All About Eve

The year 1998 was an eventful one for jewelry designer Cynthia Ryan. In January she launched her business from her Manhattan home. She also joined the Accessories Circuit (five annual trade markets for upscale accessory designers), and by the end of January, she had six orders from jewelers around the country. Her second market, in May, landed 12 more orders. She hired the Main Floor showroom in Manhattan to represent her lines and promoted her collections through direct mail. Her "Finial" collection appeared in Accessories magazine in June 1998. She met with representatives of Saks Fifth Avenue several times that summer, and they admired her work. "They really liked a few pieces [but] wanted me to fill out the collections before they bought anything," Ryan recalls. "Their customers wanted matching sets of rings, bracelets, collar necklaces, and earrings." Meanwhile, Ryan readied other

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