(ATLANTA) - With an eye towards future growth and cultivating a passion for our industry, Atlanta Jewelry Show (AJS) Executive Director, Libby Brown announced that the first ever AJS Kids Jewelry Camp will be held during the Spring 2018 Atlanta Jewelry Show.
“Growing up in my parent’s retail jewelry store left an unforgettable imprint on my life,” said Brown. “I enjoyed each and every moment, whether I was sitting next to my Dad watching him resize a ring at the bench, developing my skills untangling chains or greeting the sales reps that stopped in for a visit. Who would have thought that after all these years that I would find my way back to my roots and actually have the pleasure of working with those very salesmen that I met so many years ago?
“Many retailers in our industry are independent jewelers who created or operate a family-owned business specifically with the idea of handing a legacy down to their heirs,” she continued. “Over the last 25 - 30 years, changes in the economy as well as changes in the retail industry as a whole has made owning and operating a family-owned business challenging at best. Our goal with the AJS Kids Jewelry Camp is to connect with children whose families are in the industry, and help them nurture their interest in the industry by identifying and cultivating excitement and passion for jewelry and the jewelry industry.”
The AJS Kids Jewelry Camp will be held on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4 and is open to children ages 8 & up. Educational seminars and hands on, kid-friendly programs will be held during the event, and children will be allowed to join their parents on the floor of the show for a “real-life” buying experience.
Melissa Nelson Eastwood, owner of Professional Jewelers in Asheville, NC is thrilled with the idea of the AJS Kids Jewelry Camp and is looking forward to having her daughter Kallie, age 12, participate in the March event. “I think the idea is fantastic and very necessary for our industry to help inspire excitement and interest for the next generation coming into the jewelry business. As an industry, we haven’t placed enough importance on developing and helping our children pursue their interests within the industry and we’re paying the price for that now.”
Melissa is currently working with Kallie, who is home schooled, on developing a business plan so she can learn the business from the ground up and start her own line of sterling silver jewelry. Kallie plans to sell her line at local art shows and fairs beginning in the spring of 2018.