From Lovers to Your Landlord: Holiday Gifts For Every Man in Your Life

You knew it was coming. You knew I would never let the year come to a close without my infamous holiday gift guide (you all remember “From Mom to the Mistress,” right?), only this year I decided I’d throw the guys a bone, BP style. Meaning, I’m going to help out you ladies (and gay men [Hi Adam!]) by giving you some suggestions as to which jewelry-related items you can buy for the men in your life. Only I’m going to do it in the most inappropriate way possible and make coffee come out of your nose in the process. De nada. So grab yourselves a Talisker, gals, pull up the leather Duresta, and slip on your partner’s Lorenzini dress shirt, ‘cause we’re going to have us a little fun today.


If your pops did what he was supposed to do when you were growing up – meaning he worked hard, loved harder, and put your family and you before anything or anyone else – then that makes one of us. But just because my father deserves a flaming bag of buffalo poop hand delivered to him by the ghost of Benito Mussolini wearing nothing more than a chainmail thong and spiked dog collar doesn’t mean that your dad isn’t rad. And you know what rad dads would look even radder wearing? A cool watch. Nothing crazily complicated, mind you, because let’s face it, isn’t your dad the guy who never fully figured out the VCR and doesn’t he still try to expand your pictures on Instagram no matter how many times you tell him he can’t? Yeah. Complicated isn’t going to cut it, but “American Made” will.

lovers1The Rambler GMT by Detroit-based watch company, Shinola, was the first dedicated travel watch introduced by the company in time for BaselWorld earlier this year. Its features include a Detroit-built Argonite 515.24H movement, 24-hour hand and turning top ring bezel, 44-millimeter stainless steel case, screw-down crown, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and of course, the Shinola handcrafted leather strap. The watch is available in four different dial/strap combos but the natural with dark royal blue dial screams your dad’s name (in a positive way, unlike how it was in my house growing up), don’tcha think?


Admit it… your friends probably liked Earl when you were growing up more than they liked you, and while that pissed you off when you were sixteen and he was twelve, now that you’re older and wiser and once you figured out that there was no way to get him adopted by that Bulgarian family without your parents knowing, you gave in to his charming ways and actually became his friend. Earl’s a cool guy, too. How many people can say their brother is a slide-guitar-playing fly-fisherman who teaches English to Ethiopian kids during the day and works as a pastry chef at a James Beard-nominated restaurant at night? (Come to think of it, maybe it is time to start disliking Earl again. Eph this overachieving a-hole.) (J/k.) In fact, Earl’s so cool you should give him a gift designed by the King of Jewelry Cool, himself… Hot Reed. I mean TODD Reed. Sorry. Sorry ‘bout that. Freudian slip.

lovers7I’m thinking brotherman could rock this badass belt buckle the next time he plays an impromptu gig with his old college roommate, Jesus Christ Jared Leto. The buckle contains over thirteen carats of cabochon blue sapphires burnished into a patina-finished sterling silver oval, accented with a .10 carat raw diamond. Earl will be so thrilled you didn’t get him *another* Ed Hardy shirt that he might even let you hang with him backstage the next time Queens of the Stone Age comes to town.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, right. Keep dreamin’, sister.


Look, you and I both know that his toenails are disgusting but the guy’s been in your life for almost six years now, he’s mostly nice to you, and truth be told, he makes your mom happy, so why not just bite the bullet and spend a little on him, huh? You don’t have to go crazy but the man gets up and goes to his law office every day, and while his suits still come from the Men’s Wearhouse (you just cringed, didn’t you? I mean, doesn’t he know how much money he makes??) he could use a little help in the style department.

lovers6These “Guilty/Not Guilty” cufflinks by London design house, Benson & Clegg, are the ideal lawyer gift for Hanukkah. They’re stainless, so he won’t have to worry about losing something costly, and they’re inexpensive enough that you can still afford to buy him gifts for those seven other crazy nights. Just please remember that the bacon-flavored rugelach didn’t go over as well as you had hoped last year, m’kay?


You are not mistaken. This means exactly what it says. If you read last year’s gift guide (and by “if” I mean “since you obviously”) you may recall that I made a point to talk about what gift to get your female boss, but since this post is geared toward telling women what to get for men, the #bossbase I referenced previously means YOU, sweet cheeks. Now you just have to figure out who your favorite worker bee is, and no pulling the *diplomatic mom* bullshit by saying “I love them all equally,” either.

lovers2Whoever you choose as your bestest, you won’t go wrong with a fancy schmancy pen as your gift choice. Since your three employees are all comic book geeks (which is one of the things you like about them) they’d likely go *KAPOW* over one of Montegrappa’s limited edition DC Comics pens released in February. I’m thinking The Riddler will do since you sometimes look at their work and wonder what the f*ck they were thinking when they handed it in. But make sure you give him the gift when no one else is watching. You don’t want one of the other two hacking into your computer for revenge and finding those NSFW images you took on your business trip to Louisville BECAUSE YOU KNOW THEY WILL. 


When it comes to this term, the women of today are the men of yesterday, so if you’re a man and you’re reading this, I suggest you take notes.

Back when I was writing EveofForty, I penned (keyed) a piece about the term, “lover.” It was titled, “It Ain’t Just For Meat and Pizza Anymore” and it went on to explain my feelings about the word and the stigma I felt was attached to it. Your lover could be your husband, or a sex partner, or a boyfriend, or an affair – of the heart, mind, or otherwise. Maybe your lover is a friend with benefits. Maybe he is the man you married. Maybe you have more than one lover, and that’s cool, too, because in a society that judges people (mainly women) based on what has been considered the norm, I find it refreshing that more are realizing that sex, love, dating, and marriage doesn’t have to be as black and white as the much-outdated book of life states it should. So, having made clear my thoughts on the word, lets now discuss what this special person (or people) deserves for the holidays, shall we?

lovers4Marco Dal Maso should always be associated with desire, in my mind. Maybe it’s the Italian swagger. Maybe it’s his head of hair (clearly I have a thing for curly and grey… don’t go there) or maybe it’s the fact that his pieces – which he creates under the brand, Marco Ta Moko – are made with such intense passion that you can feel the sensuality by just looking at them (anyone else in here hot all of a sudden?). For this reason alone, his lapel pins are my choice of gift for your lover, particularly his Toki Red Tiger Eye pin crafted in 18K black gold and containing 0.72 carats of red fire sapphire surrounding a carved red tiger eye center stone. Have more than one lover? Marco has more than one pin, but I suggest you always go with something red. You know what they say about the color red, don’t you?


