According to a 2022 “Women in the Workplace” report from McKinsey & Co., “Despite modest gains in representation over the last eight years, women—and especially women of color—are still dramatically underrepresented in corporate America. And this is especially true in senior leadership: only 1 in 4 C-suite leaders is a woman, and only 1 in 20 is a woman of color.”
Clearly there are a number of ways the jewelry industry can work towards leveling the playing field within its many organizations but the Plumb Club membership employs quite a few “leading ladies.”
This month, we’re shining a light on their accomplishments. We also asked them to tell us the one celebrity we should all be paying attention to when it comes to inspiring jewelry style.
Finally, what do women really want in a piece of jewelry? Ask your most stylish female staffers about the items at the top of their wish lists and you’ll have all the “market research” you need.
More on all of this ahead!
The Plumb Club’s Most Accomplished Female Execs Are Unstoppable
Representing a breadth of cultures, demographics, and professional experience, each of the TPC leaders highlighted below is a force in her own way—and effectively furthering the growth of the jewelry industry at large. Whether they sit on their business’s executive team, lead the charge on product development and marketing, or are excelling when it comes to sales, get to know them better below and find out what they’ve learned during their rise to the top.
Debbie Azar, president and cofounder of Gemological Science International (GSI): As an executive with extensive knowledge of the diamond and jewelry industry, Azar’s entrepreneurial skills and vision have helped GSI achieve rapid and continuous growth worldwide, establishing 13 leading-edge gemological laboratories on four continents. Azar has been featured as an industry expert in many leading media broadcasts and publications including Forbes, Good Morning America, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fox Business, and CBS. She currently serves on the boards of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Responsible Jewelry Council, Diamonds do Good and Jewelers for Children, and is a member of the 24 Karat Club of New York.
Corinna Bhasin, vice president, F.D. Worldwide: Born in Singapore, Bhasin holds a bachelor’s degree in business and worked in the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) marketing sector for five years before coming to USA in 1999 to obtain her master’s degree in international business. She joined F.D. Worldwide after receiving her MBA and has been working in the jewelry industry ever since (23 years to be exact). She has held a seat on the Plumb Club Executive board since 2017 and currently serves as its treasurer.
Tina M. Moretti, head of business development and branding, Goldstar Jewellery : Moretti has more than 29 years of experience in the jewelry industry and joined Goldstar in 2018. In her current role, her responsibilities include driving brand awareness and distinguishing Goldstar’s products from those of its competitors while building and maintaining strong customer loyalty for the brands that the company represents.
Robyn Fields, vice president, sales, Goldstar Jewellery : Fields has over 25 years of experience in the jewelry industry and possesses a wide array of skills, from design and merchandising to sales and business development. She has a diverse background in the wholesale and retail sectors of the industry, including traditional, TV, and e-commerce segments. She is well-versed in both fine and costume jewelry sales and prides herself on her ability to analyze assortments and form meaningful relationships.
Kristie Nicolosi, president and CEO, The Kingswood Company : Since acquiring the business in 2005, Nicolosi has focused the company on sustained, profitable growth, with 16x growth under her leadership. Nicolosi has also expanded the company’s distribution channels substantially—Kingswood products are now distributed on six continents and to over 12,000 doors worldwide. Dedicated to the empowerment of women, Nicolosi has long been active in organizations focused on that goal, including the international Board of Directors of the Women’s Jewelry Association, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, and the Women President’s Organization, and recently joined the international Board of Directors of Diamonds Do Good. Prior to acquiring The Kingswood Company, Nicolosi had a successful career in professional services as an executive with both Ernst & Young and Fifth Third Bank.
Darshna Rana, senior marketing manager, A. Jaffe: With an impressive background in brand and social media marketing, Rana has been an integral member of the team at A. Jaffe since 2014.
Alisa Bunger, vice president, U.S. sales & operations, Chic Pistachio : In 1991, Bunger walked into a Kay Jewelers in Tysons Corner, Va. needing a part time job while in college. Fast forward six months and she was addicted to the business. Alisa spent fifteen years working the retail side of jewelry—in operations, training and management roles—before transitioning to wholesale sector. Bunger’s leadership has helped grow sales and retail distribution for several popular jewelry brands over the years which has led to her current roles at Chic Pistachio’s best-selling Ania Haie and Aurelie Gi brands.
Theresa Namie, merchandise manager, Ostbye: Namie has worked in product development and marketing for Ostbye for the last six years. She has worked in the jewelry industry in many different capacities—from her high school years onward—including merchandising, sales, and store management.
Who Has The Best Red Carpet Jewelry Style? TPC Members Have Some Thoughts
Following red carpet events is a must when you work in the jewelry industry. As is often the case, red carpet jewelry trends can trickle down into the commercial fine jewelry market.
