JB Jones

Co-founder

“I love jewelry because I love seeing how people wear it, learning what it means to them and how that came to be – it’s as much about loving the people behind it all as it is about loving the jewelry itself.”

JB Jones began her career as a Design Director and Fashion Editor in Los Angeles. In 2008, JB switched gears and launched The Site Unscene, a street art gallery and artists’ platform.

She curated the first West Coast exhibition of the NYC based graffiti crew TC-5, which included the work of Doze Green and Lady Pink, and was a leader in helping to establish street art as a legitimate force in the LA gallery scene. Upon moving to NYC in 2014, JB returned to fashion in a retail development capacity with a focus on jewelry. She co-curated the first street art x art jewelry exhibition, PLACEMENT, with Bella Neyman. In 2017 the duo launched a digital contemporary jewelry platform of the same name designed to promote the concept of “wearing your art.” Her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Juxtapoz, Obey, Work magazine , and more. She resides in Manhattan.

Bella Neyman

Co-founder

“The power of jewelry is that everyone wields it differently. The wearer is the architect of that power and there is no hierarchy.”

Bella Neyman is an independent curator and journalist specializing in contemporary jewelry. Since graduating with a Master’s Degree in Decorative Arts and Design History from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum & Parsons, The New School for Design in 2008, she has worked for some of New York City’s leading design galleries. For the last three years, she was the Director of New York’s only contemporary jewelry gallery. In addition to this, in 2014, along with Ruta Reifen, Bella founded Platforma, a contemporary jewelry-focused initiative whose exhibitions have been on view in the U.S. and Europe. Bella’s articles have been published in The New York Times, American Craft, and the magazine Antiques. She is also a frequent contributor Modern magazine and Metalsmith. Bella is on the Board of Art Jewelry Forum. She resides with her family in Brooklyn.

Elliot Carlyle

Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Elliot Carlyle is a New York City-based branding & creative consultant, empowerment speaker, executive & life coach, author, marketplace ministry leader and philanthropist; widely known as the “the brand. the voice.” His work spans the fashion, creative, business, and lifestyle sectors, serving as an industry expert to A-list brands and multi-millionaire personalities, as well as a voice of empowerment, motivation, and inspiration. He is also recognized for his extensive knowledge and insight in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership, personal growth & development, and influence.

Elliot has seamlessly navigated multiple facets and roles throughout his professional career including working in event production, public relations, creative direction, and media services. He has an earned BFA in Fashion & Retail Management and formerly worked in an executive capacity with award-winning creator of New York Fashion Week & international consultant, Fern Mallis. He is currently the Director of Cultural Diversity and Inclusion for New York City Jewelry Week as well as Creative Consultant to the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Fueled by his personal mission and brand statement, “empowering people to turn up the volume in life and business,” Elliot has created platforms to build and equip 21st century visionaries; dubbing his audience of creatives, entrepreneurs, ministry leaders, artists, philanthropists and the like as “fellow architects”; people who are actively building dreams, visions, goals, purpose and destiny. He is the author of The Influence Workbook, written to equip personal and corporate audiences with clarifying keys, liberating exercises, and empowering takeaways that will position you on a trajectory to get to your “next” by moving you beyond the questions and unblocking your personal power. As he continues to evolve, Elliot is committed to being “the voice,” coaching people to discover their voice, increase their success frequency, and amplify their influence.

Alex Darby

Director of Digital

“The objects we covet, imagine, and create tell stories of our past and present, and hint at our vision for new futures. So much power is held in materiality, value, and desire but more salient is the value we ascribe to the valueless. The transcendent power of jewelry lies in its ability to shapeshift, both chemically and in our cultural imagination.”

