JCK Tucson: 3 Retailers Share Their Show Plans—And Shopping Lists

The show’s top draws include its relaxed vibe and great networking

Fine jewelry retailers headed to JCK Tucson—running Feb. 1–4 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in the picturesque Arizona metropolis—say they’re scouting for two things the show’s long been famous for: gorgeous gemstones and unique, under-the-radar jewelry collections.

Here, a trio of veteran JCK Tucson attendees share their show shopping lists and dish on their favorite off-hour diversions.

Greg Rozina, executive vice president, Brooks Collection in Oxford, Miss.

JCK: Why do you like attending JCK Tucson?

Greg Rozina: I have a very strict agenda for JCK Las Vegas. JCK Tucson is different. You get a lot more time to spend with wholesalers and manufacturers. I find it a lot more relaxing. You can build your relationships in Tucson. And being from the South, we are relationship-oriented. In Tucson, you can talk more about what your needs are and what you’re looking for. Last year we met several new vendors at the show, including Cynthia Desser [Accessories], that we then carried on a relationship with at JCK Las Vegas and beyond. It’s deepened our relationships.

JCK: What do you have on your shopping list this year?

Rozina: Emeralds are going to be big next year, and jade, and green in general. I’m looking for that as well as diamonds. But I’m also looking for something that I haven’t seen before. Last year I found several things that were new and interesting. The show has a lot of turquoise, which is great; it’s the type of turquoise that’s very expensive. And there’s a lot of that pretty, earthy-style jewelry that’s still fine but feels a little more raw.… We gravitate toward things that are completely unique and different, and Tucson has a lot of that.

JCK: What do you like to do in your off-hours in Tucson?

Rozina: There’s a steak house [Daisy Mae’s Steak House] that’s family-style and really cool—it has these nice fire pits outside and it’s very quaint and local. The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, where the show is, is really nice, too. We watched the Super Bowl at one of the hotel bars there last year.

Natasha Lazorova, director of operations, ZFolio Gallery in Solvang, Calif.

JCK: Why do you like attending JCK Tucson?

Natasha Lazorova: My parents actually collected gemstones, so I’ve been going on and off since I was around 12. It’s one of the more marvelous experiences you can have! It’s so different from Las Vegas; there’s more of a focus on gemstones, though the finished jewelry is also really beautiful. So you go in with a different mind-set. In Las Vegas you do appointment after appointment, you’re seeing everyone and talking all the time. Tucson is, for us, where you think about jewelry you start from scratch—it’s a little more about the art.

JCK: What do you like to do in your off-hours in Tucson?

Lazorova: It’s not a matter of a single place, it’s a matter of who I’m going to be with that night. That’s really the most wonderful thing—catching up with people [including] these great major gemstone dealers. We’ll be out eating and one will jump over the counter and ask me about my mom and dad. It’s that kind of vibe.

Barbara Kaylor, co-owner, R. Grey Gallery in Boise, Idaho

JCK: Why do you like attending JCK Tucson?

Barbara Kaylor: It’s always a great networking event. It’s a little calmer than Las Vegas and not quite as big. It’s nice to just be able to touch base with the people we do business with in that environment. And it’s warmer than Boise!

JCK: What are you hunting for this year at the show?

Kaylor: There are all those beautiful stones to look at. [My husband,] Robert Grey [Kaylor, R. Grey Gallery’s co-owner,] designs jewelry, so we go and look for loose stones for his creations every year. It takes a lot of time to go and look and see what’s new and interesting and well-cut. It’s grown into a bigger show for finished jewelry over the years, too, and several of the artists we carry will be exhibiting as well.

JCK: What do you like to do in your off-hours in Tucson?

Kaylor: My husband loves Mexican food, but he loves it so much that he literally wants to eat it all every single meal in Tucson. There’s a little pink restaurant that’s been there forever [El Minuto Cafe], across from the convention center. It is really good food and we go for lunch there almost every day.

(Photo at top of the pool at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa courtesy of Marriott. Photo of a necklace by JCK Tucson vendor Cynthia Desser courtesy of Cynthia Desser Accessories.) 

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JCK Senior Editor

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