Events & Awards

WJA Honors its 2018 ‘Shining Stars’ in L.A.

Events & AwardsMar 19, 2018

WJA Honors its 2018 ‘Shining Stars’ in L.A.

Women and men from chapters nationwide were recognized at the Women’s Jewelry Association’s In the Spotlight event.

Redondo Beach, Calif.--The Women’s Jewelry Association gathered members from across the country Saturday to honor those whose dedication to their local chapters makes them vital resources for women in the industry.

Held at the Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach, California, outside of Los Angeles, the In The Spotlight event saw 12 WJA members honored as “Shining Stars” for their chapter.

“Local chapter” proved to be a relative term at the awards.

Designer Debra Navarro of Debra Navarro Jewelry, for example, has been involved with WJA Dallas since about 2015, attending most of its events, though she resides 365 miles away in Wichita, Kansas.

The WJA Dallas 2018 Shining Star and chapter treasurer said in her acceptance speech, “When I wanted to do this thing I felt so called to do, which was design jewelry the way that I saw it and wanted to wear it, I knew I couldn’t do this alone from Wichita … Dallas was my closest chapter and I am from Texas so that made sense.”

She wasn’t the only Shining Star whose WJA commute was a bit of a journey.

Andrea Koenig of Annie K Jewelry, treasurer of the Ohio/Kentucky chapter, has been traveling an hour and a half each way to monthly WJA meetings for the past four years.

“What started out as a networking opportunity turned into making connections, which turned into making friendships, which turned into real growth opportunities both for me and the women I was working with in the chapter,” Koenig said.

Honorees thanked their fellow WJA members for the community and family that the organization provides, with one Shining Star, who has spent more than 40 years in the jewelry industry, noting the changes he’s seen in female professional empowerment in that time.

“I was hired by a woman,” said WJA Boston’s Gerard Riveron. “I’m still friends with her today. The most positive change I’ve seen (in 40 years) is the success of many women in the jewelry industry, not only in the designing side but the business side. I think the evolution is amazing and I love to be a witness of it.”

Interest in the WJA seems to be at an all-time high. President Bernadette Mack noted at the event that 12 affiliate and interest groups are in the process of becoming official chapters.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of growth and the Shining Stars are truly the backbone of the

organization,” Mack said. “I always say that WJA has the hardest-working volunteers in this industry.”

These are the other nine individuals honored Saturday night as Shining Stars.

Olivia Zale, Artistry Ltd., WJA Chicago
Teresa Pureber, Hyde Park Jewelers, WJA Colorado
Sheila Siu, Trumpet & Horn, WJA Los Angeles
Eve Streicker, Original Eve, WJA New York Metro
Danielle Mainas, Little Bird, WJA Northern California
Lauren Paquin, ESP Global, WJA Providence
Julia Popovich, Zhulia, WJA San Diego
Anna Samsonova, Ben Bridge Jeweler, WJA Seattle
Dawn Morel Bruggeman, D. Morel Gemologist Inc., WJA Twin Cities.
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

CollectionsFeb 03, 2023
Chipotle Spices Up Valentine’s Day with Jewelry Collection

The fast-casual chain partnered with Anna Sheffield’s Bing Bang NYC brand on a capsule collection and it’s a little “extra.”

SourcingFeb 03, 2023
Greenland Ruby Names New CEO

Geologist Arnt-Eirik Rørnes has taken on the role.

EditorsFeb 03, 2023
Piece of the Week: Gismondi 1754’s ‘Marea’ Cuff

The diamond and tanzanite bracelet was inspired by the waves of the Italian gulf near Genoa.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

CollectionsFeb 02, 2023
Lowe’s Is Now Selling Jewelry

The home improvement store’s website features an “Empowerment Tools” demi-fine jewelry collection.

Weekly QuizFeb 02, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Policies & IssuesFeb 02, 2023
Tiny Radioactive Capsule Lost in Australian Outback Found

A government official said search crews “found the needle in the haystack” when they located the capsule belonging to Rio Tinto along an 870-mile stretch of road.

TrendsFeb 02, 2023
Amanda’s Style File: Purple and Playful

Amanda Gizzi welcomes February with a selection of amethyst jewelry, a birthstone that “deserves its own time to shine.”

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

EditorsFeb 01, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Boochier

Behind the playful and nostalgic brand lies deeper meaning.

SurveysFeb 01, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in January

Wariness about the year ahead offset a more positive view of the current economic situation.

MajorsFeb 01, 2023
Six New Retailers Appointed to IJO’s Board of Directors

The IJO also welcomed one new vendor member to its 13-member board, Brecken Farnsworth of Parlé Jewelry Designs.

ColumnistsJan 31, 2023
Squirrel Spotting: How About a Word for the New Year?

It begins with a “t” and ends with a “c” and is imbued with warmth and positivity, Peter Smith writes.

Policies & IssuesJan 31, 2023
Rio Tinto Issues Apology After Radioactive Capsule Goes Missing

The tiny capsule, which is believed to have fallen out of a truck, was lost somewhere along an 870-mile stretch of desert road.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Indian Jewelry Brand Tanishq Opens First U.S. Store, More on the Way

The jeweler’s expansion plans include 20 to 30 more stores in North America and the Middle East over the next two to three years.

Events & AwardsJan 31, 2023
Gucci Is Getting a Gem Award

The Italian luxury brand will receive the first Gem Award for High Jewelry Excellence.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Martin Flyer Names New VP of Business Development

Industry veteran Kevin Lane has stepped into the role.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

FinancialsJan 27, 2023
Tiffany & Co. Shines for LVMH in 2022

Acquired in 2021, the brand’s high jewelry sales have doubled and its new “Lock” collection was an instant hit.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.

CollectionsJan 26, 2023
NDC and Lorraine Schwartz Announce New ‘EDDI’ Class

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative provides diamond credit and mentorship to young brands helmed by BIPOC designers.

IndependentsJan 26, 2023
Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry Set to Open 10th Store

It will be located in San Antonio’s Alamo Quarry Market and will be Lee Michaels’ third location in the city.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy