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.