As always, this past September and October involved major travel. First up was the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. Despite the grueling 16-hour flights required to get there and back, it’s always worth it to attend the show. You get a sense that the whole world attends, and there’s something special about running into friends from Europe, the United States, Brazil, India, and the Middle East in such a far-flung location.
I was honored to moderate a dynamic panel during the show, “Success in Jewelry E-Commerce.” Supplied with great content by our own senior editor Rob Bates, I was able to bring a unique U.S. retailer perspective to the discussion about online jewelry sales. Many thanks to UBM’s Jérome Hainz for the invitation to moderate. It also was a pleasure to work again with our international team of reps, Kaushal Shah from Mumbai, Quentin Chan from Hong Kong, and Mirek Kraczkowski from Warsaw.
Up next was my annual sojourn to see our friends at Stuller in Lafayette, La., to attend one of their Bridge conferences. This year was extra-special, as I was joined by regional sales manager Randi Gewertz and editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky. As Vic mentioned in her editor’s letter, Stuller invites retailers from around the country to come to Lafayette, enjoy some Cajun hospitality, and learn about future trends in retailing.
Clockwise from top right: Stuller’s Ashley Brown (in pink top), Victoria Gomelsky, Randi Gewertz, me, Stuller interiors director David Hollingshead (in orange T-shirt), and Ashley’s friend Stacy, reporting for swamp duty
We arrived a day early for an afternoon and evening in New Orleans, followed the next morning by the highlight of the trip: a two-hour swamp tour. I was amazed by the beauty of the Atchafalaya Basin, with its swamps, bayous, rivers, birds, and wildlife (yes, we saw an alligator!). To take it all in while cruising over the top of the water in an airboat was a delight. Many thanks to Stuller’s Ken Dugas and Ashley Brown for graciously hosting us at Bridge.
I finished the month with a trip to Miami to attend the JIS show and the Centurion South Beach show. Amazingly, it was my first time at JIS, so it was great to see the size and energy there. Howard Hauben kindly invited me to walk the floor at Centurion despite my arriving unannounced (thanks, Howard), and his show was beautiful. I must say, being able to run each morning along the Miami Beach boardwalk and to follow that with a cool dip in the Atlantic are perks that will bring me back to JIS again!
My travel season is almost at its end (next up, my annual week in Southern California), so I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and associates in New York City as we enter the holiday season!