Archive for the ‘Ann King’ Category

We Found Our Ann King Rings — After We Met Her At The QVC Sterling Designer Meet-And-Greet

September 2, 2010

Jewelry designer Ann King shows off her wares at QVC's meet-and-greet

When we were packing to go to QVC’s Sterling Designer meet-and-greet Aug. 21, we searched for more than an hour to find the two Ann King white topaz rings and a pair of matching earrings that we have.

We figured we could wear them to the shindig and show King that we were a fan of her’s. Well, we didn’t find the earrings before we went on our merry way to West Chester.

So instead, we wore a stack ring and white topaz bracelet done by her husband, Steven Lagos, that we picked up at TJ Maxx.

(Needless to say, when we got back home we decided to look for the missing King items again, and don’t you know it, we found them in about three minutes in one of our drawers).

The Homeshoppingista (it was a bad hair day) chatting with Ann King

At the meet-and-greet King had one of the first stands as you walked down the long hallway above the QVC studios. We rushed over to talk to this tiny, petite and pretty blonde.

We tried to explain we did a home shopping blog; that we loved her weighty jewelry; and that we were wearing her husband’s pieces. There was a crowd of women around King, and she was friendly, chatting with them about her QVC collection.

King was talking about a large cognac quartz cocktail ring, and was explaining she was using that less expensive stone to keep the price point down on the ring, which sells for $153.

Here’s what QVC.com says about King:

Fortunate in life and love, Ann King realized early on that the secret to success is to establish harmony between personal and professional life. Her jewelry designs are an outward reflection of her bonds with family, community, and the environment.

In 1976, King graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art with a degree in jewelry and metalworking. From her studio apartment, she catered to clients and transformed their desires into unique creations. In 1981, her career took off and she launched Ann King Design.

The following year, King’s jewelry caught the eye of Mort Abelson, director of the New York Jewelry Show. He asked King to feature her work in the New Designer Room at an upcoming Jewelers of America event. The rest is history – not only did she land a place at fine jewelry stores, but she also sparked the interest of Jewelers’ Circular Keystone, a leading industry publication. As fate would have it, King was featured in an article about up-and-coming artists along with rising star, Steven Lagos. They married in 1987 and united their businesses to form LAGOS.

King then focused on helping LAGOS become one of the most successfully marketed luxury brands in America. After starting a family, she joined civic and community boards in her hometown of Philadelphia. King expanded her design endeavors by creating a new collection for QVC, Ann King Sterling & 18K Gold Jewelry. This luxurious line, inspired by nature, architecture and fashion, is meant to draw out a woman’s inner beauty while helping her exude glamour in everyday life. Those who wear Ann King are bound to garner appreciative stares everywhere they go.

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Rubbing Shoulders With Robert Lee Morris, Michael Dawkins And More At QVC’s Sterling Designer Meet-And-Greet

August 24, 2010

Award-winning jewelry designer, and jewelry maker, Robert Lee Morris was clad head-to-toe in SoHo black. Even the wrist guards he wore — one on the hand where he just had a joint replaced and another on the hand where he still needs the surgery — were black.

Ann King was very petite and pretty, and we had explain that although we own two of her rings and a pair of her earrings, we couldn’t find them to wear down to West Chester for her to see.

We’ve been fans of Echo of the Dreamer jewelry for decades, but never knew the designer behind it. Well, it’s Margaret Thurman, and we got to talk to her. She explained that the name Echo of the Dream came from her reading of Carlos Castaneda. One of her pieces, a white agate locket, is inscribed with a quote from Anais Nin, the best writer of female-oriented erotic literature ever. Thurman said she met Nin once.

Young designer Elizabeth Showers, who overcame an eating disorder, showed us her inspirational jewelry line, which aims to raise women’s self-esteem.

QVC’s Sterling Designer Meet-and-Greet Saturday at the home shopping channel’s headquarters in Pennsylvania was great. For jewelry geeks like The Homeshoppingista, it was like being a kid in a candy store.

We were surrounded by fine designers and were able to ask them, in person, about the inspiration for their pieces. It reminded us of the Television Critics Association press tour in LA, where reporters got to ask TV showrunners like Matthew Weiner of “Mad Men” what “informed” their decisions regarding their shows. That was more fascinating to us than seeing “the talent,” the actors and actresses.

