Lepera Izzi, who teaches beginning hand rendering courses, has also brought in an array of talented instructors with deep industry experience to teach her other classes. “My instructors, like me, spent time working in industry, and we’re able to inject a realism into our courses about how the business of design works – along with teaching the design skills.” A separate class, actually entitled “The Business of Design,” also goes into far more detail on the business skills that new jewelry design entrepreneurs must acquire to be successful. It is also taught by an experienced jewelry designer in the field.
Lepera Izzi’s path from corporation sales to a training institute founder and director also informs the school’s philosophy of skills training. “The breadth and depth of my lifelong journey is the most valuable thing I can pass onto my students,” she says. “I take great pride in nurturing them and helping them succeed in the amazing world of jewelry design. I get tremendous gratification assisting them with the daunting task of navigating the business obstacles that torment most creative people. I’ve done it, and I know that with the training they get from my institute, they can too.
“When I look back,” says Lepera Izzi, “I realize that it may not seem as if each step I took built on the one before it,” she continued, “but they all helped me understand and meet the needs of each and every student at the New York Jewelry Design Institute, students whose backgrounds are as varied as the pieces of jewelry they design.”