(OAK BROOK, Ill.) – Next generation independent retail jewelers gathered from across the country for the inaugural Retail Jewelers Organization’s (RJO) Next Gen Experience. Co-sponsored by industry powerhouses Stuller and RDI Diamonds, the weekend brought together over 40 next gen jewelers for focused, hands-on educational sessions.
The program entitled, “The RJO Next Generation Experience: Creating Ultimate Jewelers of the Future,” included topics about making choices, dealing with conflict, establishing a business vision and the future of the industry.
RJO CEO Mary Peterson stated: “Our vision for the experience was to create and engage. We created a curriculum of hands-on learning and interactive dialogue to aid the next generation of retail jewelers in preparing for the future of our industry and their business. We engaged participants to ensure continued learning and provided action items to implement when they return to their own stores.”
RJO member Jason Braden, Jewelers Workshop, Madison, WI, noted about his experience: “RJO’s commitment to the long term success of its members by fostering the leadership qualities of its future owners was self evident at the Next Gen Experience. It was exciting getting to know the next generation of jewelers. While their mind-set may be different from that of their parents and forefathers they share the same passion for this industry that made their parents and grandparents successful.”
In 1966, RJO was founded by a small group of independent jewelers who joined together to command better vendor prices by buying collectively. Since that time, the organization has added hundreds of members, essential support programs and marketing services while remaining owned by its jeweler members. For more information, visit www.rjomembers.com.