Oh, age thirty. How I remember thee. Young enough to be confused for twenty-five but old enough to feel too old to be clubbing (until you turn forty when you start loving [sadly] going clubbing again). Dearest thirty. Naive enough to think you still have time to “make it big” and yet seasoned enough to never be featured in a “Girls Gone Wild” video. I remember you well, thirty. Your whimsical attributes. Your determination, drive, and bravery. Your necessary second marriages. Your metamorphic body changes. At times I’d shake my Swiss-watch laden fist at you knowing all the while how very much I adored you. You were sexy and sensual and serious, thirty. But mostly, you were a force to be reckoned with.
The Women’s Jewelry Association turned thirty years old this year, which put this wonderfully involved organization (which is as vital to our industry as the Ultrasonic cleaner) into a different category in terms of maturity. The WJA is not nor has it ever been some fly-by-night Bunco club where a bunch of under-appreciated gals get together to drink, dish on their husbands, and drop four-letter words. That’s not saying any of the things I just mentioned didn’t happen at the WJA Awards for Excellence dinner at Chelsea Piers, but you’re batty if you think I’m going to be the one to expose the inside secrets of the group. I’m Italian. We know better than to tell secrets. I like my fingers. Rings look pretty on them.
The event is held every year at the close of the JA New York Summer Show and this year, the Awards for Excellence Gala welcomed a record 702 attendees. SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWO PEOPLE?!?! As my dear friend Michelle Peranteau would say… “Yeah. For serious.” I’m not sure I’ve ever personally seen so much glamour, baubles, white teeth, and Christian Llouboutins gathered in one place, and I’ve BEEN to James Franco’s mansion. That’s not true. I’ve only been there in my dreams. Speaking of James Franco, he also turned thirty this year. We share a birthday actually, Franc and me. Yeah, I call him Franc. He lets me. Again, in my dreams. Regardless, it warms my heart to think that two things that are so important to me – the WJA and James Franco – share a birth year. I smile when I think that a tiny, naked James Franco came out of his mother’s body thirty years ago. I smile more when I think of a not-so-tiny, naked James Franco going into my body today but that’s for another blog altogether. POINT IS… what is my point? Oh, point is there are some really beautiful, awesome things – cool industry related things – turning thirty this year and this post is both a shout out to them as well as a celebration of that milestone.
- Women’s Jewelry Association – Happy birthday to the WJA! Originally known as the New England Women’s Jewelry Association, which was formed in 1982 by Toni Lyn Judd and Cindy Geller, the WJA took off as a national organization in February of 1983 and today sponsors a design competition along with offering educational and mentoring programs. One of my favorite things about the WJA, however, is that they recognize women in this industry for their exceptional work in their fields at the Awards for Excellence Gala every year. This year’s nominees included – for the first time – an industry blogger in the media category which proves that the WJA is not only still thinking ahead and accepting change as it comes, but that they are planning to be around for more than another thirty years.
- Swatch – YES! YES YES YES YES!!! Swatch – those rad Swiss timepieces from the eighties and their little plastic covers – turned thirty this past March! But Swatch isn’t your tweenager’s watch anymore, gang. Swatch now offers over a dozen different types of watches including an internet-connected watch that offers stock quotes, weather reports, and news updates. Yeah, uh-huh… THAT Swatch. (BTW – that same internet also turned 30 this year.) As the proud owner of an all-metal Swatch from the Irony collection as well as an ultra-thin Swatch from the Skin Collection (both purchased on my thirtieth birthday trip to Switzerland – SEE THE TIE-IN???) I’m thrilled to celebrate Swatch’s ability to re-brand itself and wish it a very happy, fun-filled thirtieth, indeed.
- Microsoft Word – I don’t own an Apple anything. Actually, I have an IPod somewhere at the bottom of some gym bag I haven’t used in ages. I think so, anyway. But I do all of my blogging, lengthy email conjuring, Presidential speech writing, and press release prepping in good ol’ Microsoft Word, and after all this time, it’s about as dependable as my Honda in terms of getting me places. I’m sure there are other “word-type” programs out there that spell-check in one-hundred-and-twenty languages including Vulcan and Elvish, but for me and what I need to do/am required to do/like to do, Word has always been there right at my crimson-painted fingertips. Happy birthday, Word. Or rather… Happy birthday. Werd.
- The anniversary of Sally’s Ride’s mission to space on the Challenger space shuttle – While this is not related to the jewelry industry per se, it is somewhat connected to it in the idea that this industry has seen its struggles and has had its fair share of issues as it pertains to sexism. Sally Ride paved the way for more women in space and in the fields of science in general. The WJA paves the way for more women in jewelry. And if what you’re really looking for is a true connection to the biz, then I’ll give you this morsel: Jeweler Paul Dimitriu had designed more than 1,500 pieces of jewelry that had flown on more than 100 space flights including on the space shuttle Challenger. And while the space program and this country lost our beloved Sally Ride last year, she will forever remain a pioneer to women who are born knowing that they’re just as good, if not better in so many areas, than their male counterparts.
If this doesn’t prove just how fantabulous thirty is, I’m not sure what will. Throw in The A-Team, The Stairmaster, and Cabbage Patch Kids and you’ve got yourself a well-rounded birthday shindig filled with movie stars, arm candy, smart chicks, and science. That’s a party I want to be at every day of my life. You bring the chips. I’ve got the champagne covered.