When people hear that I’ll be spending six days in Las Vegas, they instantly assume I’ll be lounging by the pool, seeing shows and gambling. I cannot tell you how far that is from the truth (OK, I did donate $40 to the slots one evening.). This was my fourth year attending Couture and JCK, and I thought I’d give you, my lovely readers, a glimpse into what really happens when I’m there. WARNING: There will be no beautiful jewelry showcased in this post. SECOND WARNING: If this is TMI and not quite your cup of tea, then I won’t be offended if you skip this post and wait (eagerly, of course) for my next article, which I promise WILL showcase beautiful jewelry.
So for me, it all starts weeks in advance, when I realize that I, the girl who is used to the cool temps in San Francisco, need about 10-12 Vegas-worthy, photo-ready outfits. Not only do I need to stay cool in 104 degrees (yes, that’s how hot it got this year), but I know that the countless photos I’m in with designers and jewelry industry peeps will be on the internet forEVER! No pressure there, right?!
If you know me, then you’ll know that black is my color of choice, but it’s a bit challenging to make that look resort-worthy. Oy vey…all I can say is that Eileen Fisher saves my a** in situations like these. Some of you may be asking why I can’t re-wear certain pieces and mix-and-match them. And I will tell you, that 104 degrees combined with peri-menopause does not bode well for re-wearing. You get my drift.
And then there’s the shoes. Given that I will be walking miles a day, flats are the only option for me. While #VegasShoes took on a life of its own on Instagram, I believe I was the sole woman that went for flats only. And yes, there were Birkenstocks in the mix. It’s OK–think what you must. I can deal with it.
My fellow image consultant, Jennifer Bressie, was (as always) my accomplice for the first few days of the show. Not only is she instrumental in interviews, but she is also a guest blogger for this site. Though we did manage a few hours of shopping right after we landed, we were soon immersed in the land of jewelry.
One of our first missions was to attend the JCK Talks session, The Power of Blogging. I was honored to be there to support my fellow jewelry bloggers, Monica Stephenson (iDazzle), Barbara Palumbo (Adornmentality), Danielle Miele (Gem Gossip), Katerina Perez (KaterinaPerez.com) and moderated by Diane Warga-Arias (Jewelry Activist). It was great to hear their perspectives on our niche space — they really represented! And as an added bonus, Robyn Hawk of A Fly on The Wall was seated right next to us!! (Not only is she completely in the know in the industry, but she was fabulous with introductions. Grazie!)
And while hanging out in the hallway afterwards, I was psyched to meet Danielle (from the panel) and Jean-Noel Soni, gem-cutter extraordinaire, from Top Notch Faceting. Though I’m “virtual” friends with both of them, it was our first face-to-face meeting. This is one of those times when I’m so thankful for social media, as we probably wouldn’t have met if not for that. (Side note: It would have been even better if I hadn’t been inhaling a sandwich on the sidelines while all this was happening, just sayin’, but a 3:00 lunch is late for me, and my blood sugar was plummeting!)
Thursday night of Couture is the big opening night party, and that’s always one of the highlights of the trip. They have a cool band, yummy food, and it’s a chance to reconnect with jewelry peeps and make new friends. Thank the lord that Jen’s selfie stick did not fit into her clutch!
This year they had acrobatic tree climbers, and Fitz and the Tantrums were the headliner.
This brings me to a pertinent point — why I’m even at the shows. These shows are not for the public to go buy jewelry. This is where stores go to place their orders for their establishments. I’m there as editorial — interviewing designers, interpreting the trends, etc. I’m there to write, which I love. My goal is to share the world of jewelry with you.
The majority of the remaining days are spent seeing collections, trying on gems (someone has to do it!) and interviewing designers. Most of my time I’m wearing my reading glasses, with pen, notebook and iPhone in hand. (Many people comment about how old-school I am with my lined notebook.) I bought an extra-pretty one this year, as it will live on my desk, and I like to look at something that makes me smile.
It’s not as glamorous as you may think…but it’s damn fun! One day I interviewed for 7 hours straight! Yes, there are the deodorant breakdown times, such as on the shuttle between JCK and Couture, but even on those rides you’re bound to meet some interesting people.
Sadly, this is what the desk in my room looked like the last morning. I you know what an organizing maniac I am, you’ll know this was painful for me to look at.
So now, for those of you who want to see the BLING, let me get to work on that. I know that I have months of articles to come that will not disappoint!