Judith Ripka Opens Up to WJA

Jewelry designer Judith Ripka recently addressed attendees of the annual Women in the Know conference organized by the Women's Jewelry Association. Her success is due in part to her passion, persistence, and performance in the industry, according to Michael O'Connor, senior vice president, marketing communications and public relations, Platinum Guild International. Ripka launched her business in 1973 with a $1,000 loan from a friend. More than a decade later, a redesign of a friend's necklace led to orders via word of mouth. In 1993, Ripka opened her first store, in Manhasset, N.Y. “Be persistent and surround yourself with positive, encouraging friends, and associates can catapult your business into the big time,” she told her audience. She now employs more than 120 people. When it comes to hiring, she advises others to “trust instincts.” For information about next year's W

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