Future of Design Business Incubator Contest
The Future of Design is an initiative that aims to promote and nurture emerging design talent in the fine jewelry industry and has, in it’s inaugural year helped boost the careers of six American designers including the 2012 winner, Bree Richey.
The 2013 Semi-Finalists are:
• Vahe Ghazarian and Esin Guler of G & G Creations
• Vikas Sodhani and Ila Draksharam of ila & i
• Lisa Crowder
• Lisa Adkinson of Lisa Robin Jewelry
• Naomi Blumenthal of Naomi Blumenthal Studio
• Suneera Swarup of Suneera Jewelry Design
...see the next post for a more detailed look at the Semi Finalists.
The three finalists will make a live presentation to a panel of judges in front of an audience at
the finale on March 12th at the MJSA Expo at the NY Hilton in NYC.
The winner will be chosen then after the presentations by the judging panel that includes Hill
and Edelstein and this year’s guest judges Hedda Schupak, Editor of the Centurion Newsletter
and Ann Arnold of Lieberfarb and Bruce Pucciarello of Novell Studio.
Unlike most competitions for designers, this one puts the business acumen of the designers on
an equal footing with design. Applicants have to supply information about their business plans
as well as submit examples of their design work.
The process is unique
In addition to other prizes, the semi-finalists win a mentoring meeting with one of the Future
of Design's Dream Team, six designers with a high profile in the industry. They are
Gurhan, Erica Courtney, Todd Reed, Penny Preville, Lisa Jenks and Robert Lee Morris.
“The contest has the competitive entrepreneurial feel of TV’s “Shark Tank” coupled with the
industry- nurturing of the fashion world’s CFDA/Vogue Fund,” says Edelstein. “We’ve mixed
together our own recipe by bringing together colleagues from every facet of our business.
Our judges bring expertise in entrepreneurship, manufacturing, marketing, salesmanship and
Our Dream Team offers hard- earned wisdom learned on the road to success. And our
sponsors provide critically-important industry exposure and credibility. Altogether, this puts the
equivalent of a lifetime of knowledge into the hands of a relative newcomer.”
The Future of Design online application started the entrants off with a rather indepth
questionnaire that gives the designers the chance to examine every corner of their business
and learn more about strategy and analysis. For many, the process of filling it out will likely be
educational and enlightening. Completing the form could greatly help them write a business
marketing plan, or a better one if they already have one.
Each judge will provide a key element to the stunning prize package: Andrea Hill and her team
of business analysts will offer counsel on strategic organizational, financial and technology
issues; Bruce Pucciarello will give manufacturing services and/or support while Ann Arnold will
offer financial advice; Cindy Edelstein will showcase the designer in her globalDESIGN show
and a suite of marketing tools and services from JewelersResource.com. All five judges will
also serve as mentors to the winner.
"As I shared our vision for this contest,” commented Cindy Edelstein, “everyone I talked with
was eager to help. The team at MJSA immediately offered space for our event and editorial
support for the contest. Dan Kisch of INDESIGN was an early supporter and generously
offered our winner a three-month ad campaign in INDESIGN. Whitney Seilaff of the Nielsen
Jewelry Group offered online support via NationalJeweler.com and Drew Lawsky offered a gratis booth in the JA Designer Showcase. Ron Saltiel of RSP Media immediately donated his photography and graphic design team to help our winner – the industry’s latest design’preneur -- create an exciting, effective ad campaign.”
The 2013 sponsor list also include: Platinum Guild (which will supply technical and
marketing support), Jewelers of America and the Jewelry Information Center which will give the winner publicity in their national media tours. The winning designer will also receive memberships in several industry organizations including the Contemporary Jewelry Design Group, Jewelers of America and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee which is offering a full Compliance Kit in addition to membership.
The application, rules and regulations for 2014 plus info on all the judges, the Dream Team
and the sponsors are available on www.FutureofDesignContest.com.
ABOUT JEWELERS RESOURCE BUREAU
JRB is a niche marketing firm specializing in the designer sector of the jewelry industry. JRB produces globalDESIGN: showcase of exceptional jewelers; JewelryDesignerFinder.com, an online marketing intelligence resource; and various seminars, trade show pavilions and special events. The company’s mission is to "help designers grow and prosper" using whatever means possible in its arsenal of communication tools.
Led by respected business leader and strategist Andrea Hill, StrategyWerx (formerly Hill Management Consulting) helps small business owners gain competitiveness. No business can afford to waste resources, but insufficient staff, lack of cash and poorly organized projects take a toll every day. StrategyWerx can analyze your business, uncover root problems and develop practical solutions, and then either implement them or transfer the knowledge so the company can do it on its own.