Hot topics for jewelry makers and designers fill the schedule
ATTLEBORO FALLS, MASSACHUSETTS--MJSA, the U.S. trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, will present three days of seminars at its annual MJSA Expo New York trade show from March 11-13 at the Hilton New York.
New this year, Expo boasts the Future of Design Live Finale on Tuesday, March 13, at which three jewelry designers will compete to win a prize package of business services and promotional opportunities worth $250,000. The contest is presented by the Jeweler's Resource Bureau and StrategyWerx.
Expo kicks off on Sunday morning with a seminar that addresses the importance of compelling stories and messages that drive sales in "Selling Your Message--No Matter the Metal" with representatives from top brands including Alex Woo, Chamilia, Gurhan, and Robin Haley Jewelry.
Sunday afternoon features a seminar on "Subcontracting Jewelry Work" with a custom jeweler, a designer, a CAD-CAM contractor, and a caster. After that, jewelry makers and designers can learn from "Finding Inspiration," at which Alishan Halebian, the well-known designer and goldsmith, will demonstrate in a highly entertaining way how he invokes his muse.
Monday will begin with MJSA honoring the recipients of its eighth annual MJSA Thinking Ahead Awards, for products making a difference in the way jewelry is made and sold; and the 2012 MJSA Vision Awards, for excellence in jewelry design.
The day's seminars start with a look at "What's Ahead for the Jewelry Industry," featuring the research of Ken Gassman of the Jewelry Industry Research Institute, and the insights of Andrea Hill of StrategyWerx, who will analyze the information.
In the afternoon, "Critique My Website" will feature industry web experts Michael Schechter of Honora Pearls, Jennifer Gandia and Kathy Maurella of New York City's Greenwich Jewelers, and moderator Eugene Brill of Rio Grande. The panelists will highlight several websites that offer a user friendly web experience. Attendees may also submit their own websites for a possible critique.
The day ends with "Green Shop Practices," featuring Christine Dhein of the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts and editor of Green Jewelry News, who will demonstrate how jewelry makers and designers can run more socially responsible and environmentally friendly operations.
Both Sunday and Monday will also feature MJSA's popular At the Bench Live hands-on demonstrations. On Sunday during "The Finishing Touch," Joel McFadden of JMD Jewelry, will show the various techniques to ensure all areas of a piece are finished and polished to perfection. On Monday during "Secret Shop Weapons," Ann Cahoon of Flying Marquis Studio will demonstrate some of the tools that noted jewelers and designers just can't live without. The new MJSA Press book, Secret Shop Weapons, will be available at a discounted price for attendees.
On the last morning of the show, Expo will devote itself to the Future of Design Live Finale. Come see the three finalists give 10-minute presentations before a live Expo audience and the Future of Design judges, who include Andrea Hill of StrategyWerx, Cindy Edelstein of JRB, Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts, Jim DeMattei of Viewpoint Showrooms, and manufacturerMendel Rotenberg. The winner will be awarded his or her title and prizes at the end of the event, after which JRB and StrategyWerx will hold a press conference to introduce design's "next big thing" to the world.
FULL MJSA EXPO NEW YORK SEMINAR SCHEDULE
Sunday, March 11
Selling Your Message--No Matter the Metal 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Given the current metals prices, many jewelry makers and designers are using lower-cost materials in imaginative ways--and finding new ways of selling the value of their work. Listen to practical examples of how noted designers have raised the profiles of their brands, and how you can do the same by delivering compelling stories and messages that turn heads and drive sales. Moderator:Andrea Hill, StrategyWerx. Panelists: Robin Haley, Robin Haley Jewelry; Gloria Maccaroni, Gurhan; Alex Woo, Alex Woo Inc.; Killian Rieder, Chamilia.
MJSA's At the Bench Live: The Finishing Touch 1 to 2 p.m. A piece of jewelry can rise and fall on the quality of its finish. In this session, attendees will see first-hand the various techniques that can efficiently ensure all areas of a piece are finished and polished to perfection. Presenter: Joel McFadden, JMD Jewelry. Bench and Tool Sponsor: Stuller Inc.
