Fortrove News

Folks in the jewelry industry are finding more ways to combat the pandemic blues. One such person is jewelry writer Peggy Jo Donahue, who has worked for Gem Legacy, Women's Jewelry Association, and more. In an interview with JCK, she describes the impact of the pandemic on her business as well as how she finds ways to destress.


When asked about how she's managing during the pandemic, Donahue said, "In March, I realized that the new reality for many office workers had been my reality since mid-2009, when I began to work from home. The disorientation of not working in an office is real, and I tried to share the many coping techniques I’ve learned over the years, especially: Subscribe to all the industry publications’ daily newsletters to stay anchored to top news and trends. The best of these publications, like JCK, continue to bring us the kind of news that’s been vetted, an essential service. Use social media to keep up with informal conversations about the industry among your industry friends and colleagues. Social media has been rightly trashed for false narratives in the larger world, and I long ago blocked or turned off all industry people and groups who post incessantly about these topics (on both sides of the political spectrum!). Once you do that, the voices of genuine, everyday jewelers, designers, makers, and others come to life—and you learn a great deal informally about how the industry is doing that way. It truly does replace the office water cooler. Attend every conference you can. We are so lucky to have Zoom conferences to bring our thought leaders to life! Take advantage of it!"


Donahue was also asked about how she stays relaxed during the COVID crisis. "I’m a Broadway nut," she says, "so I’m having the bends without live theater! Luckily, an extraordinary number of Broadway belters have been doing online Zoom-type paid/donation concerts. And Cynthia Erivo, who is a huge jewelry maven and supports responsible sourcing in our industry, has been doing her own belting on her Instagram page!


Also, I’ve been watching filmed plays, from past and present, trying to focus on off-off-Broadway and regional theater productions, where I know the need for donations is acute to keep them viable. If William Shakespeare and his London company could survive plague closings repeatedly, so should they!


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Those who follow me on social networks know that I am also a passionate gardener, baker, and sometimes-cook. I am also learning about wine. My latest baking discovery was election cake, which used to be made in huge open hearths in colonial New England and given out to people who voted, mostly to sop up all the booze they were drinking that day! Lots of wonderful fall spices!"

Information originally sourced from JCK.