The Best of JCK Las Vegas 2018: Retailer Edition

The 27th edition of JCK Las Vegas is in the books. But the recaps are just getting started. In addition to All That Glitters columnist Amy Elliott’s piece last week on how Florida’s J.R. Dunn Jewelers shopped the show, I asked six retailers who attended JCK and LUXURY shows to name the best things they saw or experienced in Las Vegas. Without further ado:

Lisa Bridge, president of Ben Bridge Jeweler

Lisa Bridge president of Ben Bridge Jeweler

“I was impressed with the newness that I saw at JCK. There were lots of exciting and bold moves across the industry. I felt a good energy amongst those attending, and there was a notable optimism from most suppliers as well. After a number of challenging years, it was refreshing to feel a sea change.”

Cristen Cipa, director of marketing at Bernie Robbins Jewelers with locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Cristen Cipa of Bernie Robbins Jewelers

“The best thing I experienced at the show was our company reconnecting with vendors and designers (Simon G., amongst others) who we haven’t done business with in years. Many reinvented themselves with spectacular new designs. Standout items included diamond Swoop earrings at Hearts On Fire and Divine, which were elegant and sexy, along with an extravagant rose gold cuff bracelet at Sofragem.”

Jennifer Gandia of Greenwich St. Jewelers in New York City

Jennifer Gandia of Greenwich St Jewelers

“I really loved the new bracelets from Roberto Demeglio, which take his signature design of slip-on stretchy bangles and flexible cuffs, this season designed in slimmer silhouettes and all gold and diamonds. They’re so fashionable, and with many different widths they run the gamut from slim and stackable to bold statements.

“During the last holiday season, we saw a return to classic silhouettes, like diamond riviera necklaces, which frankly took us by surprise, so this year we were looking for updated, reimagined takes on jewelry wardrobe staples, and we found them at Rahaminov. They created a stunning diamond collection that puts a fresh spin on diamond necklaces, line bracelets, hoops, etc. using round and fancy shape diamonds separated by thin bars: a seemingly simple concept but executed in a way that is elevated and chic.

“From a marketing perspective, we were very impressed by Sylvie Collection’s new Concierge B2B program for its retail partners as well as their new marketing program. It’s clear they are investing heavily in digital marketing, social media, great photography, and video to build the brand and support their retailers.”

 Elizabeth Gibson of Eliza Page in Austin, Texas

Elizabeth Gibson of Eliza Page

“I especially enjoyed the educational and industry-focused talks featuring seasoned executives talking about transparency and consumer demand for connection with brands and a designer focus. They confirmed our original brand commitment to independent, handmade designer jewelry. Our customers have always resonated with this, and it is a founding principle of our store.”

Megan Flynn of M. Flynn in Boston

Moria and Megan Flynn of M. Flynn Jewelry

Sisters Moria and Megan Flynn of Boston’s M. Flynn Jewelry

“We had such a great time. We spent a lot of time sourcing stones for our custom projects. We needed to find a ton of stones in the right shape, color, and price. It’s always so helpful to have so many options. We needed to look into supplies for cleaning and display, and we are still weighing it all. We also need a new POS, so we met with the Edge and are weighing our options on different systems. It was a perfect opportunity to see everything at once and really understand what’s out there. Technology changes so fast that it’s nice to devote time to watch a demo and to ask questions. Alexis Bittar is an affordable price point in our store, so we loaded up on their jewelry for the holiday season. We bought a lot from their Brutalist collection, including the teardrop earrings. The line is a good self-purchase and friend gift.”

Alexis Bittar Brutalist pearl bangle

Pearl-studded cuff from the Brutalist collection, $225; Alexis Bittar

Suzanne Pritsker Salomon of Providence Diamond in Cranston, R.I.

“I am loving the color comeback! I am excited about seeing the growth of My Story modern-day birthstone jewelry. After following My Story on Instagram for months and months, I approached Jackie at LUXURY in 2017 and I said, ‘Get ready—you are going to be huge!’ Since then, we have created a wonderful friendship, and I’m happy to watch her success. The working-mom juggle is such a challenge, and I have so much respect for her and her accomplishments.

Suzanne Pritsker Salomon of Providence Diamond and Jackie Cohen of My Story Fine Jewelry

Suzanne Pritsker Salomon and My Story Fine Jewelry’s Jackie Cohen (photo courtesy of Suzanne Pritsker Salomon)

“I adore the Sylvie Collection, a beautiful, feminine bridal collection. Designed by a woman for a woman. We had a delicious dinner with the husband-and-wife founders Sylvie and Ian. We talked family, life, and the art of procrastination (which she gave me some great advice on, and I am trying to follow).

Sylvie Collection stackable 18k rose gold ring

Stackable diamond ring in 14k rose gold with 0.14 ct. t.w. diamonds, $935; Sylvie Collection

“So happy to sit and talk life—and jewelry (of course)—with brothers Martin and Mehran from the family business American Jewelry Designs. They always tell me that my dad, Peter Pritsker, founder of our store, gave them both great advice and how much they admire him. We have had a partnership with them for over 20 years, and every time I see them it’s like visiting with family.”

Top: Stone Cluster Skull dangle clip earrings from the Brutalist collection, $325; Alexis Bittar

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JCK Magazine Editor