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The WJA Chicago Chapter focuses on helping members advance and develop careers in the jewelry and watch industry. Throughout the year, we host educational and social events with opportunities to network and to learn more about various facets of the industry.

Our members come from both city and suburbs. They include a mix of those involved in retail and wholesale businesses, design, marketing, sales, support services, and other aspects of the industry. To facilitate professional growth of members, the chapter supports and promotes grants and scholarships, offers opportunities for mentoring, and participates in national and chapter recognition programs.


Upcoming Events 

Additional event details and links for online registration will be provided when available.
Friday, April 26, 2019
Mix & Mingle
Meetup at One of a Kind Show Chicago



Colored Stone Market Report and Tucson Recap
with Laurie Watt
On March 20, 2019, WJA Chicago hosted a fun evening with Laurie Watt of Mayer & Watt. In her presentation, Laurie spoke about the colored stone market and did a recap of the Tucson AGTA GemFair. She also showed a variety of gemstones available for purchase from Mayer & Watt. 

Wax Carving Workshop 
Create a Band Ring Out of Hard Wax
On February 28, 2019, those fortunate enough to attend the sold-out event joined WJA Chicago for a fun evening of learning how to create a band ring out of hard wax. Participants learned simple techniques such as carving, building up wax and removing wax. Thanks to Lillstreet Art Center which provided the studio space and supplied the basic tools. Thanks as well to WJA members Pam Robinson and Ann vander Muelen who provided instruction and support to learners during the event. Participants walked away from this workshop with a wax band that can be taken to a casting company to create in metal.

Mix & Mingle
In January 2019, we gathered at the 404 Wine Bar Co. in Chicago for an evening of networking. 

Mix & Mingle
In November 2018, we gathered at the Queen Mary Tavern in Chicago for an evening of networking. 

Pearl Update with Renée Newman
New Types, Fakes, Treatments and Jewelry Styles
On October 22, 2018, WJA Chicago gathered to learn from Renée Newman about what's new related to cultured freshwater pearls, including new types, fakes, treatments, and jewelry styles.

2018 in the Know Conference & Jewelry Night Out
Both events were on September 13, 2018.
in the Know Conference
The in the Know (ITK) Chicago Conference featured a full day dedicated to educational advancement and communal collaboration between peers, speakers, and friends alike. Events included presentations and panel discussions about current topics and trends pertaining to diamonds, colored gemstones, and issues impacting the jewelry industry at large. Esteemed speakers included:
  • Hannah Becker (Creative Director & CEO, Diamondoodles)
  • Brandee Dallow (Fine Girl Luxury Brand)
  • Peggy Jo Donahue, conference moderator (Writer ― Content Creation & Social Networking: Editing, Blogging, Website Writing)
  • Beth Gerstein (Brilliant Earth)
  • Sarah Gorvitz (Diamond Producers Association)
  • Billie Hughes (Lotus Gem•ology)
  • Eryn Patton (Wendy Brandes Jewelry)
  • Louis Price (M. Geller)
  • Shelly Sergent (Somewhere in the Rainbow)
  • Goeffrey Watt (Mayer & Watt)
  • Susan Wheeler (Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference)
  • Sara Yood (Jewelers Vigilance Committee)

Jewelry Night Out
In the evening, WJA Chicago celebrated the annual membership event. We brought together members and others in the jewelry industry to share in their passion for the work they do all year long. Some of the most recent AGTA Spectrum Awards™ winning pieces were on display. We viewed a glass-blowing demonstration by staff of Ignite (the venue for both events).

An Evening with Eve J. Alfillé at Her Gallery
WJA Chicago met with with Eve J. Alfillé in Evanston to tour her gallery, visit her studio, and learn more about pearls.

How to Bid and Win at Auction
hosted by Heritage Auctions Chicago 
WJA Chicago welcomed four new and renewing members during the networking session that started the evening. 

During the program Ruth Thuston, Director of Fine Jewelry, described the auction process, how to prepare for an auction, and tips about bidding. Roberta Kramer, Auctioneer and Managing Director, conducted a mock jewelry auction.



Our 2018 Shining Star!
Olivia Zale 

      Thank you, Olivia,
      for your extraordinary
      volunteer service
      to WJA Chicago!

Thank You to Our Sponsors!
  • Anonymous
  • Diamond Producers Association (DPA)
  • Finest Casting Inc.
  • Gem2000
  • Heritage Auctions
  • Jewelers Center at the Mallers Building
  • Jewelers Mutual
  • Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC)
  • Malca-Amit
  • Mid-States Recycling & Refining
  • N. Green & Sons
  • Platinum Alley
  • Professional Gem Sciences Laboratory (PGSL)
We are so grateful for our sponsors 
and could not operate without them! 
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please email us at


Join us!

Become a WJA member.

Membership in Women’s Jewelry Association offers
tools you can use to advance professionally.

Participate with our chapter.

Join us for the fun as we learn, connect, and grow professionally by participating in local educational and networking events. Venues include wonderful stores, galleries, studios, museums, and other industry-related companies throughout the Chicago area. We offer special member pricing for events. 

Attend one of our upcoming events and learn firsthand about the Chicago Chapter.

To learn about becoming
a WJA member and about the Chicago Chapter, contact Olivia Zale (our Membership Chair) at


Connect with us!



2019 Board

Susannne Siegel

Vice President / President-Elect 
Olivia Zale

Vice President
Susan Wheeler Geraghty

Sue Rosengard

Stephanie Wishnoff

Jeanette Park

Denise Hartman
Jenny Santi
Ann Flick

Susan Wheeler Geraghty
Ann Flick

Grants / Scholarships
Jill Cotone

Social Media / Website
Jenniy Santi

Karla Lewis

Ann Flick
Karla Lewis

Members at Large
Nancy Hudson
Anne van der Meulen
Pam Robinson