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Hedda Schupak, Beloved Jewelry Industry Veteran, Dies at 62 |  October 03, 2023 (4 comments)


King of Prussia, PA--Hedda Schupak, whose impact in the jewelry industry was monumental on both a professional and personal level, died Tuesday morning after a two-year battle with lung cancer. She was 62.

Schupak spent nearly her entire career in the jewelry industry and almost all of those years as an editor for publications within the industry.

She spent 23 years at JCK, beginning as a production editor and rising through the ranks as a fashion editor until she became editor-in-chief of the publication in 2000, where she stayed until 2009. During this time, she steered the publication through many changes. In 1997, during an ownership change, much of the staff left to form a competing publication. She helped guide JCK through this period. There would be several ownership changes over the years plus the addition of new publications, a migration to digital publishing and a move from Pennsylvania to New York. Throughout this time, she was loyal to her staff and that loyalty was returned.

I was one of several people she hired when she first took over JCK in 2000 and why I’m still in the industry today. We sometimes joked that I’m never sure whether to thank her or curse her for it. She was skilled at giving thoughtful gifts to staff members and always remembering important dates. She truly worked hard at building a staff that stayed together.

She was gifted as a writer and editor and because of this received many awards, including the Women’s Jewelry Association Excellence in Media prize and was inducted into the WJA Hall of Fame. She was also named one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business Award winners in 2003.

Following JCK, she took the job as editor of the Centurion Daily News in 2010, as it moved from a monthly to a weekly and to a daily publication in 2020. She was a fixture at the Centurion show as well.

Howard Hauben, the publisher and CEO of Centurion, knew Schupak long before he founded the company. They were always close.

“I've known her my entire career. I had the good fortune of working with Hedda as the Editor of the Centurion News Daily from when it went weekly in 2010 and daily in 2020,” Hauben said. “She was a fantastic person and a pleasure to work with and a very good person. I for one will miss her a lot and she will be dearly missed by many in our industry. We extend our condolences to her husband Jim Baum, her family and one and all in the jewelry industry family who knew and loved her as we did.”

Susan Eisen of Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry Watches Art & Appraiser in El Paso, Texas, was one of many dear friends of Schupak.

“I always loved talking to Hedda at Centurion,” Eisen said. “I especially enjoyed comparing notes, talking about our industry and how things were changing, and about her newest adventures and plans. She was someone I greatly respected, and we will all miss her.

Her influence on me continued. She decided to go into semi-retirement in 2022. She recommended to Hauben, that I take over the daily newsletter.

Even in retirement, she remained active in the industry. She and her husband, Jim Baum, had other interests as well. They were devoted cat owners and were involved in local politics. The last time I saw her was at the most recent Centurion show with Baum. They were having a wonderful time.

Schupak’s impact on the jewelry industry and the many people who worked in it will be remembered for a long time. She entered the industry at the time of great change when designers became brands. As a fashion editor she was there to document this period. But mostly it was the personal contacts she relished. She made lifelong friends in the industry throughout the world. She has said on more than one occasion that she could travel anywhere in the world and have a place to stay.

She was a graduate of Albright College, Reading, Pa.

She is survived by Baum and her half-sister Susan.

Services haven’t been released as of this writing.

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Comments (4):

Hedda Schupak, dearest friend, colleague, dedicated, generous, so very talented and someone who has always inspired me. We had so many fun times together, I am absolutely heartbroken to hear of her passing. May she live in heavenly peace, she will be missed. Prayers and condolences to Jim and her family. And to the jewelry who will forever miss her

By Linda Orlick on Oct 4th, 2023 at 1:54pm

Well said Anthony.  Hedda would have loved reading your tribute.  Condolences to you all for the loss of a good friend.

By Steve Feldman on Oct 4th, 2023 at 2:05pm

Hedda was one of the first people I met when I entered this industry and was introduced to me by my dear friend Kate Peterson (who also left this earth way too early). Hedda was always my go-to media source. And in time, I became one of hers. Many times she would reach out to me for a quote and we spent an hour talking about everything but what she needed - from where the industry was heading to politics and everything in between. It wasn’t long ago that we spent time together in Centurion and discussed our need to slow down and smell the roses. A shock to me and a loss to our industry. A lovely tribute to her, Anthony.

By Ellen Fruchtman on Oct 4th, 2023 at 6:59pm

Hedda Schupak was one of a kind, her passion and love for the jewelry industry is legendary! Hedda was a dear friend and a huge support for women’s causes.  I will miss our fun times together, our lunches and our deep conversations.  Sending heartfelt condolences to Jim and her family. May she rest in heavenly peace.

By Linda Orlick on Oct 7th, 2023 at 5:53pm

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