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MJSA Podcasts

MJSA Podcasts feature in-depth interviews, discussions, and individual profiles, along with coverage of the latest production and bench techniques, business and marketing insights, and trend and technology updates—the information crucial for achieving professional excellence.

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Episodes

 Episode 1 - Lab Grown Diamonds 

  Episode 2 - Finding the Sustainable Path

Episode 3 - Selling the Art of Custom


Episode 3: Selling the Art of Custom with Llyn Strong, owner of Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry

Llyn Strong

Jewelry artist and gallery owner Llyn Strong made her first piece of jewelry in 1972, igniting a passion that developed into a now 40-year career. During that time she’s built a reputation as an innovative, successful, and sought-after custom jewelry maker and business owner. With multiple design awards under her belt, including an Honorable Mention in the 2019 MJSA Vision Awards competition for her Amazing Grace cuff bracelet, Llyn is also recognized for her expertly crafted signature collections. Her store, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry, located in Greenville, South Carolina, features her own lines and serves as a showroom and studio for her custom services. She is also recognized for Gemstone Roundtable marketing events that bring existing and new customers togther for dinner, drinks, and the opportunity to view and handle a variety of gemstones. 

In this episode, Llyn discusses how she got started making jewelry, the story behind the creation of her award-winning cuff bracelet, and how she approaches marketing and selling her custom design services.

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Episode 2: Finding the Sustainable Path with Susan Crow, owner of East Fourth Street Jewelry

Susan Crow

The path to building a jewelry business focused on sustainability is different for every jeweler. Some jewelers make sustainable practices the cornerstone of their businesses right from the get-go. Others, like Susan Crow, owner of East Fourth Street Jewelry, in Northfield, Minnesota, learn about it later in their careers, deciding to transform the way that they do business. After a number of years working as a jewelry designer as well as a product designer in the consumer home goods industry, Crow became increasingly concerned about the environmental and ethical issues she saw in overseas manufacturing. She began to wonder if there was a different path to take. She decided that it was time for a change.

Today, Susan is recognized in the industry for integrating sustainability into her design process and business. She’s also the Responsible Practices Distinction winner in the 2019 MJSA Vision Awards. Along with making jewelry in her low-impact, environmentally conscious studio, she serves on the board of sustainably-minded organizations Ethical Metalsmiths and the Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild. She is also licensed to make jewelry from FAIRMINED gold and silver by the Alliance for Responsible Mining

In this episode, Susan shares her journey and discusses the challenges and overall rewards of building a responsible supply chain and adopting green processes. 

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Episode 1: Lab Grown Diamonds Update with Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing

Marty Hurwitz CEO MVI Marketing

While lab-grown diamonds have been around for decades, recent improvements in technology have finally made the production of high-quality stones possible. Despite some initial hesitation in the industry to add them into the mix, lab-grown stones have evolved into a hot new product category. More and more retailers and manufactures of all sizes are adding them to their offerings, and most importantly, consumers have started to take notice. But lab-grown diamonds require some careful presentation to the end consumer and some retailers struggle with how present the stones alongside their mined counterparts. 

In this episode, host Travis Searle talks with Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing, about the current status of lab-grown diamonds, their revenue potential for retailers, the marketing techniques jewelers are using to promote them, and what the future holds. Marty, a third generation retail jeweler, founded MVI Marketing back in 1987. MVI provides consumer and trade market research along with strategic consulting to a global client list in the luxury goods space. Marty and MVI have been closely following and researching the lab-grown trend for the last several years.

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