Greetings from 30,000 feet over the Midwest. I’m writing on my return flight from Dallas, where I spent a whirlwind 24 hours, having just returned from a week in Hong Kong, with a Los Angeles–Carlsbad–Miami marathon next week. Did I mention I travel a lot in September and October?
The September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair was its usual giant self, with two convention centers full of exhibitors. It’s the ideal opportunity for me to essentially substitute a single four-day extravaganza for trips to Hong Kong; Istanbul; Shenzhen, China; Mumbai, India; and more. Intriguingly, it was great to learn that more and more international manufacturers are again setting their sights on the United States. While they realize our recovery is slow, there appears to be a growing conviction that we are the best bet. Let’s hope they are correct, and we can all enjoy a continued recovery.
As always, the Hong Kong show gave me the chance to spend quality time with JCK’s international sales team (Quentin Chan covers China; Mirek Kraczkowski covers Europe, Brazil, and the Middle East; and Kaushal Shah covers India). Of course, it’s also a terrific opportunity to run into friends from across the United States (“I have to come all the way to Hong Kong to see you?” is a greeting I get a lot). I feel a special sense of pride in representing the JCK brand in that setting, and it’s an honor to hear that our show, magazine, and website continue to be considered “best in class” in the United States.
A quick refreshment break in Hong Kong with Quentin Chan and Mirek Kraczkowski
No business trip is complete without some great dinners and running around town, for which Hong Kong is particularly well equipped. Highlights included a traditional sushi dinner at Tokio Joe in Lan Kwai Fong with my friend Alissa Goren, and having JCK’s Yancy Weinrich join us this year made it especially fun. It was good to catch up with the GIA’s Craig Danforth (along with designers Allison Neumann and Julia Popovich) at Sijie, a Sichuan restaurant where I ate what was quite possibly the spiciest food I have eaten in my life! Another memorable meal was had at a restaurant with the best name I’ve heard in some time: Ho Lee Fook.
I also discovered Hong Kong’s best-kept transportation secret: the antique, double-decker tram system, known onomatopoeically as the “Ting Ting.” The experience is somewhere between Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the San Francisco cable cars. It’s the best sightseeing seat in town, you can take it to and from the convention center, and it costs only 20 cents!
Back at home, we’re gearing up for exciting changes at JCK and JCKonline.com, as we explore some tweaks to the print publication and cool new ways to deliver the news online. Keep an eye out for exciting things to come!
As I mentioned, next week will find me in Los Angeles (always a favorite) and Carlsbad, Calif., where I will once again host the Creative Careers panel at the GIA Career Fair. It’s such a pleasure to stand in front of a room packed with students and recent grads and see the future of our industry.
See you around!