Greetings from Hong Kong! With the economy improving and the perception that it’s time to reinvest in America’s growth, I stepped up my travel in the first quarter to take full advantage of the opportunities. In addition to my trips to India and Tucson in January and February, I visited Inhorgenta in Munich in late February and the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, in March. It’s been an amazing run of meetings, events, dinners, presentations, factory tours, and all-around fun.
I hadn’t been to the Inhorgenta fair in years, and I was delighted to discover that it’s grown into quite a beautiful show. While its focus is clearly on the domestic German market, the fair provided a good opportunity to see friends and strategize on marketing.
After Munich, I was thrilled to join JCK Events group vice president Yancy Weinrich on a mad, 20-hour spin through Berlin, as we explored the trade show possibilities for JCK. Berlin is such a cool city. Even during such a packed whirl, its creative energy and beguiling clash of retro and modern sensibilities completely charmed me.
Next up was Hong Kong. I’ve written before that this show, like JCK Las Vegas and Baselworld, is one of the jewelry world’s biggies. It’s hysterical running into friends on the other side of the world who work around the corner from me in New York City—one reason I will never tire of this industry’s simultaneously far-flung yet intimate nature.
Sharing a laugh with Quentin Chan, JCK’s Hong Kong representative
From what I gleaned walking around the show and talking to exhibitors, the perception among foreigners is that America continues to be in the midst of a recovery. Yet this year several companies openly expressed a desire to invest in the U.S. market again. That struck me as a great harbinger for the year ahead.
Our amazing Hong Kong representative, Quentin Chan, again served as our intrepid tour guide. This year he led JCK senior editor Jennifer Heebner and me to the Shenzhen offices of our friends at Lorenzo, a well-regarded manufacturer of gem-set jewelry.
Everything about Shenzhen is overwhelming: The number of skyscrapers, cars, freeways, and people (8 million!) that dominate the streets is enough to send a seasoned New Yorker like me into a fit of claustrophobia. It certainly helped to have such a warm reception at Lorenzo. I’d like to extend special thanks to CEO Lorenzo Yih and his terrific staff for giving us the VIP treatment!
By the time you read this, I’ll have finally arrived home—and turned right around again, this time for a quick trip to Los Angeles at the end of March. If I don’t see you at the American Gem Society Conclave in Phoenix, I’ll be sure to wave at you from the plane. Lord knows it won’t be long before I board another!