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The Plumb Club/Fit Program Celebrates First-Year Success

“Shaping The Future Industry” program has been determined a huge success by both participating students and participating members alike.




The Plumb Club/Fit Program Celebrates First-Year Success
FIT graduate students Pavithra Prakash and Kevin Jiao showcase The Jewelers Resource Center and TPC-365 to retailers at the JCK Las Vegas show.

(PRESS RELEASE)NEW YORK — The premier year of The Plumb Club/Fashion Institute Technology (FIT) program has come to fruition with three top graduating jewelry-program students being awarded an expense-paid opportunity to attend and network with industry leaders at its very first major jewelry show – JCK Las Vegas. Graduates Ashika Venkatesha, Kevin Jiao, and Pavithra Prakash were chosen to accompany The Plumb Club to the show. On site, they assisted in giving retail attendees a guided tour of The Club’s groundbreaking new platforms, The Jewelers Resource Center and TPC-365. Further, students networked with key executives of The Plumb Club member companies, assisted with social media in The Plumb Club Pavilion, and walked the complete show for inspiration and to learn more about the industry.

Throughout the semester the comprehensive program had also provided several students with mentorship from industry veterans and leaders, as well as potential internships with The Plumb Club member companies. Overwhelmingly, the FIT students who participated in the initiative’s elements felt they received great insights and value from the groundbreaking program.

According to attending graduate student, Kevin Jiao, “The Plumb Club is important in helping FIT students really see and feel the industry, which is something they just wouldn’t get otherwise. I did the mentorship and, up until that point, I had never truly gotten “up close” with the industry to see how it operates. It gave me a deeper understanding of what it was all about.”

“The Plumb Club program gave me a lot of education,” said Pavithra Prakash. “It’s a wonderful experience to be part of the JCK show. I was new to this field and wanted to be sure what to expect. The mentorship gave me great insight into employers and how to approach and work with them.”

“JCK is a lot to take in. It’s big and you can’t really conceptualize how it all fits together until you see it,” adds Jiao.

Unfortunately, because of flight cancellations and delays during travel, Ashika Venkatesha was unable to complete the trip to the JCK show.


“We are thrilled with the outcome of the first year of this program,” said Michael O’Connor, marketing director of The Plumb Club, who worked to craft the program elements with Kim Nelson, assistant department chair, and Michael Coan, assistant professor, Jewelry Design at FIT. “The Plumb Club’s vision of shaping the future of the jewelry industry is, in part, being realized via initiatives such as this. We feel that it provides both the students and our member companies with valuable opportunities.”

The Plumb Club FIT program will go into its second year with the onset of the new semester at FIT.



When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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