BIJC and New York City Jewelry Week Celebrated 50 Years of Hip Hop
New York, NY – Nov. 20, 2023– In a celebration of diversity, excellence, and a commitment to inclusivity in the jewelry industry, the Black In Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) has announced the winners of its first Rock the Jewels Awards on November 16, 2023 at the Rock The Jewels Event with New York City Jewelry Week. This occasion marks a significant milestone in BIJC’s journey.
“As we reflect on the last three years of BIJC’s existence, we can’t help but marvel at the milestones we’ve achieved together,” said BIJC President Annie Doresca. “The 50th anniversary of Hip Hop served as the perfect backdrop to celebrate the cultural phenomenon but also to honor BIJC’s unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the jewelry industry. That is precisely what the award winners reflect and we are so proud of the impact each of them have made.”
From top left: Jeffery Bolling, district manager of Signet Jewelers and winner of the BIJC Lifetime Achievement Award; Simone I. Smith, winner of Rock The Jewels Award; Sarin Bachmin representing JCK for their Shining Together Award – Company; Jessenia Landrum, jewelry designer of Jevela and winner of the Rising Star Award; Grace Barretti, Senior Marketing Manager at Greenwich St. Jewelers and winner of the Behind the Shine Award; Kecia Caffie, President of Signet and winner of the Shining Together Award – Individual.
The winners of each category are:
Jeffery Bolling, District Manager of Signet Jewelers, was honored with The BIJC Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional contributions to the industry over the past 30 years. After his service in the U.S. Army in 1986, Bolling began a career in the jewelry industry that spans retail sales, jewelry design, and owning a store – Jeffery B Jewelers in Denver, CO. Bolling has not only left an indelible mark on the industry but has also been a trailblazer, fostering inclusivity and paving the way for generations of professionals. This prestigious award celebrates a lifetime dedicated to excellence and innovation. Bolling’s legacy continues to inspire and uplift, setting the standard for excellence in our industry.
Grace Barretti, Senior Marketing Manager at Greenwich St. Jewelers, received the Behind the Shine Award for her remarkable contributions behind the scenes in support of BIJC. A two-year participant in the BIJC Together By Design Competition and a key member of the BIJC communications team since March 2022, Barretti’s creativity and tenacity have been instrumental in bringing BIJC’s mission to life.
JCK received the Shining Together Award – Company, for its uplifting and inclusive initiatives within the industry. JCK’s continuous support of BIJC, including providing access and opportunities to Black jewelry and gem professionals through their signature JCK Las Vegas event, has been transformative.
Kecia Caffie, President of Signet, received the Shining Together Award – Individual for her outstanding commitment to supporting BIJC and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion. Caffie played a pivotal role in creating initiatives such as the Banter Designer Competition, Zales Designer Competition, and supporting BIJC through the Black Lives Matter and Juneteenth Pendants. Her participation in the IDEA Panel on Diversity further underscores her dedication to making a positive impact in the industry.
The BIJC Rock the Jewels Award went to Simone I. Smith, an inspiring jewelry designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and cancer survivor. Simone’s exceptional contributions to the jewelry industry, her resilience, philanthropic endeavors, and unwavering support of the Black community have earned her this prestigious award.
Jessenia Landrum has been recognized with the Rising Star Award, acknowledging her as an up-and-coming designer making waves in the industry with her brand Jevela. Jessenia’s journey is marked by exploration and discovery, with her designs reflecting her experiences, including a transformative 3-month backpacking journey through Southeast Asia. Landrum was also part of NDC’s Emerging Designers Diamonds Initiative.
New York City Jewelry Week’s Here We Are Awards were also presented at Rock The Jewels. The Exhibition Award went to Angely Martinez; the Emerging Entrepreneur Award NYC was presented to Ariana Embirikos, founder of Embirikos; and the Emerging Entrepreneur Award USA was presented to Tiffany Vanderhoop, founder of Huckleberry Woman.
For more information about BIJC and its initiatives, please visit Blackinjewelry.org/.