The Women’s Jewelry Association started its first international chapter over the weekend.
Members of the Women’s Jewelry Association
celebrate lots of special occasions—think of its Annual Awards for Excellence
dinner and Women in the Know conferences. But there is one new ‘big’ date to
note on the calendar, and it’s so impressive that it has the potential to trump
most others: the day WJA went international.
On Saturday afternoon during the India
International Jewellery Show 2010 in Mumbai, the group’s president, Kendra
Bridel Weinman, addressed a crowd of showgoers, explaining the opportunities
for career development available to women who joined the newly formed WJA
India. WJA objectives in the country include bringing female professionals
already in jewelry and related businesses onto a single platform, establishing
an industry network to share trade-related data and issues, and to help women
grow personally and in the workplace through sharing ideas and creating new
A crowd shows up for the announcement of WJA’s first international
chapter in India.
With Weinman in the booth of the Gemological
Institute of America India (see article about launch here), at the NSE Fairgrounds, stood Nirupa Bhatt, managing
director of GIA in India and the Middle East and WJA India’s first chapter
president. Vasant Mehta, chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion
Council, and James Courage, CEO of Platinum Guild International, were also on
hand to witness the occasion.
“The talent, skill, and potential of women in the Indian jewelry industry have
not been completely tapped,” Mehta told the press. “I welcome WJA India and
commit full support from GJEPC.”
“Women in the Indian jewelry industry have been working in a vacuum,” says
Bhatt. We needed to come together, network with each other, and learn from each
Nirupa Bhatt (left), managing director of GIA in India and the Middle
East and WJA India’s first chapter president; and Kendra Bridel Weinman,
president, WJA, and CEO of Lusciouss International Inc.
Bhatt and others started laying the groundwork for the chapter three years ago.
Now with three events—the minimum number necessary to launch a
chapter—featuring networking and educational opportunities under its belt,
Bhatt and her board members are ready to open membership to the public. WJA
India is off to a good start with 52 members and more poised to join.
The announcement for the newly launched WJA India chapter was made in
the GIA booth during the IIJS show in Mumbai.
“Networking is a relatively new idea here,” adds
Bhatt, who also revealed that she had recently spoken by phone to three more
women in New Delhi and two in Calcutta about joining. A corporate sponsor,
Interjewel, a maker of diamond jewelry, even signed on with support. Next up:
WJA Italy debuts during the September edition of the Vicenzaoro Fair, and
representatives from that chapter, including Cristina Salvi of Fiera di Vicenza
and Elisabetta Molina of Garavelli.
From left: Kaushal Shah, sales, JCK;
Nirupa Bhatt, managing director of GIA in India and the Middle East and WJA
India’s first chapter president; and Kendra Bridel Weinman, president, WJA, and
CEO of Lusciouss International Inc.
Membership fees for WJA India start at 2,500
Rupees. Membership queries may be directed to Suparna Sahita at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, log onto http://www.womensjewelleryindia.camp8.org.