In Depth With Debbie: GSI’s Debbie Azar Interviews Andie Weinman
Andie Weinman is the President and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International and the Continental Buying Group Inc. Andie is known throughout the Jewelry Industry as a trusted source for everything you’ll ever need to know about beautiful diamonds and gems. Her talents coalesce at the intersection of jewelry and fashion, and as an Exclusive Blogger for Jewelry Chatter Box, she frequently examines runway trends, predicting how they will translate into the styles of jewelry that we’ll all be wearing.
The first time I met Andie was at a JVC luncheon (the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, which provides legal education and compliance guidance to the jewelry industry), and we hit it off immediately! We both have an appreciation for style, and she is a true Fashionista who regularly attends Fashion Week, and whose amazing wardrobe choices I always look forward to seeing. She takes her adorable little dog, Elvis, everywhere, and he’s become a popular mascot for CBG and Preferred Jewelers at trade shows and events.
We had the opportunity to travel to Dubai together when Andie was asked to give a presentation to jewelry retailers about the Preferred Jewelers business model. We had the best time seeing the city and enjoying the best shopping and dining that Dubai has to offer.
Born with the “Jewelry Gene,” Andie has worked in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier at the opening of a catalog showroom, doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. As a huge fan of emeralds, Andie’s childhood nickname was Esmeralda, and her Instagram handle @esmeraldasays is a nod to this.
If you’re a jeweler, you will understand just how prestigious it is to be a member of the Continental Buying Group. In order to become a CBG member, you have to maintain a perfect credit rating, and—more importantly—you have to be a leading jewelry retailer.. Ultimately, CBG is a buying group, which GSI joined some time ago. CBG Jewelers buy their inventory together and get much better discounts because of the massive amount of jewelry they buy. This means the best prices for quality jewelry for consumers anywhere, guaranteed. I love how hard Andie works to negotiate for retailers.
Preferred Jewelers International offers buying clients a Lifetime Nationwide Warranty program through Preferred Retailers who are part of a nationwide network of superior independent jewelers. This warranty will protect if you lose a diamond from your treasured jewelry piece. All you have to do is call the 1-800 number on your warranty to receive concierge service and find a local jeweler who will replace up to a .20 diamond at no extra charge.
Due to COVID-19, Continental Buying Group and Preferred Jewelers International had to postpone their annual Las Vegas jewelry trade show this summer, but they cleverly shifted gears and instead created an amazing virtual summit.
Andie is a strong, powerful woman who inspires me, and is someone I’m proud to call my friend. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I had the opportunity to sit down with her for a video interview filmed at the GSI Laboratory in New York to talk more in depth about our industry.
WATCH the video interview with Andie to learn more about how Preferred Jewelers International and the Continental Buying Group have become the backbone of independent jewelers, plus the trends she predicts will be hot this Fall season.
About The Author
Debbie Azar is the Co-Founder and President of Gemological Science International (GSI), one of the largest gemological organizations in the world, and a distinguished leader in the global diamond and jewelry industry. As an executive with extensive knowledge of the jewelry and gem lab industries, her entrepreneurial skills and vision have helped GSI achieve rapid and continuous growth worldwide, establishing 13 leading-edge gemological facilities on four continents. She currently serves on the boards of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Responsible Jewellery Council, and Jewelers for Children, and is a member of the 24 Karat Club of New York. She has been featured in Forbes, Daily Mail, Good Morning America, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fox Business, Fox5, CBS2, BOLDTV, Varney&Co, The Street, and NASDAQ, among others.