Don’t be angry with me. The only reason I included this jerk was because I needed a catchy title for the post so now I’m kind of stuck and have to run with having him in it, but don’t worry, it’s all going to work out. Trust me.

lovers3You LOOOOOVE it when he shows up unannounced at your apartment, don’t you? Isn’t it awesome when he stinks your place to the high heavens because his clothes smell like he washed them in a solution of tobacco, salami, and Drakkar Noir? Yeah, he’s pretty terrible, which is why I’m thrilled to hear that you’re moving in two months. But before you do, give him something to remember you by, like these “Screw U” earrings by my friend and fierce jewelry designer, Wendy Brandes. Nothing says, “get the hell out of my life” like a pair of insulting yet manly earrings, which – because he’s stupid on top of being an idiot – he’ll probably be complimented by, thinking that he’ll be offending others when he wears them. Little does he know, he offends others by the mere sight of him, but maybe you just roll with it and let him believe what he will. He’ll be a blip on your screen soon enough, my dear. An overweight, underheight, greasy screen blip soon enough.


Did I just hear you roll your eyes? Okay, I PROMISE not to get all lovey-dovey on this one. I’ll spare you considering a plethora of you read my recent Letter to The Editor piece. You all know how I feel about my husband already, so let’s talk about how you feel about yours.

Is he pretty rad? Does he make you feel wanted? Does he remind you, frequently, how lucky he is to have you in his life? Does he show you in ways that go beyond words? That’s the key. Words can be empty as many of us know, but actions – they’re the telltale. Does he love you with his actions? If you checked the “all of the above box” then good on ya, woman, and I hope you’ve been saving your pennies, because showing him you appreciate him is about to get pricey.

lovers5This Bremont limited edition Wright Flyer in 18K Rose Gold (BCW/01) features some of the original muslin material used to cover the 1903 Wright Flyer aircraft flown at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The 33.4mm automatic contains twenty-five jewels, has a double reverser bi-directional winding mechanism to achieve 28,800bph, a 50+ hour power reserve, a Nivarox CT balance spring and Nivaflex 1 mainspring. If none of what I just wrote means anything to you, just know that it’s a frigging beautiful and well-made watch that your significant other is going to go apeshit over. He’ll research the important stuff if he wants to. You’ve done your part. That’s all that matters.

That about ends it for this year’s gift guide, loves. Hope you enjoyed the read and hope you come back again and again.

Happy ChristmaKuhWanzaaStivus!

What's On the Brain

A Letter to the Editor: On the Matter of Your Fiftieth Birthday

(Warning: this is not a jewelry post)

Dear Editor –

I write this letter to you today, on the fiftieth anniversary of your birth, not as a love letter, but rather as a thank you.

Today is a day I know you’ve had mixed feelings about. On the one hand, you’re still alive. I mean, not that you wouldn’t be at this age, but you and I both know that the Scorpio personality/hot streak likely put you in more death-defying situations than most. You liked to party. You liked your women. And you were the first to jump up when a fight broke out. It’s part of what makes you so wondrous. It’s part of what drew me to you in the first place.

On the other hand, you’re no longer twenty-five. But let’s face it, do you really want to be? Sure, your hair was long and Thor-like, and your shoulders could balance three Argentinian acrobats at once (p.s. I don’t want to know if that ever happened or what they looked like.) But was life really all that great back then? Would you want to go back? Would you if you could?

I will never forget the first time I introduced you to my best friend. We got together for lunch at that little creperie on Bainbridge Street. “He reminds me of Frazier Crane,” she whispered, and I knew exactly what she meant. You were a mystery to women like us. We knew and dated and married the guys who could roll off hockey stats from the previous ten years. You knew those things, but could also name every one of Giuseppe Verdi’s twenty-seven operatic works. And you were tall. And you were handsome. And you weren’t even vaguely similar to anyone who either of us had ever laid eyes upon.

So today, I’d like to take some time to thank you for what you do for me, and for what you’ve given me, and simply, for who you are to me. I’ve written fifty thank yous below to commemorate your day, but please know I could pen fifty, a hundred, or a thousand more. I hope you know just how deeply grateful I always feel for these moments of grace.

