Jennifer Heebner’s blog Style 360 might be one of the most widely-read jewelry industry blogs. I am sure we have all enjoyed her sense of humor and the variety of her topics. My curiosity led me to peek into her world; here is a small snapshot of Jennifer’s world.
Josette: Your bio summarizes it all; journalist, brand ambassador, market expert, and new product specialist for the fine jewelry industry.
What do you like the most about your job?
Jennifer: There are too many aspects to choose just one! I like keeping retailers abreast of the newest jewelry and trends for their stores and learning what their customers want, as well as interviewing designers and seeing their newest collections. I am especially happy when I find out that a retailer has connected with a designer who was featured on my Style 360 blog on jckonline.com. That lets me know that I’m truly serving the interests of my readers. It’s also a great privilege to visit international shows like Baselworld in Switzerland and the sources of gems and jewelry—such as the Jewelmer golden pearl farms in the Philippines and Carrera y Carrera headquarters in Madrid—so I can let retailers know what might interest them if they can’t reach those places themselves. There are so many different aspects of my job—daily writing deadlines, market visits, trade shows, interviews, photo shoots—that I am always super busy and never get bored, that’s for sure!
Josette: Your blog is a platform to talk about trends, styles, new collections and designers. You attend national and international trade shows on a very regular basis. What are the most influential trends you are predicting for 2015?
Jennifer: To determine trends for the year ahead, I study the three Rs—Real Life, Red Carpet, and Runways. This means I consider what I’ve seen at trade shows (are designers using lots of pink gold, or has a new opal find led to an influx of opals in the market?), on the red carpet at major events, and on the fashion runways because the necklines and colors of clothing that designers use will impact the accessories that consumers wear. While my comprehensive annual trend forecast—12 Trends: The Annual List of What to Buy, Stock, and Sell in the Year Ahead—will publish online this year on Monday, Dec. 29, I can give you a little peek into my predictions: yellow gold, statement necklaces, and the color red per Pantone’s Color of 2015: Marsala.
Josette: A lot of us designers have opened flagship stores and built them to reflect our sense of style and design. Do you see this as becoming a trend?
Jennifer: This is an ongoing movement in industry. I noticed it upwards of 10 years ago when Single Stone opened their store on Mission Street in San Marino, Calif. Roberto Coin and David Yurman have been opening stores for even longer, and I remember when Tiffany & Co. stopped wholesaling their merchandise to retailers about 15 years ago so they could focus on opening more of their own stores. I think people are talking more about it lately because we’ve seen a new flurry of vendors, including Zina (and of course, Mark Patterson!), open shops.
Josette: I always like to ask this question: how did you get your start in the jewelry industry?
Jennifer: I moved into the jewelry category through my writing nearly 17 years ago. I took an editorial position at JCK magazine, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made. So, I grew to love the category and product—not that it was all that difficult to appreciate—through writing, and now I enjoy my niche as a jewelry writer. More recently, I’ve branched out into consulting to help designers develop their lines, as well as writing for stores and designers to help them get their messages and stories out. Next, I’d love to connect more with consumers and help them build their fine jewelry collections and love of jewelry, in general.
Thank you Jennifer, It is an honor to have you on my blog and to share your knowledge with my followers.