Imagine tens of thousands of the world’s most prominent jewelry industry professionals coming together in one spot to talk all things fine jewelry. That’s exactly what happens at JCK Las Vegas, North America’s leading jewelry industry trade show which takes place each year at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Nevada’s dazzling city of lights. JCK Las Vegas is the perfect opportunity to discover what’s new in the magical world of gems and jewels, meet and learn from industry experts and influencers, and partake in shaping a stunning bejeweled future!
Of course such an event is not one that any jewelry professional should pass up, and so Custom Jewelry Design’s founder, Jivan Yeramian, set out to attend this year’s sparkling convention which took place in early June. To find out all the things Jivan learned and loved and what inspiration he brought back to Montreal, read our interview with him below!
Why would you say it’s important for private, custom jewelers to attend JCK Las Vegas? As one yourself, what can going to this big event bring your clients?
Attending JCK Las Vegas is an eye-opening experience for someone who always works behind closed doors, leading a craftsman’s life. It’s very different from sitting behind a jeweler’s bench and it really elevates your imagination and expands your horizons.
You meet like-minded individuals in the same world as you but from different places around the globe. When you’re surrounded by people who have been doing the exact same thing as you but are from other parts of the world, take inspiration from completely different things, and use other styles of crafting, then it gives you a glance into so many more dimensions of the trade. That’s really encouraging. Being inspired and surrounded by people with the same passions is huge!
Plus you also get to see new trends and learn what’s the latest in terms of colors, cuts, packaging, technology, and production of jewelry and gemstones. Seeing all of these things helps you learn about all the possibilities related to designing a piece, crafting it, and using new materials and the latest technologies. I was very impressed by various new tools, jewelry boxes, and the latest from 3D technology such as NSCNC and CAD design.
Building relationships is also very important – meeting industry professionals and all types of specialists. There are specialists for everything there. Rubies, diamonds, colored diamonds, large diamonds, lab-grown diamonds…you name it!
I went there mainly to find ways to enhance my clients’ experience. There are many new technologies, innovations in web design, and even apps in the industry that can help make the jewelry shopping experience even more fun and accessible for the client. This is something I’m striving for and I learned of so many new things I can implement at Custom Jewelry Design so that we can hopefully grow in the future.
This was your first time at the big jewelry trade show and also in Las Vegas! What was your experience like? Were you utterly bedazzled?
I felt like a child in LEGOLAND! All throughout my childhood I played with LEGO blocks because I love crafting, and the convention was like a toy store for a craftsman. It was very impressive. I was overwhelmed and walked around for about fifteen hours a day and had so much energy to try and see it all. Three days was definitely not enough!
As a jewelry designer, what piqued your attention the most out of all the exhibitions? What were the biggest “WOW” moments for you in terms of design?
I was very impressed by a company called Hatai Jewelry from Thailand. They specialize in high-end silver jewelry with colorful enameling. The precision of their work is really admirable as are the colors they use and the designs they do. They create animals like elephants and fish and their work is very different from what I usually create. It’s something that we cannot afford to produce in markets where the price of the labor is significantly higher than in Asia. I admired their work so much that I even brought back some pieces that you can come check out in my atelier!
What would you say were your favorite and most memorable moments from the entire convention? Did you get to meet any big names in the industry?
Since I’m a graduate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), it was a pleasure and honor to visit their booth at the show, see all of their staff, and receive a kind welcome. I got to learn about the latest news from the school and development of the programs I was introduced to, which was great!
I also met a great jewelry designer from Greece – Maureen L. Maris. Her pieces are absolutely stunning! They’re inspired by the Mediterranean Sea and consist of butterflies, rays, and flowers. I lived in Greece once and knew of and admired her work, and the fact that I got to meet the designer behind it and that we became friends over the time of the convention was very special. I highly recommend that you check out her designs!
Aside from the ones you’ve mentioned, did any other retailers, boutiques, or personas leave a big impression on you? Which ones and why?
I was very glad to meet Angie Crabtree in person! She is one of the most famous diamond painters in the US. Her paintings are incredible. She is someone who followed her passion and her success story is very inspiring. I have been a long-time follower and fan, and have always wanted to meet her in person. It was a lovely moment when I did, and I even got to see her painting live!
When you consider the knowledge and inspiration you’ve came back to Montreal with, what would you say was the biggest takeaway from JCK Las Vegas for you and for the Custom Jewelry Design family?
The biggest takeaway was that the sky is the limit. There is no limit to your imagination and trade shows like this can open new doors and lead to new possibilities for growth. As a designer, I’ve been inspired to build a bigger, more sustainable, and more successful client-focused business.
Sounds like you loved it and had a blast! Are you planning on going next year?
Yes! I’m definitely planning to go next year. There is still a lot to see and of course I need to stay up to date with all of the latest developments in the jewelry world. Building new connections, making friendships, and meeting more inspiring people is also an important reason to go again.
Interested in connecting with Jivan for an expert consultation on fine jewelry or to get your dream piece crafted?