At QVC’s studios, we could see and try on the designer silver goodies, and buy them. And we were surrounded by women like us, women who adore and treasure their baubles.

We weren’t sure how the meet-and-greet would work. We thought maybe it would be like a cocktail party with just a few QVC customers mingling with the designers.

Instead, there were dozens of women there. Each designer had a station, a couple of tables, set up along the hall that’s above the actual studios where QVC tapes its segments. You walk down the hall and stop at whatever station you want, chat with a Michael Dawkins or Morris, try on their rings and necklaces, and move on to the next designer.

You’re given a list of all the items the designers that are displaying, and you can circle the pieces you want to purchase.

BFF Ann kindly drove the three hours it took to get to our hotel Saturday afternoon. We headed over to QVC, and Ann acted as our photographer as we went from designer to designer.

In addition to Morris, King, Dawkins, Showers and Thurman, Naomi Pevsner and Elizabeth Rand were in the house. Judith Ripka had a table, which was manned by one of her good-looking and charming sons, Brian Ripka, who is president of her company.

Morris and Ripka are part of a growing group of high-end jewelry designers who are doing less expensive lines for home shopping networks such as QVC and HSN. QVC is particularly appealing, a formidable distribution outlet, at a time when sales of luxury goods have tanked.

The only designer that we didn’t speak with Saturday was Dawkins, who was a chick magnet. His post was so overrun by women, we decided to bypass him and come back later. But when we did, he was already gone.

We and Ann watched Morris on QVC back at our hotel, and he had changed into a deep blue shirt with a lot of the buttons undone. And he wasn’t wearing his black wrist guards.

But during QVC’s 25-hour Sterling Designer Gallery event, designers like Morris and Dawkins constantly made reference to the comments they had heard from women at the meet-and-greet.

We are such tech dummies that we don’t know how to download Ann’s photos from the event, so we’ll post them when our brother-in-law gets back from vacation.

And over the next couple of weeks we plan to write individual blogs on each designer.

We bumped into QVC PR person Kayce Cashman at the studios, and she gave us an excellent recommendation for dinner that night. We had some potent cranberry margaritas at Mas Mexicali Cantina in West Chester.

Watch Out Lisa Robertson, Hello Robert Lee Morris: The Homeshoppingista Is Coming To West Chester

August 3, 2010

God willing, The Homeshoppingista will be making a pilgrimage to West Chester, Pa., to meet Robert Lee Morris and Michael Dawkins, among other QVC jewelry designers, later this month.

We got the invite Monday from QVC to its Aug. 21 designer meet-and-greet, which the home shopping channel holds periodically for viewers at its headquarters. That night, and throughout Aug. 22, QVC is doing a 25-hour Sterling Designer Gallery event.

At the meet-and greet, another one of our favorites, Ann King, will be present, as well as Naomi Pevsner, Elizabeth Rand, Elizabeth Showers and Margaret Thurman.

Mom, sister Karen and BFF Ann are supposed to be coming, too.

But then we learned the drive is 2 1/2 hours from Montclair, so we are going to have to stay ovenight rather than make that long drive home at night.

The Homeshoppingista reserved two rooms at a local hotel, but mom and Karen don’t know about that. We hope they still decide to come. Ann is in!

We better leave our AMEX card in Jersey.

For The Record, QVC, HSN And ShopNBC Aren’t Funding Us: We’re Proud To Say We’re Not Getting A Dime To Write This (Mmmm, Time For A Business Manager)

February 22, 2010

We've commented on HSN CEO Mindy Grossman's cleavage, and you think she's paying us?

We’ve had a number of people, those who’ve had the integrity to ask us right to our face, if we are getting paid to write this blog. We guess the assumption on the part of some, obviously those that don’t know us very well, is that one of the home shopping networks is paying us to write this blog.

Let’s clear the air. Remember that old chestnut to the effect of when you make an assumption you make an ass of yourself. That applies here, folks. Anyone who thinks we’re getting a single dime from QVC, HSN or ShopNBC esta loco, and estupido.

We guess we shouldn’t be bragging about this — since it’s not helping our bank account — but we are not selling ads, offering product placement or in any way, shape or form or getting compensation from anyone to write this blog.

