You Really, Really Like Us!



The close of this issue marks the end of my first year back at JCK, and it’s been a great one. It has been a delight to reconnect with all my industry friends and get back into the circuit of annual events and trade shows. And it’s been a true honor to rejoin a brand that dates to 1869, yet continually manages to reinvent itself.

We just completed our first subscriber survey since the relaunch of our magazine and website, and it turns out that you share our enthusiasm! When asked which trade magazine best reflects a list of statements—“does the best job covering industry news,” “is the most prestigious trade in our industry,” “is the industry authority,” and “reflects best on its advertisers”—between 70 percent and 80 percent of you answered JCK.

More than two-thirds of you feel we’ve improved our design and photography, our layout, our trim size, and our covers. And four out of five of you feel our new Shop Talk section for retailers is “useful” or “very useful”! Little wonder, then, that?JCK is still the industry authority, garnering 74 percent of your votes for “most trusted publication.”

Our online products fared equally well. More than 80 percent of you have visited JCKonline.com. While about half of you stop by monthly, nearly a third of you do so weekly! Half of you receive our daily newsletter, and the majority of you feel our newsletter “is the industry authority,” “does the best job covering late-breaking news,” “is the resource I turn to first,” and “has the most insightful content.”

JCK publisher Mark Smelzer talks technology at the Stuller Bridge Conference.

We’re humbled by these results and equally gratified that our goal—providing the best-in-class business-to-business content in the U.S. jewelry industry—is coming to fruition. I, personally, owe a huge thanks to our amazing editorial team, which creates the content that drives this enterprise’s engine. We literally could not do this without their hard work, unique knowledge, and all-around smarts!

I’m sorry I don’t have more room in this letter, as I’ve attended terrific events and have met some amazing folks this past month. The highlights include my participation, as the keynote speaker, in a recent Stuller Bridge Conference in Lafayette, La., where I spoke about “Technology and Its Impact on Today’s Jewelry Retailer.” It was a fascinating topic to research, and the content and presentation left me feeling inspired. I hope it did the same for the friendly retailers at the conference.

I was also heartened to be a part of this year’s American Gem Society Conclave. The energy of years past was back, and Ruth Batson and her team did a fantastic job pulling together inspirational speakers, great breakout sessions, and fun events. The highlight for me was watching JCK senior editor Rob Bates give his “Hot Topics in the Jewelry Industry” presentation. It was yet another reminder of how solid our editors are and the respect they earn within the industry. Great stuff.

By the time you read this, we should all be at the “new” JCK show at the Mandalay Bay. The excitement in the industry has been palpable, and I, for one, can’t wait to see all of you in a brand-new venue, where we can toast our mutual success.