Retailers and exhibitors were in a Sunshine State of mind at the October JIS show in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
For its annual October show—which is always held in Miami—JIS successfully made lemonade out of a heap of lemons.
Mere weeks before the Oct. 8–11 show, organizers heard from the just-renovated Miami Beach Convention Center that because of damage from Hurricane Irma, it would be unavailable to host the event.
The JIS show ultimately decamped 30 miles north to Fort Lauderdale, then invested $250,000 in programs designed to ease attendees’ travel concerns.
For many retailers, the perks (including subsidies for local travel) made the move a snap. “It was easy to get to the venue and was overall a very good package for a show,” reported Stuart Dunkin, owner of Fort Myers, Fla.–based Dunkin’s Diamonds.
Vendors said foot traffic was brisk, though a handful of brands that typically meet at JIS with clients from the Caribbean—an area still in recovery after hurricanes Irma and Maria—reported lagging sales.
Others reported business on par with that of recent years. “We’re doing more than we expected,” said Filippo Giannini, commercial manager for Italian jewelry brand K di Kuore, an exhibitor. “We’re really happy.”
Trends that emerged included floral-motif jewelry (Le Perle di Caltagirone’s hand-painted floral bead pieces and Belle Étoile’s enamel designs were especially striking); glittering pavé diamond pieces, as shown by vendors including Shy Creation and Tasha R; and labradorite, which popped up in chic creations from Cristina Sabatini and Bounkit, among others.
“There are so many pretty things,” enthused Meg Carroll, owner of Meg C Gallery in Lexington, Ky. “You have to walk slowly to see it all.”
JIS January runs Jan. 20–22 in Miami. To learn more, visit jisshow.com.
Top: green corundum, lapis, and blue quartz ring in 14k gold–plated brass, $220, Bounkit, 212-244-1877, bounkit.com; inset: Sea Turtle aqua pendant with Italian enamel and pavé-set CZ in sterling silver, $225, Belle Étoile, 415-626-9223, belleetoilejewelry.com