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Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America (MJSA)
Insights and advice from the jewelry industry's top designers, manufacturers, bench jewelers, business executives, and educators.
Apr 4, 2022
Responsibly Sourcing Colored Gemstones with Eric Braunwart
No official certifications currently exist for responsibly sourced colored stones—so Eric Braunwart, president of Columbia Gem House, created his own system to provide his customers with the origin story of each gem. In this podcast, Braunwart—a longtime leader in responsible practices—tells his own story in selling colored stones, promoting responsibility and sustainability, and advocating for improvements to the jewelry supply chain. • Click here for video, show notes, links, and other resources. • Learn more about MJSA
Feb 7, 2022
Tips for Buying, Selling, and Marketing Lab-Grown Diamonds with Rob Bates
The market for lab-grown diamonds continues to grow, prices continue to drop, and growers are working around the clock to meet demand. In this episode, JCK News Director Rob Bates explores what buyers and sellers should consider regarding lab-grown diamonds, including their levels of quality, their value, and the lingering sustainability concerns regarding their production. • Click here for video, show notes, links, and other resources. • Learn more about MJSA
Jan 18, 2022
Tips for Working with Gemstones with Joel McFadden
Breaking or damaging a gemstone is every stone setter's worst nightmare. In this podcast, jeweler Joel McFadden, a renowned setter and frequent contributor to MJSA Journal, shares insights and techniques that can keep a gemstone intact and securely set—and a customer happy. • Click here for show notes, links, and other resources. • Learn more about MJSA
Nov 9, 2021
5 Favorite Tools with Michelle Pajak-Reynolds
Jewelry artist Michelle Pajak-Reynolds handcrafts small collections of one-of-a-kind designs featuring unique gemstones, pearls, and ethically sourced precious metals. In this episide, she shares her five favorite, go-to tools, and describes the impact each has had on her productivity and creativity while at the bench. • Click Here for Show Notes, Links, and Resources • Learn more about MJSA
Oct 26, 2021
5 Tips for Sourcing Responsibly with Christina Malle
A goldsmith, graduate gemologist, and former human rights attorney, Christina Malle (Christina Malle Jewelry) is committed to sourcing responsibly. A board member of Ethical Metalsmiths, she always uses Fairmined or certified recycled gold in her work, and she always sources gems from known, reliable vendors. In this podcast, she offers five ways to ensure the materials you’re buying are indeed responsible. • Click Here for Show Notes, Links, and Resources • Learn more about MJSA
Oct 12, 2021
5 Design Inspirations with Geralyn Sheridan
Founder of a family-run studio in Chico, California, goldsmith and gemologist Geralyn Sheridan creates socially responsible jewelry that incorporates natural textures, sculptural curves, and fl owing movement. She draws inspiration from her everyday life as well as from the memories of her childhood, and in this episode she describes how five such inspirations were translated into standout jewelry designs. • Click Here for Show Notes, Links, Images, and other Resources • Watch the Video Edition Here • Learn More About MJSA
Feb 24, 2021
Custom Challenges & Opportunities with Gary Dawson
Those following advancements in jewelry technology in the last couple of decades, and those following MJSA, will no doubt recognize the name Gary Dawson. One of the of the most creative and technically adventurous jewelers out there today, Dawson is passionate about sharing his jewelry-making know-how and enthusiasm for custom design. In this episode, we spoke to Dawson about his personal experience navigating his business through the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities this crisis has created for jewelers, the excitement of tying cutting-edge technologies with the heritage of the past, and what's in store for custom designed jewelry in 2021 and beyond.
Jan 4, 2021
5 Tips for Innovation & Online Success
2021, perhaps more than any other new year in recent memory, is filled with anticipation, expectation, and hope. In this episode, Andrea Hill shares five tips for businesses looking to improve and expand their online reach this year. She also suggests several valuable online tools and apps that can help encourage more innovative thinking and simplify content creation for your website and social media channels.
May 12, 2020
Today & Tomorrow: Industry Analysis with Erich Jacobs (JBT)
The global shutdown resulting from the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, and it’s changing the jewelry industry on many levels. Companies of all sizes are facing serious economic disruptions, as business owners struggle to navigate through the uncertainty. In this episode of the MJSA podcast, Erich Jacobs, President of the Jeweler’s Board of Trade (JBT), shares his analysis of how the crisis is impacting credit, supply chains, and e-commerce, and if the current data are beginning paint a clearer picture of a future recovery.
