The Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) recently held its annual Buyers’ Review at their world headquarters in Southport, CT, after having to cancel the event last year for the first time in its history due to the COVID pandemic. IJO invites several retail members to sit on the Review Board to evaluate potential new vendor members who have applied for IJO membership.
“We don’t buy product, our members do, so we always leave these decisions up to them,” says IJO Director of Member Services Penny Palmer. “We invite members from various parts of the country doing a range of annual volume, to provide a good representation of the overall membership.”
On the 2021 Board were Kari Smith from Champaign Jewelers in Champaign, IL, Barbara Binkley from Cooper & Binkley Jewelers in Brighton, MI, David Walton from Hudson Valley Goldsmith in New Paltz, NY and Jim Wolf from James Wolf Jewelers in Mason, OH.
“The Board spent two days examining the lines of more than a dozen companies and accepted only those that demonstrated the craftsmanship and quality to meet their rigorous standards,” stated Jeff Roberts, IJO’s President & CEO. “I am confident the membership will be excited about their choices and we’re grateful for their qualified input. These new lines will further strengthen our Buying Group as well as offer new opportunities for the retail membership.”
According to Board participant Jim Wolf: “This has been both an honor and a privilege to have been chosen for this significant task, which is essential to the overall success of the membership. Because of the strength of this first-class organization, hundreds of vendors try to get on board each year, and it was exciting to be part of the decision making.”
Kari Smith added: “It was quite an interesting process working with three other retail members to determine who ‘gets in’ and who doesn’t. It was also quite an awesome responsibility. It was a pleasure to serve in a role that helps make IJO even stronger.”
IJO will welcome 11 new vendor members at their next conference March 12-15 in San Antonio, TX.