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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 

Thursday, May 23, 2019
5:00 - 8:30 pm
SNAG Gallery Crawl
with WJA Chicago and Ethical Metalsmiths
Curious about the world of art jewelry? Join WJA Chicago and Ethical Metalsmiths for a whirlwind evening visiting selected galleries during the SNAG Conference Gallery Crawl.

The Society of North American Goldsmiths are avant garde artists who push the limits of metal crafts. Get a taste of what the SNAG Conference has to offer and check out innovations in metalsmithing and exciting new artists. 

No need for a SNAG ticket to see the galleries. There will be champagne, beautiful art and limousine style transportation.

We will begin the evening at Adorned Spaces at the SNAG Conference in the Palmer House and continue by car to two more galleries, the Vale Craft Gallery and the Japanese Consulate. The evening will end at the Lillstreet Open House.
Join us for a fun and art filled evening!
$30 Members
$50 Non-Members
Only a few spots left!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

5:30-9:00 pm

WJA Chicago — In The Know Conference 

This conference is part of the WJA Regional Conference Series. Our guest speakers will present how history behind their respective trades (mining, diamond cutting, and jewelry art craft) has impacted our modern day jewelry industry. 

Rachel Dery of Gem Legacy
Rachel Dery, G.G. is the Director of Communication and Outreach for Gem Legacy. She spends her days communicating with the individual initiatives and telling their stories through Gem Legacy, the East African focused 501(c)3 nonprofit. Rachel has visited each of the Gem Legacy initiatives in her six visits to East Africa. Rachel spent her first years in the industry marketing for retail jewelers before returning to the family business, Roger Dery Gem Design, where she focuses her time on her dream for the future: exponential progress at the source of East African colored gemstones.
Maarten de Witte, Master Diamond Cutter, Diamond Foundry
Maarten de Witte has been intimately involved with gem diamonds for over 40 years.  He began his career learning to cut ideal diamonds from Leonard Ludel at the American School of Diamond Cutting.  He was formerly known as the Diamond Wizard® at Hearts On Fire, served as Director of the American School of Diamond Cutting, was shop foreman for Eight Star Diamonds and Executive Director USA for EmBee Diamonds Canada.



Maria Hrycelak, co-president of Kalo Foundation
of Park Ridge
Kalo’s mission is to preserve the artistic legacy of Park Ridge, past, present and future as well as promoting the arts and crafts as an integral part of our daily lives. Based on the ideals of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, the Foundation sponsors educational seminars, exhibits,
tours, publications and special events to increase awareness and appreciation of the arts and crafts.
Tickets and Registration

$45 Early Bird Member (up until 6/1)
$65 Members
$75 Non-Members

Registration opens 5/23/2019 9:00 AM.
Members: Sign in before registering.
Non-members: Use public registration.


The hand-blown glass vase ($750 value) made at Ignite Glass Studios during the 2018 WJA Jewelry Night Out will be given away by drawing. You can purchase raffle tickets when you register $10 for 1 ticket or $40 for 5 tickets.

Event Schedule
Enjoy Networking and light refreshments.
Speakers begin.
The Jeweler's Center
At the Mallers Building
5 South Wabash, 18th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603




WJA Chicago Mix & Mingle
Meetup at One of a Kind Show Chicago
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. 
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 2019 Shining Star!
Susan Wheeler Geraghty 

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


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
Kalo’s mission is to preserve the artistic legacy of Park Ridge, past, present and future as well as promoting the arts and crafts as an integral part of our daily lives. Based on the ideals of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, the Foundation sponsors educational seminars, exhibits,
tours, publications and special events to increase awareness and appreciation of the arts and crafts.


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 Jeanette Park (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
Jenny Santi

Nancy Hudson
Jenny Santi

Karla Lewis

Ann Flick
Karla Lewis

Members at Large
Anne van der Meulen
Pam Robinson