Rock the Jewels Awards announced

Nov 22, 2023

In a historic celebration of diversity, excellence, and a commitment to inclusivity in the jewelry industry, the Black In Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) proudly announced the winners of its first-ever Rock the Jewels Awards on November 16, 2023 at the Rock The Jewels Event with New York City Jewelry Week. This momentous 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.”

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.

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.

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