Autumn Leaves - October 2023 News
It's October . The leaves are turning, it's getting crispy cool, and I'm musing over the beauty of Autumn.
A few days ago, I read about the passing of an iconic figure in the jewellery industry. Hedda Schupak was the editor and chief of JCK from 2000-2009. I did not know her; in fact, I had not even heard of her until I read several glowing tributes from her friends and associates. One tribute included this quote, where she spoke passionately about her devotion to the jewellery business. It resonated deeply. She said,
[Jewelry is] "a business that gets not only under your skin but also into your blood. It's a strange phenomenon, hard for people outside the business to understand (even when they're married to people in it).
"There's this peculiar thing that jewelry people share. Call it passion, call it craziness, call it an addiction to this business, but it's just who we are. We go on vacation and spend half our time in jewelry stores chatting with the owners, and we think that's perfectly normal behavior. (This is usually when the non- jewelry person suggests either the moon-or separate vacations-for next year.) No matter where on earth we go, we either have industry friends whom we're visiting, we're making new friends we'll go back to visit later, or the reason we're there in the first place is that industry pals recommended it.
"Yes, we are a different breed, and we're proud of it."
Hedda expresses her obsession clearly and I think she got it, spot on. When I read her words, I felt that I knew her, or perhaps, had met others with the same deep passion, all kindred spirits. She touched me again when she said, "No one leaves the jewelry industry completely." Much like we used to say in Saskatchewan, 'you can take the boy out of the prairies, but you can't take the prairies out of the boy'.
We are an eccentric bunch, who have found a comfortable home in jewellery. Quite frankly, I wouldn't know how to fill my days completely without it. Our industry politics are always fascinating (at least to me), and the trade itself is a wonderful combination of the beautiful, the artistic, the creative, and, of course, the economic.
We, in the industry, are all charming and ever so slightly off. We are obsessed with all that we do and how we do it; each of us is perfectly consumed with our own little corner of the business. Of course, as a prerequisite to being a member of the club, we must all be romantics.
Hedda Schupak left this world at the age of sixty-two. She had a bad case of the jewellery bug and, like the rest of us, loved every moment of that affliction. I'm sure that she carried her passion with her everyday and it sustained her.
Hedda, I didn't know you, but you are an inspiration. Your words remind me of how lucky I am to have stumbled my way into the diamond world. You knew our little, and not well-kept, secret for remaining content, by finding meaning and purpose in being present in every waking moment.
May your memory always be a blessing.
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