lisa and Fred Morgan. “We know Marci and Adam very well for more than a decade. They are true professionals in our industry ̶ knowledgeable, innovative, energetic, and customer service oriented ̶ and they will be fabulous for the brand’s ongoing success.”

Marci and Adam have 35 years of extensive experience in the fine jewelry industry, including design, manufacturing, wholesale and retail. Adam is a Graduate Gemologist – GIA and a member of the 24K Club in the Southeast region. “Adam and I are excited to continue the tradition of Alisa’s well designed Italian-made fine jewelry while creatively expanding the product line as we go forward,” says Marci. “The company’s high quality exclusive jewelry, with its distinctive signature style, has a classic and timeless appeal for many U.S. retailers and their discriminating customers.”

The Morgans will be assisting Marci and Adam during the ownership transition, which is expected to be seamless. To find out more about Alisa and their fine jewelry products, log on to alisadesigns.com. For additional information regarding the change of ownership, please call 888.253.6600 or contact marci@alisadesigns.com or adam@alisadesigns.com.

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