11,052 Votes!

We are thrilled with the response to our first annual JCK Jewelers Choice Awards! As you may know, the awards were launched to celebrate design and create retailer awareness of participants’ pieces. The competition drew 430 entries and 11,052 votes, and, frankly, we were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm!

Finalists were announced online in late December. To view the complete list, visit www.jckonline.com/jewelerschoiceawards.com. The winners of each category will be celebrated in the pages of the March 2008 JCK and at a special display during The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas. Congrats to everyone who participated (with 11,000 votes, there’s no doubt that everyone’s work got exposure) and to all our finalists.

It’s no secret that our industry enters this year with collectively held breath. As I write, we’re a week away from Christmas and the results of the ’07 holiday season are unknown. It’s our goal at JCK to help our readers navigate these challenging waters with information and practical knowledge. You’ll see some subtle changes in the magazine, including more easy-to-find sidebars with action steps retailers can take now to address the challenges of their markets and the concerns of the industry.

On the topic of providing helpful knowledge to our retailer base, I’m also happy to announce JCK‘s role as the official publication of the upcoming Plumb Club Forum @ FIT, on March 2 and 3 in New York City. The Plumb Club conceived this event to tackle the challenges we face as the jewelry industry enters an era of even greater change. The event begins with a keynote from former Hewlett Packard chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina and continues with sessions on topics including diamond pricing, digital marketing, gold hedging, and creative communications.

If you’d like to learn more about the event (and how to become a Plumb Club guest), visit www.plumbclub.com or contact a Plumb Club member.

We have other exciting projects on tap for ’08, including our newest brand extension, JCKstyle Bridal, in March. We’ll also roll out a greatly improved online JCK Las Vegas Show Guide, in concert with JCK Events. This fall, look for our biannual Diamond Reference Guide. And, as a subscriber, you’ll continue to receive the smash-hit JCK Look Book in April, the spring JCKstyle in May, and the fall JCKstyle in October.

We know this year may have some big challenges, but we’re doing everything we can to keep you informed, enlightened, empowered, and entertained.

Happy New Year!