From the Publisher, July–August 2019: A Smash Hit!

JCK publisher Mark SmelzerGreetings from my flight back home from the 2019 editions of the JCK, Luxury, and JIS Exchange shows in Las Vegas. ­Congrats to Yancy Weinrich, Sarin Bachmann, and Jordan Tuchband of Reed Jewelry Group on the success of all three events.

By all accounts, JCK’s return to the Sands Expo was a resounding success. The entire show felt fresh, with clean black-and-white branding, redesigned logos, and better signage. Many of the pavilions were new as well, including the spectacular state-of-the-art Plumb Club pavilion.

While traffic was consistent with last year (impressive in light of annual store closings), the overall impression was that those who came, came to buy. Of course, the days of setting up a booth and waiting for foot traffic are long gone, but exhibitors who booked appointments in advance, introduced new product, and spent the first half of the year working the smaller shows to prep for Vegas had a very successful show. Several brands told me it was their best show in years.

There were several highlights of the week, including a terrific keynote speech by ­Mokgweetsi Masisi, president of ­Botswana; the Diamond Empowerment Fund ­dinner; the Jewelers for Children dinner ­(honoring former JCK-er and current president and CEO of Jewelers of America, Dave ­Bonaparte); and JCK’s Tao Takeover ­celebration on Sunday night.

Whether it’s at a black-tie affair, on the show floor, on a dance floor, or even in an elevator, the opportunities to network in Vegas are endless. It is always a delight to see friends from across the globe, and this year was no exception.

The highlight of the week for me, however, was an event I had to keep secret for the past three months: On the evening of Monday, June 3, longtime JCK international sales rep Mirek Kraczkowski and his girlfriend of 13 years, Dominika Olejnik, were married at the famous Little White Chapel. As intended, the setting and ceremony were a caricature of a Las Vegas wedding, but the tears flowing down the faces of the bride and groom, their three adult children, and the rest of us in attendance were entirely real and heartfelt. Such a moment of joy. Congratulations, Mirek and Dominika!

Next up is a much-needed family vacation, and then it’s on to the first annual Jewelers of America National Convention in New York City in July. I look forward to seeing you then!

Top: The happy couple: Dominika and Mirek. Everyone at JCK couldn’t be happier for them!

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