Big changes have occurred in our industry and one of them is the Couture Show! Under the leadership of Gannon Brousseau and his team, we have seen the show expand greatly over the years while still keeping its “boutique” feel, thanks to the incredible help and attention from Gannon and his team. Bringing all of us exhibitors (with such different personalities!) can, I’m sure, be extremely difficult to manage, so, with Couture 2015 comfortably behind us, this is a great time for all of us to recognize and thank a team that works hard to make the show the success it has become.
1- Genevra Rao, Operations manager
Genevra has done miracles for all of us while always keeping her smile and cool. Thank you for all the help you have given us over the years!
Josette: How long have you worked with the Couture show?
Genevra: 8 years in January
Josette: What is your most memorable moment?
Genevra: I think each years’ opening day. I feel like a proud parent watching exhibitors, who I have spent month working with, ready in their salons for the busy day ahead.
Josette: What keeps you sane during the show?
Genevra: Calling home and/or a glass of wine
2- Erin O’Donnell, Marketing Director
Erin has her hands full promoting the show to an international audience; she’s either promoting the events, managing the awards or working on social media, all while trying to keep everyone happy. I have never seen Erin without a smile and it shows through all her hard work.
Josette: Have you always been in marketing?
Erin: Yes. I started my professional career doing Public Relations at Hermes, and then I moved on to work in marketing at Temple St. Claire before moving over to the jewelry group at Emerald (the parent company of COUTURE and JA New York)
Josette: How important is social media and which has a better reach, Instagram or Facebook?
Erin: We’ve gained huge traction with our Instagram account, @by_couture since we started it and we find Instagram is a great way to reach not only our community, but also directly reach consumers who are obsessed with jewelry. Facebook continues to be a great way to engage within the industry. Social media in general is necessary to connect with our community throughout the year and not just in Las Vegas. Plus, it’s really fun and dangerously distracting!
Josette: How do you keep that smile on your face throughout the show?
Erin: I genuinely enjoy my work and I look forward to interacting with everyone in Vegas each year, so I’m genuinely happy to be there. Candy all day, and a cocktail or two every night also help….
3- Elena Cutler, Director of sales
I would love to be in Elena’s shoes, flying all over the world to recruit designers for the Couture show. From New York, London and Paris, to Basel, Hong Kong, Vicenza and Dubai and others, Elena makes it possible to bring the best designers from around the world to be a part of Couture.
Josette: What are some of your favorite jewelry shows that you have attended?
Elena: COUTURE of course, but other than that, I really enjoy going to Basel. It is beautiful show that truly blew my mind the first time I attended and doesn’t fail to continue to do so every year.
Josette: Which show, in your eyes, has the most energy?
Elena: I am not just saying this, but I think that COUTURE has the best energy. Basel as well. With both shows being only once a year, both exhibitors and retailers are excited to see what’s new and also to see their friends. Since COUTURE is much smaller than Basel, the energy is stronger.
Josette: How well known is the Couture show abroad?
Elena: I work mostly on the exhibitor side, so I would say that among designers, COUTURE is very well known internationally. We are doing a big push to make international retailers and press more aware of COUTURE.
4- Jan Mohr, Retailer Liaison
It is always nice to see Jan at Couture. One of the most gracious and beautiful people to be a part of Couture.Coordinating board meetings and taking care of retailers can be a daunting task, but she does it with style and grace!
Josette: When and how did you get involved with the Couture show?
Jan: My first COUTURE show was at The Phoenician in 1997 when I worked for Tiffany & Co.’s wholesale division. We had a salon/booth at COUTURE so I actually started as an exhibitor staff member in the early days of COUTURE. Since Tiffany had not previously participated in trade shows it was a new experience for all of us. When Tiffany & Co. closed their wholesale division at the end of 1999, Nancy Robey, whom I had worked with at Tiffany before she started her time at COUTURE, asked me if I would be interested in working with COUTURE and the rest is history!
Josette: Working with different personalities from both sides of the industry isn’t always easy. Where do you find inspiration to be so Zen about the whole experience?
Jan: It is actually quite easy since I consider the COUTURE community my second family. I am so fortunate to work in an environment with such beautiful jewelry, incredible people, and all at the luxurious Wynn Las Vegas. I really love working with COUTURE and consider it an honor to be a part of it.
5 -Michelle Orman, Public relation
If you haven’t met Michelle yet, then you have missed out! I met Michelle a year and a half ago and we have been exhibiting at Couture for 19 years. As you know she is the best communicator our industry has and her PR work has been tremendous. (Read previous post) Michelle is the reason we enjoy the Couture show year after year. I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for this industry Michelle, you are a very generous person!
Josette: What do you like most about your work for the Couture show?
Michelle: I really love working with the COUTURE team. We are a small group but we get a lot accomplished, and we have a lot of fun while we’re doing so! I also love the strong sense of community among everyone who attends the show and of course, I love the jewelry! I strongly believe that the designers at COUTURE are some of the best artists of this century, and it’s such a joy and privilege to work with them so closely.
Josette: How much has the growth of the show impacted your load of work?
Michelle: As the show has grown, so have my responsibilities and that’s been really fun for me. I love being able to challenge myself, especially creatively, and the people I report to directly (Erin in Marketing and our Director, Gannon) are so great about giving me opportunities to do just that.
Thank you to the Couture team, your hard work is paying and the show has become an international destination for some of the best designer jewelry.