  • Thank you for handing me your business card, and for returning my email several months later, and for asking me, at some point, if I was happy. I wasn’t then, and I think you knew that.
  • Thank you for the single red rose. You know when. And you know where.
  • editorThank you for kissing me at the stoplight on the corner in The City. And for taking the cab back with me, no matter how badly it smelled.
  • Thank you for not having a Southern accent, but for very much having Southern manners.
  • Thank you for every time you stand up when I leave the table.
  • Thank you for every time you stand up when I come back.
  • Thank you for Aida.
  • Thank you for never once making me feel like a high school education wasn’t enough.
  • Thank you for liking my grays. And my wrinkles. And my laugh lines.
  • Thank you for showing me your New Orleans. Over the years it has truly become my New Orleans, too.
  • Thank you for being as punctual as I am. This is huge. It’s actually huger than huge.
  • Thank you for each episode of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The Rachel Maddow Show; for every Republican/Democratic National Convention and every night of election coverage. I can’t wait to watch the next big event with you.
  • Thank you for your wine knowledge, and for growing with me as we learned more together.
  • Thank you for not being a Scotch drinker so that I know I always have the bottle to myself.
  • Thank you for agreeing to the names we named our children; I can’t imagine either of them named anything else.
  • Thank you for Germany and Austria and Switzerland and Italy and France and Belgium and wherever we go next.
  • Thank you for eating cheesesteaks with me while standing over a trash can at 2 am in the middle of a South Philly intersection.
  • Thank you for understanding that Italians really do things differently and for going with the flow even when you disliked the pizzelles.
  • Thank you for pushing me to be better at the things you know in your heart I do really well.
  • Thank you for never making me feel like what I do in this world is a joke.
  • Thank you for laughing as hard as I’ve ever seen you laugh when I finally told you I was a nuclear physicist.
  • Thank you for every prenatal vitamin you handed me because you knew I’d forget to take it on my own.
  • Thank you for flowers in my hotel room when I seriously needed flowers in my hotel room.
  • Thank you for always asking how my day is.
  • Thank you for being a guy I can throw in a tux and put in the middle of a room of five-hundred jewelry people, while never having to worry about whether you are doing okay without me.
  • Thank you for being the husband my friends now like more than they like me.
  • Thank you for every time you corrected my grammar. I know it may have pissed me off when you did it, but I’m grateful you did… trust me on that.
  • Thank you for not leaving when you probably should have.
  • Thank you for convincing me to stay when I thought about leaving.
  • Thank you for having faith in me, in all ways, for all of our days.
  • Thank you for being the Flash, Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, a Christmas tree, Perseus, and Mr. Incredible. The last of the bunch is who you truly are.
  • Thank you for every appointment reminder for every single thing that matters in our lives. You’re The Great Organizer and I don’t know how I’d do it without you.
  • Thank you for the sacrifices you make to take care of our children and me. You make a lot. I know that you do.
  • Thank you for black-tie New Year’s Eves at the symphony. They are always my favorite evenings. Let’s do it again this year.
  • Thank you for speaking more than one language. It’s fun to show you off, in more ways than one.
  • Thank you for loving books as much as I do, and for teaching our children to love them, too.
  • Thank you for being the realist when I’m off in one of my fantasy worlds. You even me out. We’re quite the balancing act.
  • Thank you for never “wasting your gum.”
  • Thank you for keeping yourself fit and healthy; our children need you around. I need you around, too.
  • Thank you for helping me stay calm through every seizure, every needle, every test, every exam, and every ounce of pain our child suffered through. I will never forget your strength in those moments.
  • Thank you for still wanting to go on lunch dates.
  • Thank you for all the times you wished me a happy monthly anniversary. I’m sorry I took those times for granted.
  • Thank you for the pride you have in who I’ve become as a writer, but more importantly, who I’ve become as a person.
  • Thank you for thinking three steps ahead.
  • Thank you for providing me, and us, with this life, and this marriage. Strange circumstances brought us together, it’s only fitting our relationship be anything but normal.
  • Thank you for maturity. I didn’t know it existed before you came along.
  • Thank you for every time you laid down your sword when all you wanted was to fight to the death.
  • Thank you for telling me I’m still pretty. At my age, as a woman, you have no idea how much it means.
  • Thank you for being a shoulder when my tears are too much for my heart to bear alone. I know I bring sadness upon myself at times. I’m happy you’re the person who understands me best.
  • Thank you, finally, for being my editor on this blog. I’m sorry I couldn’t send this to you to edit, but I think you know why, and I hope I get a pass this one and only time.

Happy fiftieth birthday to you: my partner, my confidant, my teacher, my friend, and of course… my dear, sweet husband. May it be all that you hoped it would be and a hundred times more.

You made me better. You make me better. Don’t ever, ever forget that.



Girl Time: Desperately Seeking Women in the Watch World

It was my first time in Switzerland. We had taken a day trip over to the country from Lago di Como, which was the beginning leg of our sixteen-day stint across Northern Italy.

I knew my then-boyfriend wasn’t a “watch guy” but he agreed to go with me into what I remember to be a nineteenth-century clock and watch shop. It was old, and dark, and so goddamned cool. It smelled of wood and mold, having been on the shoreline of Lake Lugano for deity knows just how long.

We walked around as several suspicious Swiss eyes followed us. Ah, the Swiss. I believe that the term, “meh,” was likely coined somewhere in that country. So neutral. So indifferent. But so, SO, serious about their timepieces.

And then, it happened to him. I had no doubt it would. I had been working in the watch and jewelry industry for about five years at that point and I remember the first time it happened to me.

(Cue flashback filter a la 1980’s television sitcom)

“That’s a Vacheron Constantin” she said.

“I’m sorry, it’s a whattie-what-whattateen?” I replied.

“A VASH-ER-OHN CON-STAN-TEEN” she giggled. “My lord, woman. I need to get you around rich people more often.”

I was a lower-middle-class Italian gal from South Philly. Vagabond Florentines weren’t exactly in my repertoire. But I was working for LAGOS at the time and had gotten in tight with the watch buyer at Govberg Jewelers in Philadelphia. And if there was one place you bought your high-end watches from if you lived in or anywhere around Philly, it was Govberg.

This was not a woman’s watch I was looking at. It appeared to be about 38mm in diameter. Maybe it was smaller, but I didn’t have my gauge on me. It was heavy, and beautiful, and man, it felt expensive.

“Girl, I’m telling you, you need to learn more about watches. It’s an entirely different world than what you’re used to in jewelry.”

(Cue flashforward filter a la 1980’s television sitcom)

“My lord, what is it?” he whispered to me.

“It’s a watch,” I assholishly replied.

(Now rolling his eyes.) “I know it’s a watch, but what kind of watch? I don’t recognize the model.” he said.

“It’s a Jaeger-Le….”

Watch Women

#WOMW – What’s On My Wrist, or rather, has been on it in the past.

THAT is a Jaeger-LeCoultre” remarked Swissy McSnootiestein, descending from his very chocolate-colored, meticulously made wooden throne. “Are you familiar with Jaeger-LeCoultre?” he said, very much not to me, but rather directly to the handsome man standing on my left.

The Aries inside of me couldn’t help its vehement self.

“He isn’t, but I am, a little,” I stated. “I know that the company was started in the 1830’s as ‘LeCoultre & Cie’ and that at some point in the 1930’s the company was renamed after the Jaeger guy – a French Naval officer I believe – joined forces with them and they created the world’s thinnest movement. I know that there was a big connection to Cartier for a while, too, but there was a period of about fifty years where they didn’t go by the complete name… until the eighties, maybe? Am I right?”

Swissy held my stare for about five seconds. Not impressed, (sky is blue/Pope is Catholic/yada yada) he turned back to Todd and proceeded to school him on the importance of this particular timepiece.

Sir, this is a very special watch. You should try it on. It is a magnificent piece: the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic in Rose Gold, 18K. Now, it is water resistant to fifty meters, and it is a little over 41mm in diameter which would be a perfect size for you since you’re such a tall man and I am a small, poor excuse for a human being who is incredibly meeker than you. (Okay, he didn’t really say that last line but in my mind he did.) It has a sapphire crystal, and the strap is made of crocodile. It’s a fine timepiece. You may not find this in your American watch shops.”

