JCK magazine is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year! To commemorate that milestone, we’re talking to 150 veteran jewelry professionals in 2019 for a feature series meant to distill the voices of some of the industry’s most enduring and successful professionals.
We can’t print every interview in its entirety in the magazine—so we’ve been posting full interviews here on JCKonline.com every Thursday.
This week we hear from Andrea Hill, president and chief executive officer of Hill Management Group.
JCK: How long have you been in the jewelry industry, and how has it changed since you joined?
Andrea Hill: I joined the jewelry industry in 1996, when I started working at Rio Grande Jeweler’s Supply. I was fascinated by how family-centric the jewelry business still was at that point. Prior to this industry, I had been in apparel, electronics, direct marketing, publishing…none of those industries were dominated by small, family-owned businesses.
I think the jewelry industry has changed in many of the ways that all industries have changed in the last 23 years. Technology has changed the way consumers behave, what consumers expect, how businesses operate, how we control quality and service, and—perhaps most profoundly—how we market. I know that I’m a very different executive than I was 23 years ago, and I imagine that everyone else running a business or responsible for a business operation feels the same way.
What’s your experience with JCK magazine?
JCK was the first vendor that called on me when I joined Rio Grande! I remember my JCK rep, Mitch Horowitz, walking in my office and saying “Welcome to the industry!” Honestly, I had never been welcomed to an industry before, and it was such a fantastic way to encounter my first industry vendor.
Mitch spent more than two hours with me that day, talking to me about the industry, how the industry worked, who my resources could be. I have always been grateful to him for that time. And after that, JCK became my go-to for industry information. I’ve always appreciated the high quality of the writing in JCK and the wide range of topics you explore and analyze for the industry.
What has JCK magazine meant to you?
JCK was my first industry resource, and I learned quickly to depend on it for industry knowledge. Now, 23 years since I first met JCK, I start every business day by pulling up JCKonline.com and looking for what’s new. It’s as important to the start of my business day as checking in with the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune. I rely on JCK‘s strong editorial staff to analyze and address issues and help me stay informed. As decision makers, we are only as strong as our best information, and JCK continues to be an important information resource for me.
Of course, a magazine is only as strong as its editorial vision and talent, and JCK has also meant a lot to me in terms of the quality of its people. Many of my most trusted personal industry resources have been or still are involved with the magazine. I count them as friends and trusted resources, depend on them to help me with panels, and go listen to them when they speak at conferences.
And I have found the JCK team to always be incredibly generous with their time and resources. Just as I worry about the quality of overall journalism suffering if news outlets don’t have the budgets to pay journalists, I often worry about making sure that we, as an industry, support our important industry resources. Every industry needs people whose entire focus is to objectively analyze, explore, question, and present the industry’s issues. JCK has consistently done an excellent job of employing those writers. We would be a weaker industry without the thoughtful editorial content developed by the JCK team.
I remember collecting stacks of back issues from the offices and bookshelves of my new colleagues and combing through them to develop a perception of the industry I’d joined. I remember thinking how cool it was that we had an industry resource that was glossy, beautifully photographed, and looked in so many ways like a consumer magazine. At the time, most industry magazines were much more industrial looking—and feeling! Paper quality matters in publishing!
I remember thinking that JCK understood that our industry was selling luxury and fashion, and as such, it was representing the values that needed to be shared via marketing and branding. It wasn’t just “saying” what to do—it was demonstrating. So, JCK always has represented quality to me. Over the years, as JCK has published more and more content online, I have come to lean hard on JCK as more than a monthly experience.
Top: Andrea Hill (photo courtesy of Hill Management)
Catch up on all of JCK‘s 150th interviews:
Benny Hematian, president of Effy Jewelry
Andrea Hansen, founder of Luxe Intelligence
Stephanie Gottlieb, jewelry designer
Barbara Palumbo, watch and jewelry industry writer
Roger Dery, gem cutter and cofounder of Gem Legacy
Joanne Teichman, managing director of Ylang 23
Todd Reed, founder and designer of Todd Reed
Jonathan Goldman, CEO of Frederick Goldman
Brian Gavin, diamond cutter and diamond jewelry retailer
Cecilia Gardner, former president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and general counsel and director of the United States Kimberley Process Authority
Sarin Bachmann, event vice president of the JCK, Luxury, and Swiss Watch shows for Reed Jewelry Group
Dave Bonaparte, president and CEO of Jewelers of America
Ettagale Blauer, former JCK New York editor
Lee Siegelson, rare and collectible jewelry dealer and expert
Tamara and Amir Goldfiner, cofounders of Rahaminov Diamonds
Dallas Prince, founder of Dallas Prince Designs
Esther Fortunoff, president of Fortunoff Fine Jewelry
Terry Burman, former Signet chairman
Brandee Dallow, president and founder of Fine Girl Luxury Brand Building & Communications
Tom Chatham, CEO of Chatham Created Gems & Diamonds
Tom Heyman, partner, Oscar Heyman & Brothers
Duvall O’Steen, jewelry publicist, Luxury Brand Group
Pat Henneberry, founder and president of the Jewelry Coach
Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing
Hank B. Siegel, president of Hamilton Jewelers
Erica Courtney, jewelry designer
Robert Weldon, director of GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center
Stuart Robertson, vice president of Gemworld
Bill Furman, longtime JCK magazine ad sales manager
Kathryn Kimmel, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of GIA
Katie Kinsella Murphy, owner of Kinney + Kinsella
Frank Dallahan, publisher, The Retailer Jeweler
Jen Cullen Williams, managing director of Luxury Brand Group
Sally Morrison, chief marketing officer of Lightbox
Susan M. Jacques, president and CEO of GIA
Marie Helene Morrow, president of Reinhold Jewelers
Jenny Luker, U.S. president of Platinum Guild International
Beth Gerstein, co-CEO of Brilliant Earth
Russell Shor, GIA senior industry analyst
Walter McTeigue, cofounder of McTeigue & McClelland
Caryl Capeci, president of Hearts On Fire
Eddie LeVian, CEO of Le Vian
Peggy Jo Donahue, freelance writer and former JCK editor-in-chief
Rebecca Moskal, jewelry marketing veteran
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