The AGJES which stands for African Gems & Jewelry Exhibition and Seminar was held last week, on the 19th & 20th of October 2017. It was the event of the year for gemstone dealers and jewelry designers in Africa, especially Nigeria, and one we all looked forward to with excitment.
The AGJES is an annual event that holds in October in Abuja where hundreds of people across the jewelry industry value chain meet to discuss various topics related to the industry, conduct masterclasses for business owners as well as the general public interested in jewelry, gemstones or mining. Ever since I found out about the event (maybe about a year or two ago), I made it my mission to attend. I wanted to attend this event so badly because I wanted to see and experience for myself the depth of the jewelry industry in Nigeria and what it had to offer. I had heard so many stories of Nigeria's wealth in some of the world's most beautiful and valuable gemstones. From my reserch and finding people on Instagram, I had learned that there were also modern metal and goldsmiths like myself and I knew it would be a great opportunity to meet these people and get a first-hand experience of the jewelry industry in Nigeria.
Fast forward to this year, I got a message by one of the organizers to be a speaker at the event! To say I was in shock is an understatement! From dreaming about attending to being an integral part of the event? It was beyond my wildest imagination!
I was super grateful for the opportunity to speak on the two things I love the most and the miracle of finding the bridge that connects my two worlds, which are jewelry design and technology.
During the event, Zivanora exhibited various pieces from the Essence collection
as well as showed a preview of an item from the upcoming collection. On the opening day of AGJES, Her Excellency, the wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbanjo, during her tour of the exhibition hall, stopped by the Zivanora booth to experience some of the pieces on display. She was particulary drawn to the Essence Circle in Disc Stud Earrings
and admired it's simplicity and modern look and feel. She was accompanied by the Minister of Mines & Steel and Mrs. Murtala Muhammed and a whole host of various media crews.
Day two was my scheduled day to speak as founder and creative director of Zivanora. I shared some of the various technologies available to jewelry designers and retailers and how they can be used in business. I spoke about the use of technologies such as 3D design, 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, the importance of e-commerce and digital marketing via social media.
After speaking, we had a panel session with other jewelry designers answering questions from the audience.
Later that evening, Zivanora alongside other Nigerian jewelry designers, walked the AGJES Fashion Show Runway. On the runway were the Essence Double Hoop Earrings and other pieces from the Essence collection. As the models walked down the runway, I highlighted various style looks and tips on how to style the pieces worn by the models.
In all, it was definitely a great event and I had a wonderful time. I am grateful to all the organizers and everyone else who made this a wonderful reality and I am looking forward to next year's event!
See more pictures from the event below.