6 Retailers Chosen for New JA, BIJC Business Program

MajorsJan 30, 2024

6 Retailers Chosen for New JA, BIJC Business Program

The Emerging Jewelers Accelerator Program is designed to give new retailers the knowledge needed to build and maintain their businesses.

Emerging Jewelers Accelerator Program logo
Editor’s note: This story was updated post-publication to correct the name of Valerie Madison’s store. It is Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry, not Madison Jewelers, as previously reported.  

New York—The Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) and Jewelers of America have selected the retailers who will comprise the first class of participants in their new, jointly developed program for up-and-coming jewelers.

Created last year, the Emerging Jewelers Accelerator program, or EJAP, is a series of interactive workshops designed to provide selected new retail jewelry entrepreneurs with a deeper understanding of how to build and maintain a successful business in the jewelry industry.

There are six retailers from five different jewelry companies in the first EJAP cohort.

They are: Patricia Carruth, Your Personal Jeweler, Royal Oak, Michigan; Cloyette Harris-Stoute, Twin Elegance Jewelry, St. Albans, New York; Soojin Kim, Suu Atelier, Los Angeles; Madeline and Karen Ormaza, Armonia Jewelry, Lawrence, Massachusetts; and Ashley Perryman, Jewelry Lady, Indianapolis.

The eight-month EJAP program, which is supported by the JCK Industry Fund, will kick off in February with interactive workshops.

The workshops will cover key business topics and be taught by the following subject matter experts:
Business strategy: Valerie Madison, owner, creative director, and designer at Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry;
Accounting: Mariel Diaz, founder and director at Accounting for Jewelers LLC; 
HR/Operations: Annie Doresca, chief financial officer at JA, and Lisa Jones, vice president of human resources at the Gemological Institute of America;
Legal: Cecilia Gardner, attorney at Cecilia L. Gardner, Esq.; 
Product Development/Jewelry Forensics: Emily Phillippy, owner and founder of Emily Chelsea Jewelry Inc., and Adrianne Sanogo, GIA GG and a co-founding board member and education chair at BIJC;
—  Ethical Sourcing: Christine Malle, owner of Christina Malle Designs;
—  Sales: Manos Phoundoulakis, co-founder and director of happiness at Select Source Inc.;
—  Marketing: Deanna Thornton, founder of Thornton Digital Consulting LLC;
—  Security: John Kennedy, Jewelers’ Security Alliance president; and 
—  Insurance: Tina Olm, vice president of shipping solutions at Jewelers Mutual Group. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

“BIJC and Jewelers of America are excited to welcome this first cohort of our Emerging Jewelers Accelerator Program,” said jewelry designer Malyia McNaughton, who took over as BIJC president this year.

“These jewelers have tremendous business acumen, and we know that they will come away with even deeper knowledge in the jewelry industry, which will result in businesses that will be successful for years and years to come.”

After the workshops are complete, participants will provide a presentation encapsulating the program’s content and how they will use it for their businesses.

One of the participants will be eligible to receive a $5,000 grant. The remaining four jewelry businesses will be awarded $1,250 each.

Following the completion of the EJAP program, the cohort will continue to have access to periodic check-in calls, quarterly workshops, and invitations to industry events.

More information on the EJAP can be found on the BIJC website as well as on the JA website

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