JCK’s 150th: Brilliant Earth Cofounder Beth Gerstein Talks JCK and Major Industry Shifts

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.

The interviews we’ve collected thus far have been fun and fascinating—and because we can’t publish them in their entirety in print, we’re posting them here, on JCKonline.com, every Thursday. 

Today we hear from Beth Gerstein, co-CEO of pacesetting ethical fine jewelry brand Brilliant Earth.

JCK: How long have you been in the jewelry industry, and how has it changed since you joined?

Beth Gerstein: When Eric Grossberg and I cofounded Brilliant Earth in 2005, we were both newcomers to the jewelry industry. We were excited to create an e-commerce-based experience to offer exquisite fine jewelry while promoting ethical sourcing and transparency. The industry has changed dramatically in the past 13 years! There are several trends we’ve seen come to the forefront now versus when we started. Here are just a few:

++ Omnichannel business models with strong online and mobile experiences are key to creating a premium and personalized shopping experience.

++ The importance of social media as a channel for cultivating a strong community and for consumers to learn about and advocate for brands.

++ The changing behaviors of millennial consumers has greatly influenced product selection and messaging, from lab-created diamonds to alternative bridal jewelry to an increased participation by females in the engagement ring purchasing process.

++ The importance of ethical sourcing and sustainability to consumers. It’s clear that today’s consumers are focused now more than ever on understanding where their products come from and how they are produced.

While there have been significant changes, not everything has moved as fast as we would hope. For example, unfortunately, the Kimberley Process’s definition has remained the same, and fair trade, artisanally mined diamonds are still not available to the market. But seeing how much has shifted over the past decade leaves me optimistic that more positive change is on the horizon.

What’s your experience with JCK magazine, and what has JCK magazine meant to you?

I count on JCK to keep me up to date on all the important news in the jewelry industry. I read the JCK email newsletter daily. I often peruse the magazine to get a pulse on product trends or to understand what is happening in different geographies.

We’ve been working with JCK for over a decade at this point. I always appreciate the support of JCK when Brilliant Earth launches a new showroom, collection, or initiative.

Top: Eric Grossberg and Beth Gerstein, cofounders and co-CEOs of Brilliant Earth (photo courtesy of Brilliant Earth)

Catch up on JCK’s 150th interviews:

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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