Subcontracting Jewelry Work 2:30 to 4 p.m. More and more jewelry makers and designers are subcontracting parts of the jewelry making process to save time, gain efficiencies, and capitalize on others' expertise. This seminar will offer advice on how to subcontract effectively, from soliciting recommendations, comparing subcontractors, and agreeing on payment terms to crafting clear communications and managing expectations. Moderator: Tina Snyder, MJSA. Panelists: Kitty Hundley, Sierra Design Studio; Nancy Schuring, Devon Fine Jewelry; Rosemarie Billanti, Billanti Casting Co. Inc.; Jane Bohan, Jane Bohan Inc.
Finding Inspiration 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. "Will the idea for my next design ever arrive?" It's a question that jewelry makers and designers have all asked at some point, as they struggle to produce new, creative work. Learn how Alishan Halebian, a designer and goldsmith well-known for his exotic designs and imaginative use of metals and gems, invokes his muse--and how you can use his techniques to stoke your own creativity.Presenter: Alishan Halebian, Alishan.
Monday, March 12
MJSA Awards Presentation 10:30 a.m. Honoring the recipients of the eighth annual MJSA Thinking Ahead Awards and the 2012 MJSA Vision Awards.
By the Numbers: What's Ahead for the Jewelry Industry 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Who will be buying jewelry in the next ten years? What type of jewelry will they want, and to which messages will they best respond? Where will U.S.-based jewelry makers/designers fit in? These are the types of questions addressed in a new report by Ken Gassman of the Jewelry Industry Research Institute. This session will explore the answers, as well as offer practical strategies for capitalizing on current trends and positioning your company for success. Presenter: Andrea Hill, StrategyWerx. Sponsored by Materion Corp.
MJSA's At the Bench Live: Secret Shop Weapons 1 to 2 p.m. Every bench jeweler has a favorite tool--the one that makes their job easier and expands their capabilities. Learn about some of the tools that noted jewelers and designers just can't live without, as well as how to effectively apply them. Based on the new MJSA Press book, Secret Shop Weapons, which will be available at a discounted price for attendees. Presenter: Ann Cahoon, Flying Marquis Studio. Bench and Tool Sponsor: Stuller Inc.
Critique My Website! 2:30 to 4 p.m. Jewelry makers and designers labor to create the best websites possible for their products. Yet few have the resources to bring in experts who can critique them, suggest user-friendly changes, and offer search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. This session will analyze several well-trafficked websites that have "the right stuff." Prior to the show, prospective attendees may submit their own websites for critique; the panel will pull submissions at random to critique during the session. See if your site has what it takes to be among the best. Moderator: Eugene Brill, Rio Grande. Panelists:Michael Schechter, Honora Pearls; Jennifer Gandia, Greenwich Jewelers; Kathy Maurella, Greenwich Jewelers website consultant.
Green Shop Practices 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. The "green" movement is growing! More and more jewelry makers and designers are using recycled and ethically sourced jewelry materials, as well as following eco-friendly practices in their shops--and their customers are taking notice. This session will talk about the simple and practical steps that others have taken to become more responsible and environmentally friendly--and how you can follow their path. Presenter: Christine Dhein, Revere Academy of Jewelry; editor, Green Jewelry News.
Tuesday, March 13
The Future of Design Finale
10 to 11:30 a.m.
What would happen if "American Idol" came to the jewelry industry? If it were lucky, it would resemble the Future of Design, a "business incubator" competition developed by the Jeweler's Resource Bureau (JRB) and StrategyWerx. Unlike other jewelry contests, Future of Design is designed to evaluate business development skills, not just design acumen--and the finale takes place at MJSA Expo New York, during which three finalists will compete for the ultimate prize.
The prize package includes a year's worth of services in business planning, jewelry manufacturing, marketing, publicity, sales, retail promotion, and training, as well as advertising in InDesignmagazine. The winner will also receive a booth in the Designer Showcase at the JA NY Show; a booth in globalDESIGN, a showcase for jewelry designers held in Philadelphia concurrent with the Buyer's Market of American Craft; and inclusion in three celebrity award suites with Michael O'Connor, celebrity stylist and president of Style & Substance.
MJSA is the U.S. trade association for jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. It provides the resources to achieve professional excellence and maintain a competitive edge. For more information, call MJSA at 1-800-444-6572 or visit www.mjsa.org.