Alex Darby is a hyper-generalist. Her unapologetically interdisciplinary work spans art, tech, culture, and entrepreneurship, with process as the driving force behind all her projects. She is the creator of The Jewelry Phone, a speculative jewelry platform, and the founder of DARBY STUDIOS, an interdisciplinary studio in support of creative practice, founded as a launchpad for creative businesses and projects. Trained as a jeweler, Darby’s speculative practice exists at the intersection of performance, installation, technology, and brand — critiquing notions of value and disrupting traditions through materiality and quirky installations. Darby is deeply passionate about the role of technology in both art and business with the strong belief that the tech should enable, not overwhelm. Her belief in entrepreneurship for all, drives her unique application of entrepreneurial thinking to independent businesses. She works with and for creatives, artists, solopreneurs, studios, start ups, businesses, and cultural orgs, fostering artistic practice and building healthy, sustainable businesses. Darby’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, JCK, Creators Project, WIRED, and Fast Co. Design, and she holds a BVA in Jewelry and Object Design, and an MA in Art Curatorship. In her not-so-spare time, she works on her jewelry line, and both teaches and speaks on entrepreneurship. Darby lives and works in NYC.

Filecellia Sampson

The Jewelry Project Founder

“I love jewelry because each piece has an interesting story to tell. Like books, designers are authors and they narrate their experiences, adventures and journeys through their designs. However, once that piece becomes yours, you can now rewrite the story to fit your journey and experiences. Each of my amethyst rings, gold necklaces, brass bracelets and diamond earrings help to tell my story! They represent me well. I look forward to adding to it.”

For over 10 years, Filecellia A Sampson has been an experienced Communications Professional, and Specialty Retail liaison for both the brand and trade side of the jewelry industry. Driven by her passion for education and community, Sampson takes pride in understanding the importance of inclusion for all deserving a seat at a currently underrepresented table. In her interest to support small business, she works avidly to cultivate profitable and sustainable relationships between retail store owners and fresh talented designers. Whether Sampson is managing brand studio operations, leading sales training seminars or running a tradeshow, she continues to be an effective resource to this industry and beyond.

Andrea Rosales-Balcarcel

Outreach Coordinator

To me jewelry can be armor, it can be a magic charm, a tangible token that can bring you back in time to a memory just by touching or wearing it. When I wear the necklace my grandma passed down to me I feel safe, I feel whole. When I look down at my hands and run my fingers over my rings, I go back in time to being a kid sitting next to her in church, playing with the gold on her hands- I can remember the warmth of her skin and the way the rings seemed to mold to her skin and her being.

Born in Guatemala City, Andrea Rosales-Balcarcel is an artist and jeweler currently based out of Pennsylvania. With a desire to pursue a career in the arts, Andrea attended Pratt Institute in 2012, for a BFA in Jewelry and a minor in Art History. She had the opportunity to work for David Yurman straight out of school, where she gained additional experience while working as a bench jeweler in their in-house shop, as well as a design assistant under the Head Design for the High, Fine, and BridalJewelry department. During and since her career at David Yurman, Andrea has continued to develop her own personal work as an artist. In the past 5 years, she has had the opportunity to participate in multiple international shows, including LOOT: Mad About Jewelry in New York City, in 2017, Artistar Jewels in Milan, 2018 as well as the 2019 Guan Tong-International Jewelry Art Exhibition in Beijing, China. Her ultimate goal and dream is to turn to education and become a bridge for future students from a similar background to pursue additional goals and dreams in the arts.

Jackie Andrews

Editor of Future Heirloom

Jackie Andrews (she/they) is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweler, writer, and art & culinary history scholar based in rural Maryland. Jackie graduated with Departmental Honors from Towson University with a BFA in Sculpture and a minor in Art History in December 2020. Often using their studio practice as a method of creating dialogue with their art historical interests and queer identity, Jackie’s work has been exhibited in galleries across the United States; at New York City Jewelry Week 2019 and 2020; and at Munich Jewelry Week 2020 & 2021.
Jackie is the co-founder of Power Clash Art, a publication platform for scholars, artists, and writers to engage with and push the boundaries of art writing and discourse, expand upon art historical canon, and envision equitable futures in the arts. They have bylines in several publications, including Tesserae Press and other art and craft historical journals, and Metalsmith Magazine in 2021. Jackie is a part of the 2021-22 One For The Future cohort, and joined the NYC Jewelry Week team in August 2021 as the Editor of Future Heirloom. They currently work as a freelance writer, researcher, and editor.

