The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) will be hosting its own jewelry booth at this year’s JCK Las Vegas show. The non-profit organization, which support and promotes the advancement of women in the industry, announced this week that six emerging designers that will participate in its inaugural showcase inside the intimate Design Center at JCK Las Vegas.
Isabel Dennis of Kima Jewelry, Soojin Kim of Suu Atelier, Patty Lauritzen of Rosey Skye, Rachel Weld Newton of Rachel Weld Fine Jewelry, Alexis Pavlantos of Alexis Pavlantos, and Constance Polamalu of Birthright Foundry will present their collections inside WJA’s booth (booth #10043).
All six designers are graduates of WJA’s Jewelry Loupe Project—a free, six-month business development program for emerging designers within their first five years of business. The program, which was developed in 2019 by former San Francisco WJA chapter leader Marie McCarthy of Fiat Lux, is heading into its fifth year and is supported by JCK and De Beers.
To date, WJA has trained and mentored nearly 50 emerging designers (each designer is paired with a mentor). Designers also attend virtual sessions hosted by experts in design, marketing, sourcing, manufacturing, retail, packaging, and pricing. A critique in the fall caps off the experience, with mentors giving feedback aiming to better-prepare designers to launch their collections.
“We can’t wait to invite members of the trade to visit and learn more about these talented women,” WJA executive director Jennifer Markas said in a statement.
Céline Assimon, CEO of De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark, said in the same statement, “At De Beers, we deeply value the contributions that women make to our businesses, the diamond and jewelry industry, and all of society. We are committed to accelerating economic inclusion and uplifting diverse voices to help shape the future through various programs which support and provide opportunities for women as part of our ‘Building Forever’ ambitions. We are proud to support WJA in the 2023 Jewelry Loupe Project as we are aligned in our core values.”
WJA is supporting the designers with various ways, including tradeshow preparation and guidance, navigating press and marketing opportunities, and more. —Ruby Baybei
Retailers interested in scheduling an appointment to see the collections should contact WJA’s Jennifer Markas at [email protected].
Top: Rings by Alexis Pavlantos