Todd looked at him and nodded in approval, and even though he and I had only been dating a brief while at the time, I knew that what he actually heard Swissy say was this: “Mr. American man, this watch is expensive. It sells for more than the down payment on the house that you will eventually buy with that overly-confident woman to your right. Let me repeat: it’s really, REALLY expensive. It costs more than your car, your wardrobe, and all of your electronics, combined. You are not worthy of this watch. I don’t even know why I’m showing it to you. I think I’m only letting you see it because I want for you to feel like less of a man. That will make me happy since you’re much younger and more attractive than I am. Yes. That’s right. Look at this watch that you will never afford. And believe me, if I were French, I’d have sex with your girlfriend, too. But since I am Swiss, I really don’t care to. I don’t care about much, actually. Did I mention I am Swiss?”

“Sure. I’d love to try it on” Todd said.

I knew where he was going with this.

One of the things that attracted my (eventual) husband and me to one another is that we’re damned good under pressure, both of us. If put on the spot, especially by someone in the service industry, all we need to do is give one another “the look”… It’s sort of a “do you want this one or shall I take it?” look, and on this day, we both decided we’d go in together.

“I like it, I’m just not sure I like how the strap feels.”

“Which do you think you like better? This one or the Vacheron we saw up the road? Or maybe even that Audemars?!”

“Oh, I loved that Vacheron. I mean, that was absolute perfection and fit my wrist exquisitely. But I don’t want you spending that much on me. This one seems like it is fairly less expensive.”

I could see Swissy turning the background color of his national flag, but before he could jump in I said, “Don’t be silly, babe. I can tell you don’t love it. Come on, let’s go get the other one. (Turning to Swiss Mister) “Thank you ever so much for your time. Maybe we’ll stop in when we’re back next year before heading to Monaco.” And off we went to buy our imaginary Vacheron with our imaginary tens of thousands of dollars.

What I took away from that experience was, a) Never date the Swiss and, b) No matter how much I showed I knew about watches, it was still my male partner whom the male salesperson kept in his sights. And now, more than twelve years after that initial run-in, I’ve decided to delve into the question many before me have pondered but few have publicly asked:

Why is the watch world still mostly a man’s world?

Let’s start by factually backing up the statement that the watch industry is largely a sausage fest (or in the case of the Napolean complex guys, a Vienna sausage fest) with a look at the average watch consumer: the buyer, collector, and wearer. What do the majority of the aforementioned have in common other than their love of timepieces? Well, for one, they likely have money to spend.

Women of Watches

The four watch women in my #fiftywomenofjewelry InstaSeries.

A 2014 report by Lisa Keister at Duke University’s Department of Sociology showed that just under 98% of the country’s top 1% of earners were male. Women only make up 11% of Fortune 500 CFO’s, and we all know about that magic 79% wage gap number, now, don’t we? Yet while women have for years been accused of being shopaholics (and rightfully so) the tide is shifting when it comes to luxury items. In 2013, for the first time in China, their male population outspent the females when it came to buying luxury goods, spending 52% more than women spent on watches, according to an article posted on MarketingtoChina.com. And if numbers and facts make your head hurt (I’ll refrain from inserting Donald Trump jokes here, but I know you know what I mean) you needn’t look much further than any middle-aged-man-with-a-love-for-mechanical-things’ Instagram feed to see how many dudes really cherish them some wrist clocks. (Raise your hand if you love colloquialism!)

Let’s experiment a little, shall we? Let’s head on over to the ‘gram, right now, together. Click your search icon, and key in, “#WOMW.” Now, GO.

At the time I wrote this paragraph, 372,084 Instagram posts popped up with that hashtag. I had to scroll through sixty-nine posts of watches on the wrists of men before I got to the @ferniezap (Fernanda Zapata) image of her wrist wearing a Martenero New York watch to accompany her uber-cute black-and-white fall sweater. That averages out to under a 1.5% ratio in case you were wondering. And in making the previous statement I made about Fernanda’s clothing, I’m also posing an additional sub-question: are women just more interested in things other than timepieces?

I write mostly about jewelry, and people in the jewelry industry. For the record, this is only the second post I’ve written solely about watches and the watch industry since I started this blog in August of 2013. But it isn’t because I didn’t care about watches or didn’t want to talk about watches. I frequent the popular watch blogs, follow all of the major watch websites, and stalk read most of the famous/infamous watch editors. But even amongst them, female faces are few. Roberta Naas – the founder/editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com – was the first female watch editor in the U.S. market, and is still largely the only female face I see in pictures that include groups of watch editors scaling glaciers in Greenland, dogsledding across Alaska, paragliding while blindfolded, or jumping off of sixty-foot cliffs on behalf of Breguet, Bremont, and others. But, WHY? It can’t be because women don’t like adventure. I, for one, love adventure. When Gandalf went looking for Bilbo, he was originally looking for Barbara Palumbo (if you say it really quickly it sounds a lot like “Bilbo,” trust me. But you have to say it, like, super-fast, while drinking scotch.) So why are there not more Robertas out there? Or more Hyla Bauers? Or even Cara Barretts? And what about the prominent positions within the major watch companies? See many women in those? Off of the top of my head I can recall Mercedes Abramo of Cartier North America, Aletta Stas-Bax of Frédérique Constant, and Stacie Orloff of Bell & Ross, but how many more exist? Out of the eighteen North American brand presidents at Richemont, seventeen of them are men. One woman. Una. That’s it. Again, though… why?


With Michelle Peranteau of Baume et Mercier, nominee at the 2015 WJA Awards for Excellence in the watch category. Photo by Bart Gorin.

The answer could partially be this: watches are machines, and machines require engineers, and well, there’s a huge gender gap there, too. According to Joanne McGrath Cohoon, an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Virginia, only about 18-20% of engineering students were women as of 2012. And while that figure is up drastically from the early 1980’s when fewer than 6% of engineering students were women, this fact could also shed some light as to why there are far fewer women than men who are interested in watches and watch careers.

The cold, hard truth is that the gender disparity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs is widely known and has been researched, greatly. There are many who claim that a lack of female engineering role models is largely to blame for more women not pursuing careers in that field, but in that respect the same could be said for the science (or is it, art?) of horology. Although, hell, why not change it up from a retailer level, too? Ever walk into a brick and mortar store that sold both fine jewelry as well as fine timepieces? If the answer is no, then here’s another experiment for you… do so, and first ask to speak to their David Yurman specialist. Once you’re finished speaking with HER, ask to see their Rolex specialist, then tell me how the conversation went with HIM. It’s not an exact science, but you get what I’m saying, here. The industry could and should do more to allow women the opportunities that their male counterparts have had for years. And to not wag fingers at men only, more women should insist that they are interested in something substantial in terms of inner workings and complications rather than being content with having to be the staff member who shows the customer how pretty a sterling silver piece looks from the outside once it’s completed.

