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Vegas Prep: Interview with Marion Fasel of The Adventurine

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We are excited to kick off a fun series this week on Gem Gossip — these next five blog features will get you excited and prepped for Vegas Jewelry Week, which is quickly approaching!  I’ve asked five people–a mix of designers, editors, and industry insiders–to contribute their insights from this epic event that happens once a year. I’m asking for advice, tips, favorite parts, and much more!  Whether it will be your first time attending or you are a professional (and can pack with your eyes closed), these interviews will pique your curiousity and you’ll definitely learn a thing or two!  One thing is for sure, we all are SO EXCITED for Vegas.

We are starting the week out with Marion Fasel who is celebrating a big milestone in a few weeks–her online magazine The Adventurine turns one year old at the end of the month. She strategically launched the same day Vegas Jewelry Week began last year and has been covering all kinds of jewelry topics since then (many of which are pictured above). But don’t let the small digit fool you, Marion has been in the jewelry industry for over 25 years. Most notably, she was InStyle’s Contributing Editor of Fine Jewelry & Watches for nearly two decades, has written eight books, and has helped curate several museum exhibitions. It’s no secret I am her number one fan and have been continually cheering her on since I discovered her flipping through the pages of InStyle magazine.  Let’s find out more:

How many times have you attended Vegas jewelry week?

I have been 12 times.  I haven’t missed a jewelry week in Vegas since the Couture show relocated from the Phoenician in Scottsdale to the Wynn in 2005. 

Biggest tip for Vegas jewelry week you’d give your rookie self on the eve of your first time going to Vegas?

I’d give my rookie self a fun tip and a few practical tips.  

My fun tip is about gambling.  I’d tell myself to gamble.  You are in Vegas—some fun must be had. Then I would say, skip the slots.  Go in the early evening to the Encore where it can be quiet and find a Black Jack dealer with an empty table.  There are usually several.  Tell the dealer, you don’t know much about the game but would like to learn.  The dealers are incredibly knowledgeable and thrilled to share their tips.  If you allow them to guide you about what “the book” says for your hand, you will win. Trust me on this.  Just let them tell you how to play.

One practical tip, don’t let the bellhop take your luggage when you check in.  Just take it to your room yourself.  If you don’t, you have to wait for it.  They won’t leave it in your room unless you are there.  Sometimes they are fast, but sometimes they take a while which keeps you waiting in your room before hitting the trade show floor or doing anything your heart desires.  

Drink lots of water.  It’s the desert and you will get dehydrated even indoors.

Oh, and have a clear strategy for who you want to see.  There are a lot of great jewelry designers there and you won’t be able to see everyone, so do a careful edit on your agenda and leave breathing room to explore.  The time to explore is key.


Name five things you ALWAYS bring to Vegas Jewelry Week.

I wear heels so I bring Band-Aids.  I bring my gambling budget, usually around $200.  I bring loads of jewelry, because it’s a jewelry crowd and its Vegas so it’s fun to get decked out.  Beyond that it’s pretty standard phone charger, camera, computer.  I don’t travel light.  


One big difference from last year to this year?

Well, last year I launched my online magazine TheAdventurine.com one day before the Couture show started.  The timing was not a coincidence.  It’s really the beginning of the formal jewelry season.  You see how the trends and designers are shaping up at Couture.  I wanted my website anniversary to coincide with the Couture show.  I guess the biggest difference is now The Adventurine is humming away.  


Favorite things about Vegas Jewelry Week.

Winning at Black Jack.  I am kidding.  Meeting a talented new designer or just seeing a great new collection from an established designer are my favorite things.  


Biggest pet peeve about Vegas Jewelry Week.

It is a bit odd being indoors for a week.  During the course of the show, it’s not usual for some people to never step outside for more than a few minutes on the terrace off the trade show floor or to walk to the taxi stand to go out to dinner.  I try to make my way to La Cave as often as possible to sit in the outdoor café there for lunch, dinner or drinks.  


Weirdest thing to happen to you during Vegas Jewelry Week in the past.

I won a Vespa at the Couture Awards.  It’s probably one of the most wonderful and weird things that has ever happened to me anywhere.  I actually like public speaking but when I went on stage to accept the scooter, I was so shocked and happy, I was virtually speechless.  




WANT MORE? Check out my coverage from last year 

You can follow Marion –> @marionfasel & @theadventurine