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WJA Announces Keynote Speakers for In The Know Conference

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Randi Zuckerberg and Hitha Prabhakar will keynote the WJA’s “In the Know” conference on March 10.

(Press Release) NEW YORK, NY – The Women’s Jewelry Association has announced its two keynote speakers for the 2016 WJA In The Know Conference on March 10. The annual educational conference returns to its location at the Convene Conference Center on 730 Third Avenue in New York City.

At 9 a.m., WJA In The Know will kick off with opening keynote speaker Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media and the author of “Dot Complicated,” a New York Times bestseller about her personal journey on the front lines of Facebook and her thoughts on how technology has profoundly changed people’s lives. Zuckerberg talk is titled "Finding the Balance" and will address how to be a three-dimensional woman in today’s digital age.

Following Zuckerberg’s presentation will be Hitha Prabhakar, chief retail analyst at Aitchpe Retail Advisory, a boutique consumer and retail research firm. Prabhakar will discuss retail trends and shifts in consumer attitudes and how they are affecting shopping behavior.

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WJA In The Know’s conference programming is shaped around the theme, "Blurring the Lines," and will address how consumer behaviors and technology are changing the way jewelry is sold both on and offline. Interactive presentations, on-stage conversations, power talks and other experiential elements will be a part of the agenda.

In addition to the two headline speakers, the WJA In The Know lineup will also feature a new fireside chat format that includes brief conversations with industry movers and shakers who are changing the jewelry sales paradigm. Confirmed so far are designer Kara Ross, who will speak about her new Diamonds Unleashed initiative and women’s empowerment; as well as the founders of AuRate, an online gold design jewelry buying site with a philanthropic point of view. These talks, peppered in throughout the day, will showcase and highlight innovation.

An afternoon event with moderator Ben Smithee of the Smithee Group, will feature four jewelry consumers live on stage. Smithee, a popular speaker at past WJA In The Know conferences, will interview his subjects and drill to the core of what’s important to them when they shop, including what they are purchasing, and where they are shopping. New this year, WJA In The Know will also offer breakout workshops for new business owners and designers, to help them dive into budgeting basics and social media best practices.

Convene will also host the 2016 WJA In The Spotlight Gala, following the educational conference. The gala honors WJA regional chapters’ 2016 Shining Stars (chapter members who have given extraordinary service to their individual chapters throughout the past year) and 2016 WJA DIVAS, winners of the association’s annual design competition.

Tickets for both events will go on sale later in January. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact WJA Executive Director Bernadette McGovern Mack at bernadette@womensjewelryassociation.com for details.

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Call for Entries Opens Saul Bell Design Award Competition

The submission deadline Oct. 25.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Rio Grande announces its call for entries for the 2020 Saul Bell Design Award competition. This world renowned competition, launched by Rio Grande in 2001, honors Saul Bell, founder of Rio Grande and a jeweler, teacher and friend whose love of jewelry making and respect for jewelry makers knew no bounds. For its 20th anniversary, this premier event for jewelry designers renews the challenge for jewelers and metal smiths to push their creativity in new and exciting directions, to seize their moments to forge new pathways with their artistry.

“My father would have had so much admiration for every metalsmith who has ever entered this competition,” says Molly Bell, Rio Grande executive vice president and daughter of Saul Bell. “The spirit of the competition embodies not only his passion for making jewelry and his appreciation for the creativity and technical challenges of the work these artists do but also his respect for those striving to learn more, pushing past obstacles, and thriving in doing what they love. He was so generous with his knowledge and always had time for any bench or technical question.”

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One of the most prestigious design events within the jewelry industry, the Saul Bell Design Award competition is unique for its intensive judging process. Two panels, comprising a combined total of 10 jewelers and industry leaders who are masters of their craft, assess and rank entries through two rounds of rigorous judging. In the initial round, five judges look for originality of design, proposed use of materials, and aesthetics to select finalists. In the final round, a second panel of five judges examines completed finalist pieces up close, in the hand, and on model, looking for successful incorporation of materials, wearability (except in the Hollowware category) and quality of workmanship.

Sophia Hu, whose entry, “Origami—Window with a View Collection,” received the 2018 Saul Bell Award Best of Show distinction impressed judges yet again in 2019 with her incredible “Helices” collection to garner the 1st Place honors in the Collections category (Couture/Fine division). “I really appreciate the two rounds of judges in the competition,” she says, “they have the eyes and tastes to see deeper, to identify and appreciate all the design efforts I put into each design in this collection.”

The 2020 competition features seven categories: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium Silver, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials, Jewelry Collections, and two categories of Emerging Jewelry Artist that encompass two age ranges: 18 years old and younger (high school age) and 22 years old and younger (college age); age is determined as of Oct. 25, 2019. Enameled pieces should be submitted into the above categories, as appropriate.

The Jewelry Collection category invites designers to create a cohesive set of wearable pieces (such as a coordinated necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings) representing either a line of luxury jewelry (formerly Couture/Fine) or a line of trend-setting jewelry (formerly Fashion/Bridge).

Entrants enjoy discounted early-bird fees of $75 per entry for work submitted through September 16, or may choose the regular $125 fee for work submitted prior to the final deadline. The fee for each Emerging Jewelry Artist submission is $25.

Final submission deadline for all entries is Oct. 25, 2019. Finalist pieces are due by Jan. 24, 2020. The entry form and detailed information about the competition, including submission guidelines and information about each of the categories, are available at saulbellaward.com.

