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Cindy Edelstein, Renowned Designer Advocate, Passes Away at Age 51

Cindy Edelstein, an entrepreneur, author, editor, and industry consultant who gained renown for her tireless advocacy of jewelry designers, died suddenly on Sunday, Jan. 24, at the age of 51. The cause was heart failure.

Edelstein, a longtime contributor to MJSA’s educational programs and a perennial judge for the MJSA Vision Awards, began her career as an editor at JCK magazine. It was her years as fashion editor there that gave her the opportunity to fall in love with the work of jewelry designers, and in 1991 she and her husband, Frank Stankus, founded the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau (JRB). They had one goal in mind: to support the growth of designer fine jewelry as a retail category, an art form, and a community.

Over the years, Edelstein and her husband built a menu of marketing and publishing services offering expert advice, custom publications, and the kind of targeted marketing tools that designer entrepreneurs need to run their businesses most effectively. Their efforts included the Designer’s Annual Planning Guide and SOURCEBOOK for DESIGNERS and ARTISANS; the JRB NETWORK, the industry’s first subscription website that addresses the myriad concerns facing professional jewelry designer entrepreneurs; and globalDESIGN, an annual trade show.

Edelstein also served as a consultant for other industry trade shows, including the JCK show, the Couture show, and AGTA GemFair. For several years she produced the annual Designer Day that ran simultaneously with MJSA Expo. A frequent contributor to industry publications, she also co-wrote (with her husband) Brilliance: Masterpieces from the American Jewelry Design Council (Lark Books, 2008).

All of her efforts brought her industry-wide recognition, and her awards include the prestigious Benne Award from the American Jewelry Design Council, the Contemporary Design Group’s award as Best Designer Advocate, and the Editorial Excellence and Marketing Excellence awards from the Women’s Jewelry Association. 

Born in Brooklyn, Edelstein attended college at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Hofstra University from which she graduated with a bachelors degree.

She is survived by her husband, Frank; a daughter, Remy Sasha Stankus; a stepson, Byron David Stankus; and a brother, Philip Edelstein.

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