Organizers debuting a permanent-jewelry event in Las Vegas this spring say they hope the expo not only helps boost their business but provides support to the many new and established purveyors that want to add permanent jewelry to their services long-term.
Sunstone Engineering, which offers permanent-jewelry supplies as part of its welding and engraving supply business, is holding the Permanent Jewelry Expo (PJX) from May 30 through June 1 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The event, which costs $795 for early registration, is aimed at permanent-jewelry artists and business owners, says Sunstone’s director of marketing Andy Jensen.
Jensen says PJX will include three main pillars in its inaugural year: training, networking, and a marketplace for equipment and supplies. He sees the most important part of the event as its educational opportunities for expo participants looking to open or run a permanent-jewelry business.
“We’re adding a level of professionalism to this trend,” Jensen says. “We don’t want to be a passive participant in the establishment of permanent-jewelry businesses. We want to help promote it and see it grow.”
Permanent jewelry—also known in jewelry stores as getting zapped or linked—has become huge since it started showing up on reality TV and social media. It’s gotten so popular that brands are holding permanent-jewelry events for special causes as well as at pop-ups or long-term within jewelry stores.
For example, Aurelie Gi, Chic Pistachio’s demi-fine luxury jewelry brand, recently held a “Permanent for Paws” benefit in New York City that featured Aurelie Gi’s For Keeps collection and raised more than $3,000 for the WE ACT dog rescue charity. The event included jewelry influencer Ashley Davis at the Seven store in the West Village.
Jensen says Sunstone first noticed the trend as more people started to order welding equipment to use for making permanent jewelry. Sunstone began doing research and talking to customers; it even has participated in a permanent-jewelry group on Facebook. That’s where an unofficial poll on whether people would want a conference came up, and PJX was born, Jensen says.
“What’s great about this trend is you have young people coming into your store and getting it done. They likely record it for their Instagram, and then all of their friends come in too,” Jensen says. “[Young consumers] are looking for someone who can talk about jewelry and fashion, and who else is better to do that than jewelers?”
PJX will have more than two dozen classes taught by jewelers who do permanent jewelry to help others set up a business, learn new skills, or develop programs that boost permanent jewelry, Jensen says.
The expo will open with a welcome reception for networking, and all attendees are eligible to receive a limited-edition permanent bracelet right there and then, Jensen says. Registration also covers breakfast and lunch on Wednesday and Thursday and access to the classes and PJ Marketplace.
Jensen says Sunstone is working on enlisting a keynote speaker for the event who can motivate jewelers and permanent-jewelry businesses even more going forward. Further details about the speaker will come out soon, he says.
The PJX advisory committee includes Shari Tammietti, Danielle Watt, Cat McDonald, Angelique Frenlund, Kristin Ramey, Amy Dixon, and Paulene Everrett. Sunstone is the chief conference organizer. After April 1, registration will cost $995 per person.
Top: Sunstone Engineering is helping organize the Permanent Jewelry Expo to explore business opportunities in this jewelry trend. Events that permanently weld chains onto wrists, fingers, and ankles have popped up across the country, including this one hosted by Aurelie Gi in New York as a rescue-dog fundraiser. (Photos courtesy of Aurelie Gi)@jckmagazine
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