Last updateTue, 21 Jan 2020 10pm

MJSA Expo: Jewelry Making Unbound

MJSAMarch 15 – 17
Javits Center
New York City 

What is MJSA Expo? Some have described it as a “toy store,” although in place of board games and Frozen II tie-ins it offers bench tools, 3-D printers, hi-tech casting systems, and enough gems, findings, and other jewelry-making supplies to keep jewelers of any age happy.

Others have called it a “living classroom,” where the jewelry industry’s best and brightest minds lead seminars on a range of topics, from supply chain management to lab-grown diamonds to the intricacies of custom design. You’ll find an equal level of expertise on the show floor, where exhibitors - the industry’s most renowned trade suppliers and subcontractors - have an accumulated fund of knowledge that could fill a library.

Still others have called Expo a “community hall,” where those engaged in jewelry making and design (as both profession and passion) can meet, trade ideas, be inspired, and connect with colleagues.

Expo is all of those things and more. Presented by MJSA, the trade alliance dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, Expo is the hub where people from all facets of the jewelry industry - designers, manufacturers, trade suppliers, contractors, bench jewelers, retailers - can connect with one another, with new ideas, and with the future.

The 2020 Expo will take place March 15-17 at the Javits Center in New York City, where it will again co-locate with the JA New York retail show to create a “one-stop shopping” experience. And at Expo, that shopping looks an awful lot like playing. Whether louping a 3-D printed model, examining a casting tree, testing the grip of a handpiece, or just sorting through the myriad gemstone choices, buyers can touch, test, and inspect every item on display. (A toy store, indeed.)

MJSA 1To help make this “play” even easier, this year MJSA is instituting a new Buyer’s Link Concierge Service. MJSA will ask buyers when they register to identify specific needs for which they’ll be shopping at Expo, and it will then pass that information along to the relevant exhibitors. Buyers will also receive a list of exhibitors that can meet those needs.

Another new Expo feature for 2020 is the SMART Circle, a roundup of consultants and advisors who can cut through business, legal, and marketing complexities. Two of those consultants, Marlene Richey and Andrea Hill - both renowned for their ability to help small businesses thrive - will offer a “Critique My Line” session for designers who want to gain a sales advantage.

Marlene will also be represented in this year’s Expo educational program: She’ll present a session on “Identifying Long-Term Trends for Future Jewelry Design,” based on a Santa Fe Symposium paper she wrote with jeweler/educator/author Nanz Aalund. Among the other educational highlights for 2020:

  • Susan Wheeler, a jewelry designer and founder/CEO of The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, will discuss the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, showing real-life examples of how jewelry manufacturers and designers are integrating these goals into their sourcing decisions.
  • The MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers will present a forum on the future of custom design, led by Council chairman Gary Dawson and director Joel McFadden.
  • MJSA’s signature At the Bench Live demos will return to Expo to coincide with the release of the new MJSA Press book, At the Bench Vol. 2: Tips, Techniques, and Step-by-Step Projects for Jewelers of All Skill Levels.

And to help spur community spirit, Expo will again sponsor a cocktail party at the Cornell Club, a Five Star Platinum Club of America that’s ranked among the Top 50 City Clubs in the United States. This year’s party will take place Monday, March 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Community, education, expertise, and (of course) “toys” - all of these aspects of Expo come together and, like the facets of a diamond, create a whole that’s more than the sum of its parts. To learn how you can experience Expo for yourself, go to MJSA.org or call 800-444-MJSA (6572).