NYC Jewelry Week’s “Checking In” Series Is What We All Need Now

Last week, the founders of NYC Jewelry Week announced an Instagram series called “Checking In” that invites jewelry pros and enthusiasts to join them for casual check-ins throughout the month of April.

But this isn’t like when I call my mom to check in and vice versa. Rather, it appears to be a sophisticated social media campaign–meets–drum circle where compassion—and an exchange of ideas and support during the pandemic weirdness—is the goal.

“We’ve really shifted our social focus to being focused on supporting the industry, opening up to share stories from around the world, not just New York City, and staying relevant on a daily basis,” says cofounder JB Jones.

She and cofounder Bella Neyman are aiming for the check-ins to occur three times a week for 30 or so minutes via Instagram Live. Each is scheduled for 5 p.m. EDT.

There are some special takeover editions in the lineup including Kristin Mitsu Shiga of the Society of North American Goldsmiths on Monday and Jennifer Gandia, co-owner of Greenwich St. Jewelers, on Wednesday.

The “Checking In” series also involves a collaboration with artist Lisa Bayer (aka @sketchnyc), who will be releasing a new illustration weekly. This week’s image is pictured above; a recent example of her work is shown below.

Says Jones, “We really had to stop and think about what our message would be during this time, and our first thought was to remind people of the joy that jewelry can bring into their lives and to boost morale. But we also realized that maybe we can, and should, help get messages of safety protocol and self-care out too. So we thought working with Lisa would be a great way to do that.”

As for Bayer, the New York–based artist has a background in sales and product development in the jewelry industry and has collaborated with with NYCJW in the past, as well as Stella Flame, Milestones by Ashleigh Bergman, EF Collection, Metal & Smith, Leslie Paige, Erica Courtney, and other names and entities known and revered in the industry.

“Our first post on the [“Checking In”] series received an overwhelming response, so we are excited to continue to share that happiness throughout this month of April, which will be very rough for a lot of people all over the country,” Bayer says.

“In this particular crisis, the coronavirus pandemic, people are desperate to connect to the outside world, to their fellow designers, retailers, stonecutters, manufacturers, and media,” the artist continues. “What is the story they want to tell right now? Art seems to be one of the few things that can be used to celebrate each other, and I am providing the TLC and, in turn, am getting back the love by the reposting and tagging that’s ensued. It’s an awesome community.”

Top: Stay Inside by Lisa Bayer (aka @sketchnyc) is the first image in a monthlong series the artist is participating in alongside NYC JW founders JB Jones and Bella Neyman. “I think being in New York, we, unfortunately, are in the center of the storm right now and if we can help prevent that elsewhere in some small way, we should try,” says Jones. New illustrations will post every Tuesday in the month of April.


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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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