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MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers Names Mentor Jewelers




(PRESS RELEASE) MJSA, the trade alliance dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, recently announced that Gary Dawson and Lee Krombholz were appointed Mentor Jewelers by the association’s Council of Custom Jewelers. The Mentor Jeweler designation honors jewelers who have helped to further the profession of custom design by generously sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Gary Dawson is the owner of Gary Dawson Designs, an online custom design operation once featured as a “Best of the Best” by Instore Magazine. With more than 40 years’ experience, he has delivered seminars and presentations at numerous events, including MJSA Expo, AGTA GemFair, and the Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology. He is a frequent contributor to a number of trade publications, including MJSA Journal and MJSA Custom Jeweler. Based in Eugene, Oregon, he previously initiated an internship program with the University of Oregon to help the next generation of jewelers gain experience. He is a current member of the MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers.

A third-generation jeweler, Lee Krombholz is the owner of Krombholz Jewelers and Just Like You Designs in Cincinnati. He has been a frequent presenter in MJSA’s signature At the Bench Live series, which demonstrates common (and uncommon) bench techniques, and is a frequent presenter at MJSA Expo and AGTA GemFair. He also contributes regularly to both MJSA Journal and MJSA Custom Jeweler, focusing on bench techniques and CAD design. A past president of the Mid-America Jewelers Association, he currently serves as vice chair on the MJSA board of directors and as chair of the MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers.

Formed in 2017, the council comprises some of the industry’s leading custom jewelers and suppliers, who help to guide MJSA’s initiatives in furthering the art and consumer appreciation of custom jewelry design.It is directed by Joel McFadden, the owner of a custom design studio in Red Bank, New Jersey, and who was himself named a Mentor Jeweler in 2017.


The members of the council also include David Dorian of Dorian Jewelers in Watertown, Massachusetts; Christopher Duquet of Christopher Duquet Fine Jewelry Design in Evanston, Illinois; David Holloway of Holloway Designs in Farmington, Arkansas; Lisa Krikawa of Krikawa Jewelry Designs in Tucson, Arizona; Klaus Kutter of A Jour Jewelry in Bristol, Rhode Island; Tom McLaughlin of TEM Designs in Liverpool, New York; Dawn Muscio of D. Muscio Designs in Atlanta; Travis Serio of CADCAMTRAV in Carthage, North Carolina; Greg Stopka of Jewelsmiths in Pleasant Hill, California; and Jim Tuttle of Green Lake Jewelry Works in Seattle.

For more information, go to or call 1-800-444-MJSA (6572).



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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