I would love to say that having more women in the watch field is a work in progress, even if I don’t see that work happening on a day-to-day basis. But, I’m also not at the watch shows, nor do I attend Basel, nor do I jump out of airplanes with the crew from Breitling. Not that I wouldn’t, mind you (pssst… Breitling… call me.) But I will say this: it would be nice, if the next time I do a series on the Fifty Women of Jewelry (ask around), I could have more than four female faces in the group who are from the watch circuit.

And maybe… just maybe… many years down the road when someone else writes a piece on industry women, they will ask why there aren’t more watch writers like me.

Just sayin’. You never, never know.


Tales From the Strip 2015, PART SIX: Let’s Get This (expletive) Over With

For the love of Pope Francis, am I STILL talking about Vegas? Has this series become like the Sagrada Família, or what? It’s never ending… or is it?

I last left you with the story of our annual Friday night Vegas Gems gathering but this here post is going to cover the following three (count ‘em!) evenings I spent in la Ciudad del Pecado. First up… SAT.


For some reason, and it’s never planned, I wind up staying in on Saturday night every year in Vegas. I know, totally lame, but it just kind of happens that way. Don’t get me wrong, I had more than my fair share of invites to play…

[segment of a text message]

Millennial: “Hey, um, want to meet me at Hakkasan? Calvin Harris is spinning.”

Me: “Man, that sounds awesome, but, I think I’m going to pass. Mainly because I have no idea who that is.”

Millennial: “Yeah, I really don’t know either. I just wanted to sound cool.”

Did I mention I love what I do for a living?

So Saturday was a bust but that was okay with me, because I got to catch up on sleep before Sunday night’s “Rocks the Beach” par-tay down at the other end of the strip. And thanks to the eternally lovely Hayley Henning, I finally had my ticket.



KaterinaPerez.com and her accountant

My attire for the show floor on Sunday was a little more conservative than usual. Mainly because I had an appointment with someone who wasn’t exactly a fan of a particularly short shirt I wore to the Centurion Show earlier in the year, so I was hell-bent on making sure that I did my best not to offend him this time.

I wore a suit.


Remy, Haley, and the tax collector

This surprised several people. Gannon asked me why I was dressed like an accountant and Natalie with Omi Gems let me do her taxes. (By the way, Nat, no, you cannot write off keg-parties or male strippers. The IRS frowns on that. Sorry, girl.)

When the official work day came to a close, We The (Jewelry) People poured ourselves out onto the Wynn’s patio for a post-show shindig and ass-kissing socializing opportunity. With prosecco in grasp, I made my way through the crowd, kissing hands and shaking babies until the time came for me to bid that world adieu and prepare myself for the *other* world…





It was time to head down to Mandalay Bay.



Beach Pixie

“Rocks the Beach” had been a highlight for me these last couple of years. Not because I care anything about who is on the stage at the time the concert is happening, but because of who is off the stage when it is. As I have quoted my friend Wendy Brandes in the past… “It’s a concert in a pool!” And, who doesn’t love being soaked, drunk, and covered in sand while you make up song lyrics with some of your favorite people in the world, amiright?

When I arrived at Le Beach (in my heels, because now it’s just a game to see how long I’m able to stand in them on the sand) I headed straight for the bar, because Jeebus knows I can’t do this without liquor. I stumbled walked gracefully through the sand in search of any of my peeps and then a lightbulb came on… the WJA had a cabana. And that’s what I set out in search of.


I could hear the yells coming from the other side of the pool. I could somewhat make out what appeared to be Tinkerbell waving her arms and throwing pixie dust in my general direction then realized it was the one and only Bern Mack beckoning me.

“Damn. That’s one big-ass pool” I thought to myself. I was kind of trapped. They (my WJA sisters) were all the way on the other side of it, which meant I had to walk completely around it and past the JCK Cabana, but, I saw no other way to get there, and so I started walking, until I noticed that one part of the pool was… well… different.

It was dark, so I wasn’t one-hundred-percent certain that what I thought I was seeing was actually a thing. I mean, I looked like it could have been a thing, but I wasn’t wearing my glasses (because vanity) and I pretty much downed that first Dewars (because gluttony) so I seriously wasn’t sure. If I attempted what I was about to and failed, then let’s just say I’d be all washed up. If I attempted it and succeeded, then, well, it will make for one hell of a grand entrance, so I held my breath, lifted my black strappy stiletto, and stepped foot into what looked like the water.

You see, this pool had a transparent runway of sorts extending from one side to the other, but it was about three to four inches below the pool’s surface, so it wasn’t obvious in the dark, which made for a rather interesting sight.

Yes, my loves… to the unsuspecting eye, I appeared to have been walking on water.

And not only was I walking on water, I was walking on water to cheers and laughter from the crowd, which clearly I hate (sarc.) I was swaying my hips, splashing my heels, and cat walking the sh*t out of that pathway, so much so that when I got to the other side I heard one of the gals say… “Greatest. Entrance. Ever.”

AHHHHH! MY SISTERS!!! MY SISTERS WERE THERE! Deb Hiss, and Anna Samsonova, and Bern, and Wendy, and Erika Winters (who was celebrating her fortieth birthday!) and Britt, and Andrea Hansen, and Jessica, and so, so many of my lovelies. I even got to meet Sarah Keicker for the first time after having been social media pals for a while. It felt so good to be there. Felt like home, ya know? Only thing missing was our fearless leader, Monica Stephenson.


And then I woke up…

I eventually made my way back down to the beach where I found Amanda, Molly, and Hayley in time to pose for a #TallGirlClub picture. I also ran into a plethora of Dutch folk, namely Edward and Mike Asscher, while I waited for the man of the hour to arrive…

Oh, I don’t mean musical act Gavin DeGraw… I mean That Kid From Ritani… and sure enough, he did.

There is just something about a 6’4” crossfitter wearing a sleeveless Bengal tiger t-shirt and pink shorts walking across a fake beach. I mean, where else on earth other than Vegas (well, maybe Japan) could one see a sight such as this? Nowhere, people. Nowhere. And thank lawd for that.

“Babs! Em, what ya doin’?”

(I love it when the English rid themselves of those pesky prepositions.)

We chatted for a moment but then I did something I’d been wanting to do for several months… I introduced TKFR to Mr. Best Dressed himself, Mike Asscher.

