This Plumb Club webinar was designed to help retail jewelers become same-sex wedding competent. Attendees learned about the rise of LGBT marriage laws over the past decade; the growing wave of protocols within LGBT engagements and weddings; the surge in demand on jewelry for same sex couples; answers to the most frequently asked questions of jewelers; and the subtleties of marketing to same-sex couples. This webinar provided jewelers with information they can act on right now.
Our panel included an all-star cast of speakers:
Bernadette Smith: Founder and president of the Gay Wedding Institute and 14stories and award-winning author of three books including The Business of Gay Weddings: A Guide for Wedding Professionals
Rony Tennenbaum: Fine jewelry designer specializing in contemporary wedding jewelry who lectures and writes about the growing etiquettes in the same sex community.
Matthew Perosi-Doughty, internet, marketing and business services guru for jewelers, who founded Jewelers Equality Alliance to provide training for the jewelry industry about the LGBT community.
Bernadette Smith has committed her life’s work to integrate the global wedding industry to be fully inclusive of all couples, including LGBT. The nation’s leading same-sex wedding expert, Smith is founder and president of 14 Stories and the Gay Wedding Institute, based in New York City. When marriage equality came to Massachusetts in 2004, she created a wedding planning company for engaged same-sex couples looking to navigate the traditional wedding industry. Smith and her team have produced hundreds of gay and lesbian weddings since then, working with couples from nearly every state and around the world. An experienced facilitator, Smith has trained thousands of wedding and hospitality professionals on the nuances of LGBT weddings. The Gay Wedding Institute Certification course she created has graduated more than 600 students from 13 countries. She is the award-winning author of three books including “The Business of Gay Weddings: A Guide for Wedding Professionals”; advice blogger for TheKnot and Huffington Post; and media guest expert.
Rony Tennenbaum is a fine jewelry designer in New York City specializing in contemporary wedding jewelry. With over 25 years experience in the jewelry industry, he created his own brand label in 2008 targeting the same sex community, an untapped market at the time with only four states allowing marriage rights to same sex couples. While his fashion forward designs were initially marketed to an LGBT audience, he reminds us that there is no such thing as “gay” jewelry. With the rapid expansion of marriage laws across the country, couples began seeking his advice in selecting their rings, and retailers wanted guidance to understand how to cater to this growing niche market. Inspired by the increasing demand for protocols from the LGBT community, he lectures “The NEW Etiquettes of the Rainbow” and “Buying Diamonds in the Age of Equality”, aimed at the new concept of engagement, weddings and traditions evolving within the new dynamics of “couple” in the marriage arena. One of INSTORE magazine’s top 10 innovators of 2014, Tennenbaum has been featured in many articles, and writes columns for several LGBT publications.
Matthew Perosi-Doughty is a leader in bringing education about new technologies and business practices to the jewelry industry. In July 2010 he started the JWAG.biz daily educational blog covering dozens of topics needed for the survival of today’s entrepreneur. While coaching retail jewelers on methods to reach the millennial generation, Perosi-Doughty was painfully aware of the inequality of service provided to same-sex couples, especially after experiencing it firsthand. To help the industry move towards a more inclusive understanding, he formed the Jewelers Equality Alliance (JEA) in early 2015 to provide modern training for the jewelry industry to truly learn about the LGBT community and its concerns. Based in Totowa, New Jersey, Perosi-Doughty is a favorite on the seminar circuit, and is often interviewed as an expert for articles in leading jewelry journals and business podcasts. He also pens a column for The Retail Jeweler Magazine and contributes to INSTORE and Jewelry Business Advisor.