And then there are the stars themselves, whose red carpet choices can provide endless inspiration when it comes to thinking about who your customer is and the style you want her to aspire to. Think about these celebrity muses when it comes to curating pieces for photo shoots (“How would Rihanna wear this?”) or when you work on your branding messages (“If I were Michelle Yeoh, would I find this font compelling?”).
So, who has the best red carpet-jewelry style out there? We asked TPC members to identify the brightest stars.
“Michelle Yeoh’s recent Oscar win highlighted her exquisite taste in jewelry, but what impressed me most was her class and elegance displayed in the movie Crazy Rich Asians. When she saw the fake jewelry props on set, she told the director that she had a better ring, referring to a large emerald ring with two diamond solitaires on each side from her personal collection. This ring not only played a pivotal role in the movie but is also something that Yeoh purchased for herself. Her choice and confidence speak volumes about her refined taste and cool demeanor.” —Nancy Italia-Gajera, business development executive, Aneri Jewels
“As a leader in the fine jewelry industry, we have come to acknowledge that style is not only subjective and a sense of personal expression, but also spans multiple generations. We feel women like Zendaya, Coco Chanel, Jennifer Aniston, and many others express confidence, self-awareness, and a love for fashion.”—Darshna Rana, senior marketing manager, A. Jaffe
“Victoria Beckham and Amal Clooney are two of my style icons. They are both amazing businesswomen/professionals and both have fantastic long-term significant others in their lives that exemplify true partnerships. Victoria Beckham has 15 engagement rings and each one is stunning! Amal Clooney has dozens of classic and fashion-forward jewelries looks—and her earrings are always amazing.”-—Kristie Nicolosi, president and CEO, The Kingswood Company
“I adore Zoe Kravitz’s edgy-yet-elegant jewelry style. She’s usually found rocking chic, dainty ear curations or statement earrings, or a combo of both. Her jewelry choices are rarely subtle, but they come across as sophisticated and understated. Whether she is spotted running errands in a t-shirt or in premiere-appropriate attire, she is always wearing the jewelry—it is never wearing her.”—Katherine Whitacre, national sales director, Chic Pistachio
What Do Women Want? Ask Your Staff
When deciding how to assort your collections—and what new categories make sense to bring into your store—you’ve got a pretty reliable sounding board standing right in front you: Your customers! Ask them if there are any jewelry trends they’re loving, what they think of a particular trend you might want to try (hello, permanent bracelets!), or flash a photo of something you saw at JCK Las Vegas to get their feedback. Free market research—what could be better?
The other people to poll for feedback on these topics are your employees (especially if they’re a member of your target demographic). Bonus: If they love a jewel on a personal level, it will practically sell itself, on and off the floor. And if you find that multiple staffers of all ages and style profiles are gravitating toward a particular piece, it’s a pretty good indicator of how your clientele will respond to it.
Need more real-world opinions on product? TPC Members asked their most stylish staffers for their personal wish list items and we’ve highlight them below.
“Our Legacy eternity band is a brand staple and an award-winning piece. Beautiful, elegant, and sophisticated, diamond eternity bands are timeless and make a stunning addition to any jewelry collection. They are also incredibly versatile and can be worn alone or paired with an engagement ring or other pieces of jewelry.”-Priscilla Hueb, creative director, A. Jaffe
“A durable and timeless bracelet, with well-made solid gold links and masterfully hand-set micro-pavé diamonds (5.44 cts. t.w.). The style is available in white diamonds, yellow diamonds, brown diamonds, black diamonds, and blue diamonds, my personal favorite. The unique blue diamonds can be worn for formal dress codes or work as a statement fashion piece to wear with jeans.”—Corinna Bhasin, vice president, F.D. Worldwide
“We just got this ring in and I instantly fell in love with it. The style is trendy and fresh and will look good both causally and for a special occasion. I recently had a big birthday and my mom’s gift to me is a ring of my choice. This may be the one!”—Holly Hoffmann, Director of Special Events, Lali Jewels
“The Dandelion Love collection is an endearing assortment that features a diverse range of distinctive designs. Its narrative is what captivates me most, as it is widely believed that blowing on dandelions can transport once’s thoughts and aspirations to loved ones. Personally, it evokes fond memories of my childhood, when blowing dandelions and watching their tiny seeds drift into the air was a cherished pastime.”–Nancy Italia-Gajera, business development executive, Aneri Jewels
“The Aurelie Gi Jaida tsavorite and white sapphire climber earring is definitely number one on my wish list! Green gemstones are on the rise this spring and summer, and this climber earring is giving the trend an edgier look. I also love how easy it is to mix the earring in with your existing ear-stack line up.”-Makenzie Essary, sales and marketing specialist, Chic Pistachio
“I love style F23A6, which looks like a tiara, and I feel like a princess when I put it on. I recently got married and have this on my wish list for my anniversary.”—Vy Trinh, director of social media, Ostbye
Retailers, remember that you have many resources available to you—including a robust library of TPC content—when it comes to the latest product news and trends.