Designers / Diamonds / Fashion / Gold / Industry / Retail / Shows

A Tale of Two Retailers at JCK Las Vegas


In two weeks, members of the jewelry industry will once again partake in what may be their most important annual ritual: attending the JCK Las Vegas and Luxury shows.

We spoke to two retail executives, Caryl Capeci (above, left) and Chau Lui (above, right), about the trends, styles, and stones that top their buying agendas for Las Vegas Jewelry Week 2024. Lui, co-owner of Paris Jewellers in Edmonton, Alberta, first went to JCK more than 15 years ago.

Capeci, senior vice president of fine jewelry and watches at Miami-based Starboard Cruise Services—a retail provider for a host of different cruise lines—says she was still learning the ins and outs of selling jewelry and watches at sea when she attended last year’s JCK show in Las Vegas,

“This business takes all of the complexity of retail in jewelry and watches and puts it on steroids,” Capeci, who joined Starboard in early 2023, tells JCK. “We have 100 cruise ships, and they’re all different sizes, have different guests, and they go to different destinations. We have the Ritz, which is very high-end with 200 guests, and we might have a megaship with Carnival or Royal Caribbean with 5,000 to 6,000 guests.”

Shy Creation bangle
Bracelet in 14k yellow gold with 2.85 cts. t.w. diamonds, $14,990; Shy Creation

Because of the breadth and depth of retail opportunities aboard ships that Starboard services, its jewelry and watch inventory runs the gamut. “We do everything from the Cartier, Omega, and Breitling boutiques to fashion jewelry with the likes of Pandora and Kendra Scott—and everything in between,” says Capeci, the former CEO of Hearts on Fire.

Starboard John Hardy
A John Hardy boutique at sea (photo courtesy of Starboard Cruise Services)

“We do a lot of generic white diamonds and color, and we do a lot of trade brands. We do Messika, Shy Creation, an enormous John Hardy business. We really do sell everything.”

Capeci’s buying priorities for JCK 2024 include designs “that have an origin, inspiration, or sourcing that directly connects back to a destination or area of the world that we travel to,” she says, noting that while the cruise industry literally circles the globe, the most popular cruises are those to the Caribbean, Alaska, and the Mediterranean.

Shy Creation signet ring
Signet ring in 14k gold with diamonds, $995; Shy Creation

Jewelry with a personalization element is another major item on Capeci’s list. “The brands that inherently offer some aspect of customization create a wonderful story to tell at the counter,” she says.

Pieces with bespoke details sell especially well at sea for a specific reason, Capeci says. “When people take a vacation for seven days, they literally change their mindsets. They want to mark the memory with something they buy on vacation.

“We find that consumers actually spend more at sea than they would at home going into their local jeweler because their frame-of-mind changes,” she adds. “They think, ‘We only live once. This is an amazing time with our family.’”

Finally, Capeci is rounding out her shopping list with a category she says was a white space aboard ship before she joined Starboard.

“Cruises do an enormous business in fine jewelry—diamonds and 18k gold and all the big luxury brands—and we also do enormous business in fashion jewelry, at retail prices from $30 to $100,” she says.

Bellarri morganite ring
Legacy ring in 18k gold with 42.28 ct. morganite, diamonds, and sapphires, $44,100; Bellarri

“What we were missing were those fun, fashion-driven brands that maybe aren’t 18k gold but have an aesthetic and significance to them that makes them fun and adds to your personal style. If you’re out and want to put on stackable bracelets or gold chains that may not be superexpensive, and spend $300 to $500, these are easy impulse purchases.”

In addition to stocking up on jewelry, Capeci’s biggest mission at JCK Las Vegas and Luxury is to spread the word about the strength of the cruise retail business.

“Everyone who loves cruising is back, all cruise lines are really investing in their ships, and brands can really benefit from that,” Capeci says. “When there is softness on land in some of their regions, they really are seeing travel retail and cruise retail is complementary to their businesses—and sales are booming.”

For Paris Jewellers, which operates 22 stores in four provinces across Canada, the JCK show is not only about the buying but also important for staff bonding, Lui says. “We bring our team with us every year,” she tells JCK. “We’re spread out across Canada, so we always look forward to being together in Vegas. It’s a great opportunity to align on goals for the remainder of the year.”

Smiling Rocks tennis bracelet
Frame bracelet in 24k yellow gold with 4.7 cts. t.w. pear-shape lab-grown diamonds, $7,089; Smiling Rocks

This year, Lui has her sights set on color. “Gemstones have seen exceptional growth in our business, so we are interested in seeing new unique gemstone styles,” she says. “The gemstone that is most popular for us right now is morganite.”

Tennis bracelets and necklaces also top Paris’ list, right in step with #tenniscore. “This is very on-trend yet a classic piece to add to a collection that can be worn for years to come,” Lui says.

In addition to working the show floor at JCK, Lui is looking forward to trying a new restaurant in Vegas. “We just heard that we are going to a vendor dinner at Beauty & Essex and are so excited to try it out!”

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By: Victoria Gomelsky

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