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Eileen McClelland: Seminar Aims To Help Emerging Designers Build Their Business

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Becoming a jewelry designer involves a great deal more than just having an interest in jewelry – or even a great idea. “You have to love jewelry to be a jewelry designer but you can’t be a jewelry designer ONLY because you love jewelry,” says Beth Bernstein, author, jewelry editor and owner of Plan B2 Jewelry Consultancy.

Bernstein will lead “Getting Your Jewelry Business Off the Ground,” an Aug. 22 workshop on launching and growing your jewelry business that’s geared for designers who are just starting out or who have launched a line and want to know what to do next.

Bernstein’s presentation is one of a series of three-hour workshops to be presented by Britt Bivens of Ace of Swords, a trend forecasting and brand strategy business. Bivens has been an instructor at the Parsons New School of Design in the Fashion Marketing Department since 2012, where she observed that students might finish a course of study on the fun, creative side of design without acquiring any knowledge of the nuts and bolts of a business. “They can take a class for 15 weeks and still, at the end of it, say, `Where do I start?’ “

“All the design students want to have their own brands but know nothing about business unless they take electives,” she says.

As a result, many emerging designers go out of business.

“Turning an interest in jewelry into a business takes money and a high level of commitment,” Bivens says. “Doing it right the first time really helps.”

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During the class Bernstein will elaborate on important points to consider when growing a jewelry brand, including these top five:

Develop a distinctive aesthetic and sensibility
Decide how you are going to build the collection and understand how much it’s going to cost to produce a sample line.
When the collection is ready to go, don’t sit back and relax; seek feedback. Show it off at a trade show. Visit stores in your community. Do trunk shows.
Consider whether you need a representative.
Show your line to trade magazine editors before you seek attention from consumer publications.

The workshop will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at Grind, 1216 Broadway. Cost is $195. Get more information here.

One way for emerging jewelry designers to garner some valuable visibility is to apply online o be included in The Next Now, scheduled 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Ace Hotel, 20 W. 29th St. Deadline for applications is August 20.

Undiscovered designers will have the chance to privately present a range of their collection to the panel of judges who will select one winner. The jury is comprised of industry leaders and experts, all dedicated to identifying and nurturing emerging talent. Panelists include Steven Alan, CEO, designer and CFDA member; Melissa Joy Manning, creative director, jewelry designer and CFDA member; Joanne Teichman, founder and managing director of Ylang 23; Avani Patel, founder and CEO of TrendSeeder and Will Kahn, accessories director at Town & Country.

The winner will receive mentoring and even more exposure.

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Both events coincide with NY NOW, the market for home, lifestyle & gift, Aug. 20-24, at the Javits Center in New York City.


Eileen McClelland is the managing editor at INSTORE Magazine. Email her at: [email protected].

This article is an online extra for INSTORE Online.

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