Couture Musings

When Rings Attack, Friends Have Your Back

New York Jewelry Market week was crazy for everyone—crazy fun, but crazy! After a successful JA New York show with fabulous press attendance (we even had NBC’s Brian Williams show come film!), a fun opening night party at Yotel, and a hectic but super exciting WJA Awards for Excellence Gala, I went straight from the Javits on Tuesday to set up for Couture Press Preview the following day. The Press Preview was, by all accounts, a huge success! All of the designers were thrilled, and the media were so happy to have such a versatile group of designers to pull from for their holiday gift guides! After a 19-hour work-day, which included an impromptu “break down/dance party USA” at the loft among the Couture crew, I came home and passed out dead asleep on top of my covers. The next morning, I woke up to discover that my fingers had swollen in the night (uh, can you say dehydration and exhaustion?) and my prized Victor Velyan ring was stuck on my finger…

I gave Victor a 28+ carat peridot that was near and dear to my heart a couple of months prior to Couture. I was loath to let it out of my sights, but I trust Victor implicitly and have always wanted a piece of his jewelry. In true Victor style, he asked me “Can I live with this stone for a little bit and let it tell me what it wants to become?” I agreed (obviously!) and on set-up day of Couture he presented me with the most amazing ring I’ve ever set eyes on! I love it so much I practically sleep with it under my pillow! It’s a talisman to me as much as it is a gorgeous piece of jewelry that gets compliments wherever I go, and in the crowds I hang out with, that’s saying a lot.

Naturally, I was upset when I realized this sucker was stuck on my finger. I tried to stay calm, iced and elevated my finger. Then I began trying. Every. Trick. In. The. Book. Windex, Vaseline, dish soap, dental floss. I became increasingly panicked, and was frantically instant messaging with Couture’s Marketing Manager, Erin O’Donnell, asking her advice on what I should do. My dear friend and colleague Beth Anne Bonanno was calling me between meetings, asking how it was going, suggesting various tactics. At one point, she was sitting with Soraya Cayen, the owner of Cayen Collection in Carmel, CA, getting tips from her on how I could remove the ring. I was so scared, and in so much pain, that I was ready to head to the emergency room, screaming inside my head “WHY DON’T I KNOW ANYONE IN THE JEWERLY INDUSTRY?!” And then it occurred to me…duh, I know pretty much everyone in the jewelry industry….

I called Myriam Gumuchian, who answered the phone in her typical fabulous way, “Michelle, darling, how are you my dear?!” I started sobbing, explained I had a ring stuck on my finger and I didn’t know what to do. She responded without hesitation, “Get up here right away!” I spoke briefly with Victor Velyan who told me it would be an “easy fix” if I got the ring cut off, and then I was off to the subway (yes, even dealing with a “medical emergency” I’m a subway girl at heart). Soraya and Beth Anne met me outside of Myriam’s office, and when we got upstairs, Myriam and her delightful, wonderful, amazing team of women greeted me as if I had arrived at the emergency room via ambulance. Beth Anne, Myriam and Soraya coddled me, rubbing my back, soothing me with kindness, while Jodi Heald, who works for Gumuchian and is now a superhero in my eyes, expertly cut through the back of the shank with a really cool tool (that I admit I didn’t look at until after the “procedure”). It took no time at all, didn’t hurt a bit, the swelling came down almost immediately, and I started to re-gain color and feeling in my finger again.

In the end, what started as a hectic, frantic, terrifying day turned into an actual “nice” experience. To be taken such good care of by all of these fabulous women reminded me, once again, why I love this industry; we are more than just a community, we are a family.

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Michelle Orman

Michelle Orman

Michelle Orman is the president of Last Word Communications, which spearheads the public relations for the COUTURE show. A 15+ year veteran of the COUTURE community, Michelle is obsessed with all things jewelry and watch related! To be included in COUTURE Musings, email Michelle at

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