WJA Announces 2023 Jewelry Loupe Project Participants

MajorsApr 26, 2023

WJA Announces 2023 Jewelry Loupe Project Participants

Following a record number of applicants, 14 emerging designers were selected for the mentorship program, now in its fifth year.

This photo shows the 14 designers who will participate in the 2023 Jewelry Loupe Project.
The 14 designers who will participate in the 2023 Jewelry Loupe Project are (from left to right): Maura Green, Renata Cambauva, Alice Son, Caitlin Velázquez-Fagley, Betsy Yates, Sardwell, Tamsin Rasor, Ava Schlesinger, June Cream, Jennifer Hillyer, Kelly Lannen, Sarah Bernstein, Olivia Sugarman, and Tiffany Bausch Weld.
New York—The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) has announced the new cohort of participants for its nationwide mentorship program, the Jewelry Loupe Project

WJA selected 14 emerging designers, all within their first five years of business, for a spot in the six-month mentorship program.

The participating designers are Alice Son, Ava Schlesinger, Betsy Yates, Caitlin Velázquez-Fagley, Jennifer Hillyer, June Cream, Kelly Lannen, Maura Green, Olivia Sugarman, Renata Cambauva, Sarah Bernstein, Sardwell, Tamsin Rasor, and Tiffany Bausch Weld.

Over 100 applications were received for this year’s program—a record number for the organization.

“Now in its fifth year, WJA’s Jewelry Loupe Project is a staple program in our community,” said WJA Executive Director Jennifer Markas. 

“The level of mentorship, training and networking these emerging designers receive is really unparalleled. We are proud of the designers that commit to the rigorous program, and we are grateful for the mentors and experts who dedicate so much of their time to uplift the next generation of designers and business owners.” 

During the April to September program duration, participants will be paired with a mentor to develop marketing strategies and business acumen and launch their first line.

This year’s mentors are comprised of designers, on-air talent, and seasoned industry professionals. They are Angela Monaco, April Higashi, Ariel Gordon, Valerie Madison, Marie McCarthy, Viviana Langhoff, Michele Lau, Victoria Wieck, Morgan Miller, Rekha-Leigh Punch, Tanya Parikh, Jacqueline Raffi, Kate Rogowski, Ivette Nersesyan-Stephanopoulos, and Lilly Mullen.

Anna Samsonova of Samsonova Consulting, a special projects consultant to WJA, is helping facilitate the expert sessions and coordinate parts of the program. 

The Jewelry Loupe Project is free for participants. Over the course of the program, designers will attend virtual sessions hosted by experts in design, marketing, sourcing, manufacturing, retail, packaging, and pricing. 

The program culminates in the fall with critique and constructive feedback from mentors as designers prepare to launch their collections. 

To date, WJA has trained and mentored nearly 50 emerging designers, the organization said.

 Related stories will be right here … 

The Jewelry Loupe Project was developed in 2019 by former San Francisco WJA chapter leader Marie McCarthy of Fiat Lux. In 2022, global diamond luxury brand De Beers helped WJA expand the program nationwide.

“With [De Beers’] partnership, WJA's Jewelry Loupe Project will be able to offer more opportunities to our designer members, including BIPOC LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, and those from diverse backgrounds,” reads the Jewelry Loupe Project website.

Céline Assimon, CEO of De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark, said the company “deeply values the contributions that women make to our businesses, the diamond and jewelry industry, and all of society.”
She said, “We are committed to accelerating economic inclusion and uplifting diverse voices to help shape the future through various programs which support and provide opportunities for women as part of our ‘Building Forever’ ambitions. We are proud to support WJA’s Jewelry Loupe Project as we are aligned in our core values.” 

To learn more, and to support the Jewelry Loupe Project, contact Jennifer Markas, WJA Executive Director, at

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