I recently attended MJSA’s ConFab in the Great Hall, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in NYC. It was a fabulous day of very useful information and networking with lots of designers.
The ConFab event (an informal conversation or discussion) featured four speakers and was well attended. Over 100 people attended. There was quite a bit of informal sharing of information as well as tables manned by vendors from Autodesk, Otto Frei, Gesswein and Frank Billanti Casting Co.
The first speaker, Andrea Hill of StrategyWerx, presented “Big Business Brand, Small Business Budget.” She delivered a comprehensive look at what a brand is and how to use building blocks of time, discipline, consistency and energy to create a brand and make it stick and the core elements that build a brand’s visibility. Hill also discussed color, typography and how important it is to align all the elements to create a brand and to use service and engagement throughout your internal as well as external business to be consistent with your brand.
Hill continued her presentation with the second session, “The Price is Right Redux!” We were given a homework assignment to price a piece of jewelry, and three attendees were selected to explain their pricing strategy. We discussed how to use break even analysis and do a spreadsheet for each job to make sure that you are making more than just rent and overhead! She then covered how to include rent, administrative cost, shipping, insurance, labor, materials and all the factors that go into the price of a piece of jewelry.
There were two break-out sessions and I attended the session “Photography: DIY with Flair” presented by Matthew Perosi. He explained the settings on a DSLR camera and why you would need a special lighting arrangement for jewelry and how to use it. He described how to set the camera’s F-stop, ISO range and flash technology to create a great photo.
Hill did break-out session 2, “Graphic Design for Jewelry Designers,” describing how you should create the brand by treating all media differently. How graphic elements can make your brand stick and be memorable.
After lunch, graciously provided by MJSA and FIT, Cindy Edelstein spoke on creating a successful design concept and how to create a marketable line of jewelry. She spoke about beauty, originality, uniqueness and depth to create a successful line of jewelry. The visual identity of the designer comes out in the jewelry and becomes identified with the designer. This can be expanded once the designer gets a foothold into the marketplace.
Last but not least, Sara Yood, Assistant General Counsel at Jewelers Vigilance Committee, spoke on the difference between a copyright, a trademark and a patent and how to use each type of protection. It was a very informative talk about what the difference is between each type of registration and how to get registered. She discussed intellectual property law an
d how each of these three types of legal registration can protect your intellectual property.
Overall, it was a great day of networking and learning about how to get your brand going! The speakers were very engaging and I gathered new information from each session I attended.
Creating a successful business is stressful and difficult but with the right information can be achieved. MJSA presented a great day of very useful information. To learn more about MJSA and ConFab please visit www.mjsa.org.