This past year, Scott Kay announced their collaboration with the Fashion Institute of Technology to host a design-inspired contest for second year Jewelry Design students in honor of the brand’s founder, Scott Kay. The objective of the contest was for the students to utilize their jewelry design talents to create a set of bridal jewelry that included three pieces from a set of four—ring, bracelet, necklace and/or earrings. The students were asked to use their creativity to build upon the brand’s original design codes and present hand drawings, technical drawings, measurement details, materials, and color options.

The winner of the contest was chosen after two rounds of judging based on overall design, originality, creativity, production viability, and the usage of Scott Kay’s design codes. Representing the scope of the jewelry industry, the judging panel included Colleen Banks, Associate Style Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings; Ashley Davis, National Jeweler’s Associate Editor; and Steve Velasquez, CEO of Bailey Banks and Biddle. Representing the company was Jonathan Goldman, CEO, and Merritt Mayher, Chief Merchandising Officer of Frederick Goldman Inc.

On the evening of February 2, 2017, Scott Kay hosted an intimate dinner with the five finalists of the contest along with the judging panel and key members of Scott Kay and FIT. The evening allowed each finalist to present his or her final designs to the panel. At the conclusion of the evening Isabelle Meyers was selected as the winner of the design comepition. Meyers’ winning designs will be produced, and she will accompany Scott Kay to Las Vegas this June to unveil the jewelry set at the JCK Luxury Show. The winning designs will be displayed throughout the show alongside the brand’s 2017 introductions.

Left to right: Merritt Mayher, Frederick Goldman Inc., Colleen Banks, Martha Stewart Weddings; Isabelle Meyers, winning student; Jonathan Goldman, Frederick Goldman Inc.; Steve Velasquez, Bailey Banks & Biddle.


Overall WinnerIsabelle Meyers
Whether it was playing with her dollhouse or inspecting the intricate details of jewelry, Isabelle has always had a passion for making tiny things. Encouraged by her artist mother, but without formal training, it was vintage jewelry that sparked Isabelle’s interest. For her undergraduate studies, Meyers put away her tools and studied literature and Mandarin, which later moved her to Shanghai for two years. There, she learned her distaste for office life, which led her to re-discover her passion for jewelry making. Isabelle then began building a jewelry brand called Belleisbelle, which sold in markets and trade shows around Asia. Isabelle later sought out the next steps in formal jewelry design training by returning stateside to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.
1st Runner UpShanya Amarasuriya
Shanya is a budding Jewelry Designer at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is also pursuing a graduate diploma as a gemologist at GIA. With her previous experience sourcing sapphires, designing bespoke jewelry as well as overseeing jewelry production in both Sri Lanka and Singapore, Shanya hopes to eventually build a sustainable jewelry brand in Asia.
1st Runner UpFrancesca Bates
Francesca Bates is a Jewelry Designer in her second year at Fashion Institute of Technology. A native New Yorker, she began making jewelry in early 2014 as a way to break up the routine of her work at a downtown restaurant. Having previously earned a bachlor’s degree in Italian and Translation, jewelry making presented a novel and unique set of challenges that sparked her passion for adornment adn design. With the encouragement of her family, Francesca began the Jewelry Design program at FIT where she continues to study traditional and digital fabrication techniques. With hopes of one day opening her own fine jewelry company, Francesca’s inspirations include personal narratives and her belief in the ability of jewelry to encapsulate and trandform its wearer.
2nd Runner UpRuowei “Stephanie” Cheng
Originally from Taiwan, Stephanie ventured to the United States at the age of 15. At age 21 she received her bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from Baruch College. Through her few years as a recruiter, she realized the passion behind those who received positions that they were truly in love with. Stephanie later decided to make a career move into something she had always dreamed of, jewelry design. Through her designs, she enjoys incorporating ‘personal stories’ as her inspiration. Whether it’s her own ‘personal stories’ or the stories she learns from those around her, she believes it’s the feelings behind the motif that make a great design story.
2nd Runner UpAshley Volbeda
Ashley Volbeda is a Brooklyn-based jewelry and millinery student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Born and raised in San Diego, her love for jewelry making was nurtured in childhood by the women in her family who later compelled her to make jewelry. After living in Paris, she drew the inspiration for her aesthetic from the contrast of the geometric patterns found in Art Deco and the sensuous beauty of Art Nouveau.

Volbeda felt a void in her creative process and looked for a kinesthetic experience with design. She decided to take a chance and create a line of jewelry for her senior project. The line later expanded into a business, which she ran independently for a year. In 2015, Ashley decided to enroll at FIT to pursue a career in the jewelry industry. There, she honed her aesthetic by creating structured, non-traditional jewelry for everyday wear. She intends to collaborate with fellow artists and develop her business following graduation.