5 Years, WJA Awards for Excellence, and Why Words–and Jewelry–Matter

In a few days, I’ll be leaving for New York City for the Women’s Jewelry Association annual Gala on Monday, July 29th. This is a big event, especially this year, as WJA is celebrating their 30th anniversary (congrats, WJA!). So it would be fun and important to attend in any case, but this year I have a special reason for wanting to go. I was nominated for one of their prestigious Awards for Excellence in the Media category.

Obviously, I’m thrilled. Beyond thrilled! I am the first blogger to ever be nominated in Media. And I’m very flattered, since the other three nominees in the category are heavy hitters in more traditional media: Michelle Graff, Senior Editor at National Jeweler Magazine; Melissa Colgan from Martha Stewart Weddings; and Claudia Mata from W Magazine. I’m honored to be stacked against this particular deck.

Wendy Yue Swan Fantasie Cuff

I get to interview and profile amazing artists like Wendy Yue, who created this Swan Fantasie cuff.

Whatever happens on Monday night, I am veritable puddle of gratitude. Grateful for my readers, some of whom have stuck around 5 LONG YEARS while I muddle through with this blog. For the influencers in the industry (you know who you are *wink *wink) who noticed and nominated me. For Vicente Agor and the Contemporary Jewelry Design Group for asking me to be the editor of their website last year. For my family, especially my husband, Dave, who has put up with me working at all hours on deadlines that exist only in my head, and my comments like “This is SO obviously NOT the right title for this!”

A couple of years ago, I really wondered about continuing with the idazzle.com blog. With young children, I felt like I couldn’t devote enough time to it to make it as great as it SHOULD be (classic perfectionist, I am). Despite OK traffic and comments assuring me that a few people were reading it, I wondered what I was really contributing? Also, being independent and not taking money to write about people or products I don’t admire is not the most financially lucrative position. During this mental wrestling, I happened to follow a tweet to a Women You Should Know video about Marion Fasel, a jewelry author, editor and expert, and pretty much the hero of any jewelry writer out there. Her story reminded me that being a writer about jewelry is not a completely frivolous thing. I decided to stick it out.

Marion Fasel Women You Should Know Video

It reinforced for me that words matter. The words a writer selects and strings together is a deliberate act of beauty, and could be analogous to putting paint on a canvas or orchestrating a strand of particularly lovely pearls. Getting to know jewelry designers and asking them thoughtful questions to tell their story is one of the best parts of my job. I have also realized that adornment is critical to humans. Jewelry is an essential way to celebrate the beauty of nature, of the human body, and how it looks wearing art. I am happy and proud to be passionate about telling the stories of jewelry and the artists who make it.

So I look forward to gathering in NYC for the WJA event with the gorgeous and significant women (and men!) in jewelry, and toast to more years, more beauty…and more words.

Thank you, and XOXOXO to all of you.

Alishan Cuff

Bracelet by Alishan, interviewed in Spring 2013, one of my favorite conversations.

Share Your Thoughts!