When 150,000 jewelry buyers and enthusiasts descended upon the sleepy village of Basel, Switzerland last month, Jewelers of America members had an advantage. Jewelers of America, working with Baselworld, was able to offer JA Members a special travel package to the 2015 Baselworld in Switzerland. The trip made it possible for the jewelers to spend less time worrying about budget and logistics and more time navigating what is one of the largest jewelry trade shows in the world (the 2015 show featured 1,500 brands).

Those who went as guests of the JA travel package have buzzed about the VIP treatment Baselworld extended to Jewelers of America members. Ten JA member jewelers enjoyed complimentary 5-star accommodations for two guests, special invitations to Baselworld events, transportation to and from the airport and venue. Guests, including JA Director of Membership & Sales Matthew Tratner – who helped organize the trip with Baselworld -- gushed about the 5-star accommodations and shuttle service for their convenience.

One guest on the trip, Bradley Robbin of Persin & Robbin Jewelers -- who traveled from Arlington Heights, IL -- took advantage of the ability to stay in Basel for free to extend what would have been a day visit to meet with Rolex. “I would not have stayed at Baselworld more than a day if you had not offered the lodging in Basel . . . I would have met with Rolex and Tudor and then called it a day. Instead, I stayed at the fair for 3.5 days and walked the whole fair. I ended up bringing on two new jewelry lines -- Deakin & Francis and Hulchi Bellumi -- and made connections with a few other vendors that I might consider in the future. These new lines are solely the result of having lodging in Basel on the ship. The lodging made it feasible to spend multiple days at the fair.”

Exposure to trends and tools not readily available in the U.S. is a key reason jewelry buyers trek to the tiny town of Basel, Switzerland, each spring. “This is an amazing show and helped open our minds about trends, fashion, craftsmanship and quality that aren’t always reflected at U.S. shows we have attended,” says Little Treasury Jewelers owner Shiling Hammalian, Gambrills, MD. “Much of the value to us was browsing the halls, seeing the displays and gathering the big picture. We have certainly not seen anything on this scale and elaborate presentation in the U.S.”

In the four days she was at the show, Hammalian visited numerous brands including Takat Jewelry of Hong Kong, a number of pearl jewelry companies, Barcelona Inc. for fine jewelry, Swarovski, Roberto Coin, Fope, in addition to watch brands including Ball, Nomos Glashuette, Bremont, Speake-Marin, Frederique Constant, and more.

Boris Novosselov, CEO, Brooklyn-based Golden Flamingo, LLC was already looking to the next JA travel opportunity: “I am most thankful to you for taking part in organizing our trip to Switzerland. And I’ll appreciate you, if you can give me the same opportunity to visit show in Vicenza.”

Novosselov and other Jewelers of America members are in luck, as Tratner is already working on the next international buying trip for JA members for 2016. 


Jewelers of America publishes member news and educational information each month in our e-newsletter, The JA Report. It is just one of the reasons Jewelers of America represents some of the most well-informed jewelry professionals in the fine jewelry industry.

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