Natalya Geremesz

BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

“For me, the power of jewelry lies in its timelessness; it can be endlessly reshaped, revamped, and repurposed, transcending generations and cultures, taking on new meanings, and creating new value. I believe it is important to think about how each piece of jewelry came to be and the responsibility we carry to ethically preserve its timelessness. With great power comes great responsibility.”

Natalya Geremesz has spent the last seven years working in jewelry wholesale, cultivating relationships with national and international jewelry brands + buyers, attending trade shows and buying appointments during market week in New York and Paris, negotiating wholesale terms & contracts with C-Suite of major retailers, and creating direct-to-consumer + wholesale strategy plans.

As the wholesale/retail landscape began to shift, so did her scope within the industry, becoming more interested in the process that takes jewelry from mine to market. With that, she focused on educating herself about responsible jewelry practices and aligning with companies that value sustainability as part of their business model.

Currently, she exists in the jewelry space as a consultant, utilizing design thinking + her relationships and previous experience to help small to mid-sized companies actualize their goals by creating meaningful connections with their customers through strategic partnerships and sustainable plans.

KIRU

HERE WE ARE Project Coordinator

“Most of the jewelry I own holds a unique story about a relationship in my life. Of course, jewelry has the power to tell a story of who you are and who you’ve been, or where you’re from, where you are now, and where you are going, but what I most appreciate about the power of jewelry, is its ability to tell the story of who you’ve known. Whether it be the person I received or purchased the jewelry from, whether it be family members, friends, or the designers themselves, I am grateful that every time I put on or speak about pieces from my personal collection, I feel a sense of closeness with someone I love and respect.”

KIRU is a Gen Z music and social artist, model, author and entrepreneur based in Brooklyn, New York. Their first official album, Saints in the Garden, was released in June of 2021 and explores themes of self-love, self-exploration, and self-expression. In 2019 they launched their first business, KIRUNIVERSE, which empowers socially conscious creative entrepreneurs in beauty, fashion, mindfulness and music primarily through 1:1 consultation, purpose-driven brand strategy and social media planning services. For nearly a decade, KIRU has been committed to transmuting their years of research in positive psychology through various mediums of art and business. This led them in 2020 to write and release The Book of Positive Affirmations, a collection of affirmations connected by the themes of love, knowledge and growth, and curated to encourage daily reading and promote positive energy. It also led them to co-found the Real Friends Only Collective (RFO), a New York based multimedia group founded in 2018 that specializes in visual storytelling for fashion and lifestyle brands both locally and internationally. KIRU is an art form and an artist all the same.

Emilija Guobyte-Krzeminski

Creative Coordinator

“I love jewelry because it is an extension of body and soul.”

After graduating from Eugene Lang, the New School for Liberal Arts, Emilija spent two years in Lithuania volunteering for an NGO specializing in tutoring underserved children and taking geopolitical courses at Vilnius University. After returning to the states, she apprenticed as a jewelry photographer and worked as a sales associate at The Hat Shop where she eventually became the shop’s manager, working with the owner in production, design, promotion and sales. Emilija currently works for Alex Sepkus and is in charge of all the studio’s visual needs as well as social media. Her interests are expanding into communications and making her cats Tumblr famous.

Ariana Bishop

Program Coordinator

“The power of jewelry lies in its ability to inspire, embolden and even transform the wearer. Armed with a bold pair of earrings or a dazzling necklace, one can’t help but feel unstoppable.”

Ariana is a writer and researcher specializing in jewelry history and criticism. With a background in fashion merchandising, she is particularly interested in approaching jewelry from a fashion studies perspective. Ariana’s most recent publications include “The Importance of Being Jeweled: Patriotism and Adornment During the First World War” for The Journal of Dress History and “The Claudette Colbert Starfish,” published by the American Society of Jewelry Historians. Today, as she pursues a Master’s degree in Decorative Arts and Design History at the Bard Graduate Center, Ariana’s research focuses on design piracy within the American costume jewelry industry.

2021 Interns

Micheala Ervin @michealaervin

Jacqueline YAJING YAO @Jacqueline.euvoce.studio

Stefania Stolaj

Berenice Lara