Meeting new people and forming meaningful business relationships is the hallmark of the Women's Jewelry Association and its world-wide network of members.
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.
Meet new friends, ask all your burning jewelry questions, or just hang out over drinks!
This event is open to all!
Whether you're already a member or just curious, come and mingle with WJA Chicago!
Lyric Opera of Chicago at
From the moment we meet in the beautiful and impressive Rice Grand Foyer at the Lyric Opera House, we will be in for a special, one-hour experience with an engaging Lyric docent who will give us behind-the-scenes insights into the vibrant world of grand opera. We will:
Tour the theatre, orchestra pit, and backstage.
Enjoy networking at a nearby location.
SAVE THE DATE!
Additional event details and links for online registration will be provided when available.
WJA Chicago — In The Know Conference
Glimpses into Our Industry’s Heritage
On June 27, 2019, WJA Chicago hosted an In The Know Conference. which is part of the WJA Regional Conference Series. The evening began with a fun time of networking and refreshments, followed by presentations from our guest speakers: Rachel Derry (Gem Legacy), Maarten de Witte (Master Diamond Cutter), and Maria Hrycelak (co-president of Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge). Each speaker described how the history behind their respective trades (mining, diamond cutting, and jewelry art craft) has impacted our modern day jewelry industry.
On May 23, 2019, WJA Chicago and Ethical Metalsmiths hosted a whirlwind evening visiting selected galleries during the SNAG Conference Gallery Crawl. This exploration of the world of art jewelry started at Adorned Spaces at the SNAG Conference in the Palmer House and continued by car to two more galleries, the Vale Craft Gallery and the Japanese Consulate. The evening ended at the Lillstreet Open House.
On April 26, 2019, WJA Chicago hosted a meetup at the One of a Kind Show staged at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. We gathered at the on-site Patio Cafe for a time of networking.Participants saw the show before or after our meetup.
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.
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.
In November 2018, we gathered at the Queen Mary Tavern in Chicago for an evening of networking.
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.
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:
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).
WJA Chicago met with with Eve J. Alfillé in Evanston to tour her gallery, visit her studio, and learn more about pearls.
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.
To learn about becoming
a WJA member and about the Chicago Chapter, contact Jeanette Park (our Membership Chair) at email@example.com.
Vice President / President-Elect
Susan Wheeler Geraghty
Susan Wheeler Geraghty
Grants / Scholarships
Members at Large
Anne van der Meulen