The Centurion Jewellery Show has announced the three winners of the Centurion 2018 Emerging Designer Competition, sponsored by Stuller. We extend our congratulations to Shelly Purdy, who was a winner of this prestigious competition, along with Wolfgang Vaatz and Tara Hutchinson. All three designers will make their U.S. jewellery trade show debut at the Centurion Scottsdale Show, January 28-30 in Scottsdale, AZ.
The Centurion Emerging Designer Competition is open to independent jewellery designers who have never exhibited at a U.S. fine jewellery trade show. Each year, hopeful entrants from around the world vie for one of three coveted spaces at the Centurion Scottsdale Show.
Centurion president Howard Hauben says, “Every year Centurion brings together the top prestige jewellers in the United States with an outstanding collection of high-end manufacturers. We’re proud to also introduce such a high level of innovative new talent that adds to our tradition of bringing the best retailers and designers together under one roof.”
A panel of expert judges from the jewellery industry narrowed down the entries to 17 finalists. This year’s first round judges included Maren Rosen, vice president of merchandising for Stuller, blogger Monica Stephenson of iDazzle, and jewellery author and historian Marion Fasel.
The Centurion Retailer Advisory Board then reviewed the finalists and voted for the three winners who each will receive a free exhibit space at the Show and a $1,000 merchandise credit from Stuller.
Says winner Purdy, “I’m so grateful to Centurion and Stuller for the privilege to show my Vintage Opulence Collection among the superstars of the jewellery industry. This valuable opportunity serves as a huge stepping stone for me to sell into the U.S. wholesale market. I’m very excited to be part of this!”
A trained goldsmith, designer Shelly Purdy’s work is uniquely Canadian and internationally recognized. Her Canadian diamond collections and bespoke designs celebrate personal milestones—her Opulence commitment bands embody the love of a lifetime, while her Achievement rings symbolize a woman’s accomplishments.
A native of Whitby, Ontario, Purdy originally studied business in college, but quickly realized her calling was to be an artist. In 1991, she followed her entrepreneurial instincts and opened her boutique jewellery studio in the heart of Toronto’s fashion district, crafting handmade diamond engagement rings and wedding bands and giving consumers the choice of pledging their commitment with locally made, ethically sourced jewellery and Canadian diamonds.
Since then, she’s amassed a loyal and international client base, speaking volumes to the trust she’s established as a Canadian jewellery designer. She has even crafted 25-year anniversary bands for couples whose wedding and engagement rings she designed when she first started her business.
Since visiting Canada’s Ekati Diamond Mine in 2001, Purdy has become known as a prominent supporter of Canadian diamonds and was described as the “Diamond Diplomat” in a cover story by Canadian Diamonds Magazine. She is also an award-winning and acclaimed jewellery designer, receiving the De Beers Diamonds Today Award and participating as a featured designer in Rio Tinto’s ‘Diamonds with a Story’ campaign, which highlights Canada’s Diavik Diamond Mine.
Helping to shape the next generation of Canada’s jewellery makers and artists, Purdy is a member of George Brown College’s advisory committee for the jewellery arts program, from which she graduated in 1987. A personal highlight every year is to mentor and host a jewellery student at her studio, passing on her experience, knowledge, and passion for her craft.
Ashley Brown, Stuller’s executive director of marketing and public relations, says, “Stuller has been proud to sponsor the Centurion Emerging Designer Competition for the last six years. We know that innovation and creativity are essential to the future of the jewellery industry, and finding new talent is where it begins.”
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