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GJEPC Organizes India Pavilion for the 16th Consecutive Year

It will be with 40 leading G & J players.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The leading jewelry event in North America, JCK Las Vegas will witness India Pavilion organized by Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) for the 16th consecutive year. This year, 40 gem and jewelry exporters participating at the “India Pavilion” will be showcasing a wide variety of trendy, unique and innovative jewelry made especially for the US market. The India Pavilion is located at JCK’s Passport & Diamond Plaza.

Mr. Pramod Agrawal, chairman, GJEPC said, “USA is a significant market for the Indian gem and jewelry industry. India exported US$ 10.58 billion worth of Gem & Jewelry products to the US in 2018. The rising GDP growth, employment rate and private consumption expenditure in the US have contributed to the rise in India’s exports of gems and jewelry to the market. It is believed that this momentum of US demand will continue further, and this is a good sign for Indian gems and jewelry exports. USA alone is expected to shell out $5.2 billion on the jewelry category this year, a whopping 31% increase over last year, as reported in its annual survey by NRF (National Retail Federation), with Mother’s Day estimated to see record spends and the good news is that India caters to over 19% of the US market’s jewelry demand.”

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For India JCK Las Vegas has been a significant platform to further strengthen its network and improve its exports to the USA. It is also an opportunity for Indian exporters to understand the latest trends in the market which helps them to come back every year with trendy and innovative products for the buyers here. With top manufacturers participating at India Pavilion, buyers here will get to see products of the highest quality including loose diamonds, loose colored gemstones, plain gold jewelry, pearl jewelry, silver jewelry as well as diamond and colored stone studded jewelry.

Introducing the India Design Gallery

This year, the India Pavilion at JCK has some special attractions. It will feature an exclusive India Design Gallery, showcasing some of the most magnificent jewelry pieces created for the U.S market. The theme is COSMOS, a representation of U.S. consumer trends in 2020. The jewelry features a variety of cosmic elements in intricately crafted rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets and more. You can find India Design Gallery within India Pavilion at booth no. 44063/61, 45062/60.

“The India Design Gallery highlights some of the finest contemporary jewelry available from India today. The jewelry, designed and manufactured in different parts of India, has one thing in common— it is timeless jewelry for the world. Indian jewelers and craftsmen cater to the most demanding customers across the globe. India’s ability to satiate any kind of jewelry requirements has always amazed the world. This has been possible due to Industry’s willingness to embrace and adopt the latest technology,” Says Colin Shah, vice chairman, GJEPC

The jewelry at India Design Gallery at JCK have been designed by the Designers of Artisan Awards, a design led initiative by GJEPC. Artisan Awards recognizes and rewards the best in jewelry design and celebrates highest level of artistry, innovation and individuality, elevating jewelry designers to their rightful status of artists.

Talking about the Jewelry pieces showcased at the India Design gallery, Milan Chokshi, convener promotions & marketing GJEPC said, “ Every jewel piece at the India Design Gallery is a manifestation of designer’s vision . The Artisan Awards is a carefully crafted and curated intellectual property of GJEPC that gives Indian designers an opportunity to unleash their sheer talent and shine. As part of the design galleries across the world, these pieces will be a showcase of India’s ascent as a dominant player in the world of jewelry design.”

Today, the Indian gem & jewelry industry is at its pinnacle. India’s overall gem & jewelry exports for the year 2018 accounted for US$ 39461.07 million. All thanks to its 5 million workforce. For this industry, ethical business practices precede any other practice. ‘Business with Conscience’ has been their mantra for decades now and it indeed reflects in the efforts taken by the industry to adopt measures for the wellbeing of not only its workforce but also initiating several other programs for the greater good.

Indian G & J Industry and GJEPC have invested heavily in its workforce by adopting high standards of modernization, safety, cleanliness and other socio-economic benefits such as, medical facilities, employment generation and second-to-none training programs for workers amongst others.

“We as an industry and also the apex gem & jewelry body of the country strongly believe that our greatest resource is our talented workforce. We continuously strive to upgrade their lives through several socio-economic benefits for them as well as their families,” added Colin Shah.

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First LOVE TACORI Contest Awards Tacori Lovers with $100,000 in Jewelry

Campaign will run from Monday, July 15 – Tuesday, December 31.

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(PRESS RELEASE) LOS ANGELES – Famed California-based jewelry designer, Tacori, announces its first national flagship campaign, LOVE TACORI, which will award a total of $100,000 in Tacori jewelry to five lucky winners.

Starting in July, Tacori and its partners throughout the United States and Canada will ask Tacori lovers to visit a participating Tacori retail partner to enter to win this prize package from Tacori.

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“For this campaign, we wanted to tap into the passion of Tacori’s highly engaged fans and give them a reason to visit a store to find the Tacori piece that speaks to them,” said SVP, marketing & PR, Michelle Chila. “Whether they’re looking for an engagement ring or wedding bands; ruby or sapphire rings to celebrate a milestone or anniversary; or incredible jewelry for themselves or loved ones; we wanted to offer Tacori lovers a reason to explore our entire collection in-person at a store, which is where jewelry truly comes alive.”

This five-month flagship campaign will run from Monday, July 15 – Tuesday, December 31. Tacori will award a total of $100,000 in Tacori jewelry, with a prize value of $20,000 of Tacori jewelry to each winner. Tacori will select five (5) winners, approximately one per month for the program duration.

As part of the unique LOVE TACORI campaign, Tacori will support this promotion with customized two-page Spreadvertorials in national print magazines; online throughout digital efforts; and amplified in social media with extensive Influencer activations.

This is the first direct-to-store campaign for Tacori, and the marketing opportunities were strategically designed for Retail Partners to be included in print and online to maximize the energy surrounding this exciting campaign.

LOVE TACORI will be presented to the Trade during the LUXURY/JCK shows. For more information on how to enter to win, rules & regulations, head to www.tacori.com/lovetacori.

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