It was weird to see so much handsomeness come together in one square foot of space. The coalescence of beauty nearly caused the two industry stars to become supernovae, blinding those around them as they smiled their sickeningly perfect smiles.

Ugh. I’m ill. Moving on…

Shortly after Breakin DeLaw Gavin DeGraw hit the stage, I hit the bricks, as I was being beckoned by some of my clients down at the Wynn to come on back for some Oban and shenanigans. And when clients beckon, Barbara obeys, because that’s what you do in the land of the sale.

It was a fine, fine evening down at the beach, and I was so happy to have been able to take part, yet again, in the fun and frivolity.



“You mess with the ram, you get the horns…”

The last day of the Couture show was still a fairly busy one for us. Our appointments ran well into the afternoon until at last we were allowed some down time, which is when I FINALLY got to visit my darling Michelle Peranteau over at Baume et Mercier.

Someone said to me recently, “You know, there is jewelry and there is watches and never the twain shall meet,” but I disagree with that statement. There is definitely a disconnect between the two genres of the adornment world, but there are crossovers as well as enough crossover people (and writers), and it’s about time the two are desegregated.

By Monday night, everyone in Vegas and I were exhausted. I opted for burgers and a beer (oh, the humanity) at Bobby Flay’s joint just off of the strip. I was accompanied by a good friend of mine who had only a few hours before they had to catch the red eye. Then, I took one of my final cab rides of the trip to see the one human being I had yet to see because he was stupid enough to change a light bulb by himself…

Michael Schechter.

Why do they let him near electricity?

Why do they let him near electricity?

No Vegas experience is complete without a night in Eye Candy with Sketchy McNerdystein, so even in my sleep-deprived haze, I made it a point to spend time with one of my favorite people on the planet. And yes, I realize just how much crap I’m going to catch for voicing that morsel of information, but what the hell, you only get one life, right? May as well share your feelings before dementia sets in. And it will. Sometimes purposely. I think for me it will be deliberate dementia so that I don’t have to remember this sh*t when I’m older.

And with that, my people, this year’s Tales From the Strip series comes to a close. Before it does, however, let me give a shout out to Ben Guttery who has given me you-know-what about my not mentioning him in any of these posts. Here ya go, Ben. You get your own paragraph and all.

Until next year, Vegas! Cheers!

Until next year, Vegas! Cheers!


See you next year, effers!


#50MillennialsofJewelry – A New Adornmentality InstaSeries

Hey y’all –

I figured it was time to start a new project since lawd knows I don’t have enough to do. This one is pretty important, though, and I hope you’ll check out my social media pages so that you, too, can follow along.

millennialsWhen I started in the jewelry industry I was twenty-three-years old. I was the epitome of a Gen-‘X’er and could have really used some guidance, or even a kind word to help me along as I explored an industry I knew little about. I had no real mentors and no real training but I knew I was loving what I was doing, and that’s what kept me going and keeps me going today.

There are a plethora of Gen-“Y”ers in the jewelry business right now who have tremendous talent, are armed with education and experience, and who are as passionate as anyone who has been in the industry twice as long. In this latest series I’ll be highlighting one young person every day for fifty days who is making waves/standing out/working hard/following their passions. This is my way of saying, “you’re doing great, and you’re getting noticed” which I know, first hand, can make all the difference in the world to someone.

Please know that even though the list will comprise fifty women and fifty men, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t others who are just as awesome in this biz, and as always, I welcome anyone’s opinions about it, as well as anyone’s recommendations for it as there are some spaces left to fill. I can be reached by email (adornmentality@gmail.com) if you feel the need to reach out.

So, enjoy. I’ll be mixing in some stats about Millennials throughout the series, so maybe we’ll all learn a little something by the end.



Trade Show Shenanigans

Tales From the Strip 2015, PART FIVE: Le Gemmes de Vegas Trois/Raising the Bar (Which Was Closed)

What night in Vegas am I on? Friday? Friday. Yeah, I think Friday.

For the last three years, a group of women with some connection to the written word has gathered in Vegas for what we call our annual #VegasGems get together. Our organizer, from moment one, has always been designer and blogger, Shamila Jiwa, and this year was no exception. Shamila came up with the idea that instead of starving ourselves in front of an animated, oversized reptile like we’d done the two years prior, we should instead sit down and do this thing called “aet.” No wait, “e-e-t” I think it’s spelled. Wait, maybe it’s “e-a-t.” Yeah, EAT. That looks right. It’s a foreign concept to most of us during Jewelry Week so we all agreed to try it out both out of curiosity and in the spirit of adventure seeking. And boy, oh boy, what a treat!

#VegasGems Take Jaleo! Photo by Brittany Siminitz

#VegasGems Take Jaleo! Photo by Brittany Siminitz

Little by little we arrived at our destination, skipping this year’s COUTURE awards in order to keep the tradition going. Shamila had made reservations at JALEO at the Cosmopolitan and assured us we’d have the best seat in the house.

I could continue this story by doing a roll call of names of those who are part of our Vegas Gems group, but this year, after the years of having shared many experiences with these women individually, I’m going to give you a breakdown of who they are, as well as who they are to me, starting at the top, with my mentor-in-chief.

Peggy Jo Donohue – Yes, her résumé in the jewelry industry and in the writing world is long and impressive, but it’s who she is when she’s not broken down on paper that’s special to each of us in attendance. There is no greater cheerleader of your life than Peggy Jo Donohue, but there’s also no better person to sit your ass down and make you take a long, deep breath. Many a ledge has been avoided in my life because of her, and with a new gig on the horizon, it was fascinating to be seated alongside PJD for a large part of the night. Cheers, my friend!


I’ve lost count of how many of these we have now

Wendy Brandes – Writer turned designer (yet still a writer) turned duckface maker, Wendy Brandes, adds a unique layer of fabulousness to our group gatherings. Always dressed in something remarkable, up to and including her beautiful jewels, Wendy’s stories of rap concerts, famous people, kinky couples, and Paul McCartney have us transfixed in amazement and green with envy. When she gets going, it’s as if someone mentioned “bomb” on an airplane, as in, no one makes a sound, clenching their butt cheeks, waiting for the bass to drop. I adore you, WB. May we never not duckface together ever.

Brittany Siminitz – If Paul Rudd’s ANT MAN suit was real, and I could find it, steal it, and make this JCK Marketplace Manager wear that shit, I would. I would make her put it on and shrink herself so that she could climb into my pocket or my wallet or my lipstick holder and be with me all day long, every day. Then I’d make her life size again whenever I needed my Brittany fix. It’s a dream, but what is life without dreams, right? Brittany is truly an underrated yet extremely gifted writer, but beyond that she’s genuine, and positive, and a joy to be around. PLUS, it was her birthday, so, double awesomeness.

