Katie Dominesey is the Industry Vice President of JCK Tucson. While this may have become her title in 2015, her background in the jewelry industry started early on, coming from a family of jewelry collectors and industry insiders. She took interest in jewelry at a young age, taking a jewelry fabrication course at 12-years-old.
See our exclusive conversation with her about her background in the jewelry industry, what she’s looking forward to at JCK Tucson 2019, a glimpse of the prominent conversation to be expected at the show and much more:
What is your background in the jewelry industry and how did you get your start?
Well actually it came at a very young age. My grandfather was a specimen collector, so he used to drive out to Tucson every year to look at and buy the amazing geodes, huge copper specimen, petrified wood that would have Opal inlaid. My grandfather was the one who showed me the amazing things that nature can make. I took a jewelry fabrication course with my mom starting at 12 years old (I’m terrible!), I had an uncle whose main hobby was lapidary and a grandmother who worked in the industry for decades. So, I guess you could say it’s in the blood. I had worked in a bunch of different industries prior to moving to NYC, but I started in working in sales with luxury jewelry brands and then a director of sales at a large jewelry manufacturer before I came to JCK. A lot of the great relationships I’ve made in the industry, I owe to Women’s Jewelry Association.
What is your favorite type of jewelry to wear? Do you have a special piece that you always wear?
This might not be a popular opinion, but I actually go with the ‘less is more’ concept. Really high quality, but pieces that are meaningful and evoke a memory. So whether that’s my engagement ring or wedding band, some classic diamond studs, or my amazing one-of-a-kind ring from Rodney Rayner or stunner earrings from Alishan. I like jewelry to evoke emotion and memory first, and then onto the style second.
How does the JCK Tucson experience differ from JCK Las Vegas?
Anyone that knows me, knows I love analogies. So I’ll say JCK Las Vegas is like seeing the Rolling Stones in Met Life Stadium. A must-see event that is large, exciting and one of those events that if someone had the opportunity to go, and they didn’t, you’d think they were crazy! For JCK Tucson, I’d brand it like Coachella or a smaller, music festival experience. You might not go for one single band, but go for the experience to hunt, discover and people that are into discovering the new ‘it’ thing that may or may not have hit the big ‘stages’ yet. And for the record, I’ve been to the Stones and Coachella, and they’re both some of my most amazing memories!
What is your favorite part about JCK Tucson?
Opening morning of the show- love the buzz and excitement of the retailers looking for new ‘treasures’ for their stores and the designers ready to show them off. JCK Tucson has a very different vibe than any other show in the industry- upscale, curated, but very relaxed.
What was your favorite memory from previous JCK Tucson shows and what are you most looking forward to at JCK Tucson 2019?
It would have to be Gems After Dark, and how that entire event has evolved. In 2016, we had a movie premiere with “Sharing the Rough”. There was all the cocktails and drinks, but it was unusually cold for January, and so we all bundled up in blankets in this huge tent watching this wonderful movie. Since then, the event has evolved into so many associations making this event part of their annual event calendar. So, it’s great to catch up with old colleagues and make new contacts. For 2019, as always, I’m excited to see what amazing designs and creations our designers have. To hear the inspiration and see the work alive is not something you can do through your Instagram feed, it’s something where you really need to see the jewelry live. And that’s so special.
Can you share with our readers a small glimpse of the topics and conversation that you think will be prominent during JCK Tucson 2019?
Continuing the discussion on evolving consumer behavior; ethical sourcing; unique and new gemstones and where to find them; trends; Renaissance of Retail; tech and its effect on the market.