WJA’s New Scholarship Celebrates Hedda Schupak-Baum’s Impact on Jewelry Media

The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) Foundation has announced the Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Media and Communications Scholarship.

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In an industry that shines as much for its glittering gems as for its vibrant storytelling, the legacy of Hedda Schupak-Baum stands as a testament to the power of words and the indelible mark of passion. It’s with a sense of nostalgia that I reflect on the recent announcement by the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) Foundation of the establishment of the Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Media and Communications Scholarship. This initiative, which aims to nurture aspiring journalists and media professionals interested in the jewelry and watch sectors, is a fitting homage to a figure whose influence has been both deep and enduring.

Hedda, whose career spanned several decades, was a beacon of integrity, curiosity, and dedication. Her work, characterized by insightful analysis and an unwavering commitment to truth, has inspired countless individuals within and beyond the jewelry industry. Her passing on October 3rd, 2023, was a loss felt by many, but her legacy endures—embodied in the stories she told and the lives she touched.

The scholarship launched in her memory seeks to empower the next generation of storytellers, ensuring that Hedda’s legacy of excellence continues to inspire. It is a reminder of the critical role that media and communications professionals play in shaping our industry and others. These individuals do more than report on trends and events; they capture the essence of our craft, highlighting the beauty, innovation, and human stories behind each piece.

Reflecting on Hedda’s contributions, it’s clear that her impact went beyond the written word. She was a mentor and advocate for young designers, a champion for women’s leadership in the industry, and a friend to many. Her personal and professional style was marked by warmth, wit, and an innate ability to connect with others. Hedda’s influence extended through her roles as editor-in-chief of JCK magazine and, later, The Centurion newsletter, where she shared her passion for jewelry and its creators with a global audience.

The Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Media and Communications Scholarship, funded through the generosity of jewelry industry sponsors, is more than a financial resource; it’s a commitment to the future. By supporting aspiring media professionals who wish to explore the fine jewelry and watch industries, the scholarship ensures that fresh talent and perspectives continue to enrich our field.

Jim Baum, Hedda’s husband, expressed gratitude, stating, “Hedda was a journalist whose coverage of the jewelry industry educated and informed a generation of retailers and designers. She was passionate about this industry and proud of the role that women leaders played in its success. WJA was near and dear to Hedda’s heart and to know that her legacy will live on through this scholarship would have meant the world to her as it does to me.”

As someone who has had the privilege of witnessing Hedda’s professionalism and experiencing her friendship, I am deeply moved by this initiative. It’s a reminder that while we may work with materials measured in carats and karats, the real value of our industry lies in its people and their impact.

To those who knew Hedda, this scholarship represents a continuation of her passion and a promise that her legacy will be honored. To aspiring journalists and media professionals, it offers a chance to pursue a path illuminated by one of the industry’s brightest stars. I invite everyone inspired by Hedda’s story and the vibrant world of jewelry and watches to consider contributing to this fund. It’s an opportunity to invest in the future of storytelling within our industry, ensuring that the legacy of Hedda Schupak-Baum—and the values she represented—continue to inspire generations to come.