Shamila Jiwa – OHHHHHHHHHH, how I LOOOOOOVE me some Shamila Jiwa! Shamila is so tiny that she doesn’t need Paul Rudd’s Ant Man suit to slip into my pocket, but she did claim that it was a little tight in there, prompting me to go paleo ever since. Shamila is a talented jewelry designer, wonderful writer, hilarious storyteller, and all around awesome human being. I also recently got to spend some time with her, one-on-one, during her summer trip to Atlanta, which is hard to do in Vegas even when you’re out on VG night. Shamila, thanks so much for eternally being the organizer of this. Love you to bits!

Cheryl Kremkow – I’ve always been in awe of Cheryl Kremkow’s ability to spot a pair of earrings or a necklace from a mile away and know who the designer was immediately. Ever follow her live tweets at red carpet events? You should. It’s mesmerizing. Cheryl is inspiring and even more importantly, she’s greatly experienced in the written jewelry word and so when she speaks, I listen, and when she writes, I read. She’s a blessing to every jewelry blogger who exists right now, and her support of me and what I do is so very much appreciated. Thank you, CK. Muah muah muah.

Erika Winters – This one, oh I could just smoosh her face, it’s so damn pretty. Erika has genuinely found her calling as a jewelry designer and we #Gems could not be prouder of her. Her gorgeous engagement ring and wedding band lines and the even more beautiful images of each that she takes herself have a social media following all on their own. She still writes on her blog which can be found on her website and still manages to tackle other genres in the creative world, daily. To me, however, she’s simply my good friend who I’d be happy for regardless of what she was doing. And I’m very happy, Erika. Extremely.

Monica Stephenson – The recent WJA award winner for Excellence in Editorial Media should probably get her own table next year so that the multitude of fans who will want her autograph will have a place to sit. It’s okay. We know what’s up. We’ll just yell the jokes across the room to her and have the champagne brought over on the back of That Kid From Ritani. She’ll still have fun. We promise. All kidding aside, I am so very proud of this woman who I love with the wholeness of my heart and I’m thrilled I got to spend so much time with her this year on a week that is usually sporadic and batshit crazy. I bow down, OH QUEEN! May you reign in this industry for years and years to come!

So, now that you know a bit more about each Vegas Gem (other than me, since, my life is obviously an open book) I will go ahead and get into the night a little, cool? Cool.


Omi Gems Party. NAT!!

We were at dinner FOR-EV-ER. I mean it, I’m pretty sure we were into our third or maybe fourth hour and sixth bottle of wine by the time Jen Heebner and Tanya Dukes arrived (which, by-the-way, brought the *awesome writer* vibe to “danger zone” levels).

We shared glorious latin-inspired tapas and sank a good amount of wine, all while giggling like University of Alabama sorority girls and bitching about what is wrong with our industry. We talked gems and sex and food and travel and sex and wine and mining and sex. Or maybe that was just me talking about sex. Or maybe I was only thinking about it but wasn’t really talking about it. I can’t really remember because wine. I do reminder talking about wine. Or I guess I could have just been drinking it while thinking about it. Wine that is. And sex.

I’m thirsty all of a sudden.

OH, I do recall that I finally got to spend some real time with Jessica Neiwert, however. And I had no idea that Charlie Herner of The Rephinery was her boyfriend, so, total bonus! This a JEWELRY POWER COUPLE, yo! Seriously, keep these two names on your radar and watch them become something magical in this world. I’m betting my next three paychecks on that happening, that’s how confident I am that it will. (Shoutout to Erika’s husband Peter, too!)

As the night was winding down (to Jennifer Dawes, we’re so sorry we missed your gathering!) we realized that several of us had been invited to the OMI GEMS birthday party at The Wynn. We gathered our things and headed through the Cosmo toward the exit, with our fearless long-legged leader clearing a path for the rest of us to follow.

I loathe the Cosmopolitan. It’s like amateur night in that place. Everything one can hate about Vegas is usually walking stumbling drunkenly through the corridors of that godforsaken casino. As our large group tried our best to form a double-file line toward the exit, a cumulus-cloud-sized gathering of gentlemen idiots holding beer bottles and wearing baseball caps headed in our direction. One particularly beefy guy, not paying attention as he was oogling the breasts that were headed up the escalator, slammed full force into my left shoulder, knocking me off balance, as I exclaimed, “OW! Are you serious, dude?”

His beer muscles kicked in, of course, because knocking a woman over is *totally* when they should…


But before the twenty-two-year-old Philly girl living inside of me was able to cock her fist back and land it on his disgusting face, two hands grabbed by shoulders, moved me out of the way, and yelled “Yeah, we’re serious too, asshole!” To which he replied by walking away.

Look, there’s only one other person I know who’s crazy enough to welcome confrontation, but I’m not going to say who that woman is. I’ll only state that her name may or may not rhyme with Shmeggy Flo Clonoughugh, but I can’t say for certain.


A picture of a picture of us piled into the limo

After seeing that the cab line was as long as the guy who knocked me down’s monthly phone sex charges, Monica disappeared for a moment only to return with a big, black… limo. (Gotcha!) Half of us piled in (and on one another) and we headed toward to Wynn hoping we could arrive at the Omi party in time to celebrate with even more awesome jewelry industry people.

The event was nearly over when we walked in, but we were still able to chill out with Natalie, Niveet, Mando, and many other folks who had been invited to one of the week’s best parties. It was a great way to end our annual group dinner and before long, I called it a night and headed up to my room.

Thanks, my crew, for such a memorable evening. And we really missed you Jessica and Katrina! I look forward to this every year and hope it never stops.

Next up, the last leg of the journey.


Trade Show Shenanigans

Tales From the Strip 2015, PART FOUR: D.E.F. Jam in the Desert, aka, Barbara Gets Punk’d

(Yes, yes… I’m still talking about Vegas.)

There is an OZ-like curtain in certain parts of the industry that I was unaware of until this last year. Sometimes it seems, not just to me but many others, like there are the big cities – the Meccas – and then, there’s everywhere else. Sometimes it feels like the truth about tough topics is pushed under the rug as to not offend/not piss off/not shine the spotlight on the players who pay the big bills, or have the big names, or run the big ads. Sometimes, against their own interest, women don’t stand up for women (aka – “mean girl club”). And sometimes, someone such as I – naively, maybe – comes along, and calls out these issues, and calls out the politics or the bullshit for what it is, yet in turn occasionally finds themself outside of some imaginary circle of trust.