May 6, 2020
Paths to Provenance with Daniel Nyfeler (Gübelin Gem Lab)
Despite recent efforts by the jewelry industry to address transparency and tracing issues across the global supply chain, the conditions under which colored gemstones are sourced remain highly opaque and lack reliable independent verification. In this episode, Daniel Nyfeler, Managing Director of Gübelin Gem Lab, discusses his company’s Provenance Proof initiative, aimed at developing new technologies to increase traceability and verify the origin and authenticity of colored gemstones. He also shares how these technologies have been received by various industry segments, as well as the challenges and opportunities presented by increased transparency.
Mar 26, 2020
Succession Planning with Dan Pharr (Pharr Valuation)
Our guest on this episode is Dan Pharr, president of Pharr Valuation in Richmond, Virginia. With 30 years of jewelry industry experience, Dan specializes in business valuations of closely held and family owned businesses. In this interview, Dan discusses the best practices for business owners who want to exit their companies profitably while ensuring their legacies endure. He also explains how to use business valuations to a boost a company's marketability and better prepare for the purchase or sale of a business.
Dec 10, 2019
Keeping Compliant with Sara Yood (JVC)
Our guest on this episode, Sara Yood, senior counsel at the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), has made a career out of helping businesses wade through the myriad guidelines, regulations, and laws that apply to making and selling jewelry. It’s not easy staying up to date—recent changes to the FTC guidelines, for instance, have changed how the industry can talk about karat gold, lab-grown gems, and metal coatings, while a recent Supreme Court decision changed the rules for taxing internet sales. Add in such continuing concerns as maintaining proper anti-money-laundering documentation and protecting intellectual property, and Yood and her team at the JVC have their hands full helping the industry to remain up to date and in compliance. In this discussion, Yood talks about her background and education as well as what led her into jewelry law. She also provides insights, offers advice, and explains JVC’s position on the newly announced line of 1k gold jewelry, the FTC’s recent wa…
Oct 18, 2019
Building Chains of Trust with Susan Wheeler (CRJC)
Responsible sourcing and transparent supply chains are key topics in the jewelry trade and more important than ever to consumers. Award-winning jewelry designer and founder of the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference (CRJC), Susan Wheeler, has emerged as a leading voice in the responsible jewelry movement. In this episode, Susan discusses her own journey toward responsible practices, the story behind the creation of the CRJC and its mission, initiatives to improve gemstone traceability, and the powerful roles that communication and collaboration play in facing the challenges of making jewelry "beautiful from beginning to end."
Sep 12, 2019
The Next Generation of Jewelers with Nanz Aalund
With the current generation of master craftspeople aging out of the jewelry industry, demand for professionally skilled workers is high. But a number of barriers stand in the way of developing an effective education-to-employment pipeline for prospective jewelers, including issues such as pay scale disparities, gender bias, a lack of on-the-job training, and misaligned expectations between the industry and educators. Award-winning jewelry designer, goldsmith, author, and educator, Nanz Aalund has been spearheading a movement to raise awareness about these issues and to help develop the necessary training and apprenticeship programs to meet the industry’s growing needs. In this episode, Aalund discusses her own path to becoming a jeweler and educator and identifies the existing obstacles and opportunities to ensure a steady flow of future qualified jewelers.
Aug 10, 2019
Selling the Art of Custom Jewelry with Llyn Strong
Jewelry artist and gallery owner Llyn Strong made her first piece of jewelry in 1972, igniting a passion that would develop into a now 40-year career. Recipient of an Honorable Mention in the Custom Design Distinction category of the 2019 MJSA Vision Awards competition, Llyn is recognized for her signature collections and her distinctive custom designs. In this episode, Llyn discusses how she got started making jewelry, the story behind the creation of her award-winning cuff bracelet, and how she approaches marketing and selling her custom design services.
Jul 22, 2019
Podcast: Finding the Sustainable Path
Susan Crow—owner of East Fourth Street Jewelry in Northfield, Minnesota, and Responsible Practices Distinction winner in the 2019 MJSA Vision Awards—is dedicated to proper environmental, ethical, and sustainable practices. In this episode, she talks about the challenges and overall rewards of building a responsible supply chain and adopting green processes.
Jun 3, 2019
Lab-Grown Diamonds Update with Marty Hurwitz (MVI Marketing)
In this inaugural episode, host Travis Searle talks with Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing, about the current status of lab-grown diamonds. They discuss the impact of bigger industry players like Signet, De Beers, and Richline entering the space, the revenue potential for retailers who are embracing lab-grown options, the marketing techniques jewelers are using to promote them to millennial-age buyers, and what the future of holds.