Then why do it, some people ask us, in disbelief. Well, we are looking for a full-time job, and we consider this our living resume and writing sample. It you’re an employer and you don’t like our style, or think the billion-dollar home shopping industry is frivolous, or don’t like snarky commentary, we guess that we are not the right fit for you.

But if you are looking for a reporter/writer who can cover a beat (home shopping); come up with stories and post items on a daily basis; and uniquely combine writing about pop culture, celebrities, news, finance and the inside-gossip of QVC and HSN, then we’re on.

But home shopping, people ask? We’ve said this several times, but we’ll repeat it for newbies to this blog: We love jewelry and gemology, have since we were a kid, and QVC and HSN are the biggest jewelry retailers in the country. We don’t give a crap if Gawker or The Wall Street Journal make fun of the networks.

Yes, we own lucious jewelry from luxury brands such as Tiffany & Co. and Roberto Coin, but we’ve gotten gorgeous things at the three electronic retailers, as well.

The fact that high-end names like Robert Lee Morris, Bobbi Brown, Judith Ripka, Gucci, Godiva, Tag Heuer, Ann King, Barbara Bixby, Stephen Dweck, Badgley Mischka, Dennis Basso and Naeem Khan are selling on QVC, HSN and ShopNBC now makes the case for the networks far more eloquently than we can.

We’ve dinged all three home shopping channels, as well, numerous times. We’ve written about HSN CEO Mindy Grossman’s cleavage, how QVC hired an alleged embezzler who now stands charged with robbing it, and taken ShopNBC to task letting veteran host Charla Rines go. We’ve made fun of QVC and HSN’s PR departments.

Immature? Perhaps. Have some our blogs been silly? Yes. Are we having fun writing them? You betcha.

We like to think we’re doing for home shopping what Joe Flint at the LA Times does for media in “Company Town.”

And so these home shopping channels that we’ve poked fun at — while also covering them as a business reporter would follow any beat — are the same guys you suspect are paying us to write Homeshoppingista? Wrong.

QVC Gives Jewelry Lovers A Gift With Day Dedicated To Jewelry Gifts, With Judith Ripka TSV Button Earrings

December 8, 2009

Loyal QVC viewers — us included — who have been griping about the lack of jewelry shows on the home shopping network should be happy Tuesday.

QVC has dedicated most of the day to “Jewely Gifts of Distinction,” kicking off the event with a Today’s Special Value from Judith Ripka.

The TSV is gem button earrings, for both pierced ears but also in clips, that come in five different gemstones, including our favorite, crystal quartz. The earrings are $100, on three Easy Pays.

Today QVC is also offering jewelry from high-end designers Stephen Dweck, with his new Dweck Diamonds line, Michael Dawkins, Robert Lee Morris, Barbara Bixby, Echo of the Dreamer, Barry Cord and Ann King, who is married to noted jewelry designer Steven Lagos.

So far, we have not seen Judith Ripka on herself. Her son seems to be subbing for her. At midnight, host Jane Teacy introduced the TSV and mistakenly said it was from Joan Rivers, leaving Ripka’s son looking a little uneasy. But Treacy then went on to get the name right — Ripka, not Rivers.

We guess Jane wasn’t used to be up past her bedtime, on the air at midnight.

Jewelry Designer Barbara Bixby’s Fanatic Fans Can’t Wait For Her Return To QVC Monday

November 7, 2009

There are no more fanatic jewelry lovers than the women who buy Barbara Bixby’s pieces on QVC. It’s like a cult.

These collectors are the most active on the channel’s online forums, and do countdowns to the jewelry designer’s visits. There are at least a half-dozen threads on Bixby right now.

This group of jewelry geeks is in heaven because Bixby will be back on QVC Monday with the Today’s Special Value, which one snoop suspects is a teal-colored pearl necklace with an initial enhancer.

But QVC already has that necklace online, which it does not normally do with TSVs. So maybe the TSV isn’t the pearls and enhancer.

Bixby’s pieces are pretty, but a little pricey for us. We’re more of an Ann King fan, whose line also sells on QVC. King, by the way, is married to high-end — and famous jewelry designer — Steven Lagos.