Writing about Vegas post-Vegas has been tough for me. Not because I haven’t had things to say or stories to tell (I always have things to say and stories to tell) but because my heart just wasn’t into it, which is why it has taken this long. Remember finding out about Santa Claus? Well, I feel like this year exposed him, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and leprechauns all on the same day, and that left me both indignant and disheartened about the field I’ve been in for nearly two decades, that is, until a few weeks ago…

A simple conversation with a respected colleague and friend can often change how you view something in the long term. When I mentioned that I was going to be stepping back from writing the blog for a while, my statement was met with the following demand:

“Don’t you f*cking dare. Don’t you dare go away because if you do, you’ve lost. Don’t you dare let what’s been going on forever get to you. You are a voice – a voice that people didn’t expect and probably one they weren’t ready for. If change is going to happen, you’re going to make it happen, so don’t you dare walk away. Get out there and write.”

And so, I am.

Today’s post will cover a single night in Sin City – Thursday night. It was the night of the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s “Diamonds in the Sky” event, and I promise you that this recap will be light and airy and fun. There’s no need to think that I’m going to change the world through this entry, but know in the back of your mind that I want to. I want to see change, so I will try my damnedest to be that change. In the interim, however, I give you part four


After the success of the “Power of Blogging” panel, I was about as high as the state of Colorado, which these days, as you know, is pretty f*cking high. The “Diamonds In the Sky” event was a highlight for me during last year’s Jewelry Week and I was looking forward to being *properly* dressed this time (if you don’t know what I mean, read this post from last year’s event to get yourself caught up).

Once back in my room I fixed my makeup, threw my hair up, and donned a Salmon-colored floor length gown that was summery, flowy, and feminine. I felt… girly… which is not an adjective I use to describe myself often, but what the hell, right? May as well go all in since last year I wore a knee-length dress and felt out of place because everyone was dressed formally. However, as I approached the ballroom at the Four Seasons I noticed that most of the female attendees were in cocktail length dresses and skirts… with some even wearing pants. I had to rub my eyes and do a double-take. What…. the HELL… is going on here? Is this some cruel joke the entire industry is playing on me? Is Ashton Kutcher going to pop out from behind some elegant Vegas drapery and tell me I’m being PUNK’d? THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING. Last year I was underdressed and this year, I’m overdressed?? For the love of jeebus, can I just catch a break?!? Of course I can’t. This is me we’re talking about. Thankfully there was no line at the bar so I went right in and ordered a scotch. A quick scan of the room put Monica, Danielle, Liz Kanter, Amanda Gizzi, and Natalie Bos in my sights, so off I went to talk jewelry and blogs.


Bern and me on our way to the prom. (Photo courtesy of the Diamond Empowerment Fund)

Everyone looked so glamourous. There were diamond hair clips and gorgeous statement necklaces (including the GUMUCHIAN Cascade necklace I was wearing), and Monica had on a fabulous ring by Payal Shah of L’Dezen. Diamonds weren’t just doing good so far at this event, they were doing freaking GREAT, and were well represented among the blogger community in particular.

We did our usual catching up with our industry favorites (Craig Danforth, Michelle Graff, Jen Cullen Williams, and The Asschers) and I was also able to have some serious conversations with folks like Dr. Ben Chavis, and the AGS’ Ruth Batson. This is an event I really looked forward to as I remembered just how wonderful last year’s dinner was (I mean, what event isn’t awesome where you get to high five Chaka Khan as she sings “I’m Every Woman”?). But this year’s entertainment was going to be Kelly Rowland – one third of the nineties megagirlgroup, “Destiny’s Child” and multi-platinum solo recording artist. And yo, I knew all of that without even looking her up on Wiki! Holla! (Did I spell that correctly?)


Pixie, Dipsh*t, and The International Man of Mystery

I was fortunate enough to be seated between Diamond Council of America president, Terry Chandler, and WJA Executive Director and pixie-cut-wearer extraordinaire, Bernadette Mack. When Terry saw that we were being served a type of wine that I don’t drink, he jumped in and ordered a bottle of my favorite for the table. I can see why Cindy and he have such a fantastic relationship. Way to be accommodating, Terry! Terry also, though, for some reason, thought his Facebook account had come to life that night as he found that poking me in the left arm over and over and over and over was more than amusing. Oh, Terry… you’re so lucky I like you, because if I didn’t, I would have taken you out at the knees and dropped your ass.

So many wonderful things happened during this year’s Diamonds in the Sky Gala, but for me, because I’m who I am, the part where super-hot Olympic swimmer Roland Schoeman was auctioned off was extraordinary. I tried bidding, but, you know… I’m too much woman for him to have handled and once he met me he’d never want to leave my bed side, which would make swimming really difficult, and, well, the world needs him, so, I allowed myself to be outbid. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Kelly in The Crowd

Kelly Rowland singing to Dr. Ben. (Photo courtesy of the Diamond Empowerment Fund)

After the food, fun, speeches, success stories, and songs were all over, a multitude of us decided to gather at our regular stomping grounds for an after-party…

That’s right, kids… you’ve waited long enough… time to talk about EYE CANDY.

I’ve been accused of namedropping during this series in the past and to those accusers I say, go f*ck yourselves, because for the most part, when I mention a name in one of these posts, people get excited to know that they’re part of the fun. So in the spirit of namedropping, let me be the first to say that it was great seeing you Brandee, Fran, Anna, Alexis, Denise, Mike, Lita, Chris, Bob, Tim, Henry, Ulysses, Bethany, Cher, and Madonna! Yeah. I went there. Madge knows what’s up. (Pssst…. Madge… call me.)

The party got a little outrageous which was a sure sign it was time for me to go. On my way out, a friend handed a different friend to me for me to get them into a cab, and I obliged because that’s what you do when you’re in the desert with your jewelry family.

Thanks for being patient while I got into my groove again. I still have to write about this year’s #VegasGems gathering and will likely close out the series with a sixth and final post after that. Then, we’ll talk New York, the WJA Awards for Excellence, the 24K Club SEUS event, and my #FiftyWomenofJewelry compilation.

There’s much to say, and I’m grateful that plenty of you are still putting your listening ears on.