JCK’s 150th: The Jewelry Coach’s Pat Henneberry Looks Back at Her Time at JCK

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 Pat Henneberry, founder and president of the Jewelry Coach.

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

Pat Henneberry: I’ve been in the jewelry industry for 33 years. Let me start by saying what hasn’t changed. Our industry is slow to change, slow to move into new things…this hasn’t changed. Our industry, like many, is hit with tons of disruption and it always survives.

Whether it’s Walmart buying Keepsake (everyone thought it was the end of diamonds), the big box stores putting the mom-and-pops out of business (still a lot of independents around), Costco selling diamonds, TV shopping networks taking over the industry, or laboratory diamonds taking on real diamonds, these are all things that have threatened to corrupt our industry— yet we continue to move forward and survive the next disruption.

So many things have changed, yet we are still the same in many ways. What I love is many of the same people are in the industry. We are lucky that way. We aren’t a huge industry; we are small, strong, and we continue to survive and fight through the disruptions.

What’s your experience with JCK magazine?

I love JCK magazine. Full disclosure: I worked for JCK magazine and the JCK show for seven years (when JCK magazine owned both). I sold magazine space, which is one of the toughest jobs in the industry.

I actually held two of what I would say are the toughest jobs in the jewelry industry. One, I sold class rings to retailers! Yep, there was no margin on class rings (okay, maybe $15). It was also very competitive and they took forever to sell! You were selling four years of high school on a ring…do you want a mascot, your band instrument, your school colors as a center stone, 10k gold or saladium…seriously what’s saladium, and does it still exist?

One of my favorite bosses came from Artcarved—Jan English. Yep, I was lucky enough to work for Jan (many of you know her). Back to JCK magazine…JCK was it: We owned the show, sold multiple magazines, and honestly we were working our butts off, taking names, and having a blast! We were a team. The editors, publishers, sales, and staff all came together to put on a show and a magazine. It was crazy, hard work and a great time.

What has JCK magazine meant to you?

JCK magazine has meant many things to me. I have industry friendships from JCK that have lasted for many years. So it means solid relationships and friendships. It is still one of the main sources for industry news. I follow Rob Bates everywhere! Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere he is posting. Rob has a knowledge of the diamond industry that I learn from everyday. JCK means friends and a place to get industry knowledge.

What was your first impression of JCK magazine, and how has it changed over the years?

My first impression was actually the people who worked at JCK. I remember meeting Peggy Jo Donahue for the first time. She was editor of JCK. At first I was very intimated by her and after meeting her she was very approachable, kind, and a powerhouse. I would watch a flow of people follow her around the show. Peggy Jo was my first impression. I consider her a close industry friend and remind her of that moment often.

Top: Pat Henneberry (courtesy of Pat Henneberry)

Catch up on all of JCK’s 150th interviews:

Marty Hurwitz, chief executive officer 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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