By Michelle Graff
Cindy Edelstein Award recipient Paul Schneider (center) flanked by, from left to right, Twist employee Cullen Tavelli, daughter Sasha Schneider, wife Lauren Eulau, and Twist employees Kristina Burbich and Akira Mann. (Photo credit: Sandro Art + Photography)
Las Vegas--A retailer was among those recognized at the Couture Design Awards Saturday night, but not for a piece of jewelry painstakingly carved and hammered out at the bench.

Paul Schneider, who co-owns Twist in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, alongside wife Lauren Eulau, was the recipient of the 2018 Cindy Edelstein Award, presented at the conclusion of jewelry design awards ceremony.

Couture renamed its Human Spirit Award the Cindy Edelstein Award in 2016 to honor the late jewelry author and designer advocate, and presented the inaugural award to Edelstein’s husband and daughter at the jewelry awards show that same year.

The award is designed to recognize an individual’s generosity of spirit and, since its renaming, has gone to two people who, like Edelstein, have given a lot of their time to counsel up-and-coming designers.

The 2017 award went to Stephen Webster, who has mentored many U.K.-based designers through his Rock Vault, and this year’s selection of Schneider recognizes a retailer who has done the same.

20180606 Paul insertPaul Schneider on stage after accepting the Cindy Edelstein Award Saturday night. “Our life has been devoted to making beautiful things, and the people who make beautiful things,” the Portland jewelry store owner said of him and his wife, Lauren. (Photo credit: Sandro Art + Photography)
A potter by training, Schneider’s stores are decidedly design focused, selling handbags and pottery alongside innovative jewelry artists like Polly Wales, Judy Geib and Fernando Jorge.

“Our business is really about the designer and artist producing this beautiful thing and trying to get a connection to a specific designer,” Schneider told National Jeweler in an interview conducted last May. “We start with the creative side.”

In taking the stage Saturday night at the Couture Design Awards, Schneider thanked his wife and business partner, whom he called the “creative energy and power” behind Twist.

“She is the buyer. She’s an inspired buyer, she buys from her heart. We love beautiful things. We met in college when she was a weaver and I was a potter. And our life has been devoted to making beautiful things, and the people who make beautiful things. That’s what we do, and that’s what we always want to do,” he said, before wrapping it up with two lines that drew thunderous applause from an audience packed with designers.

“We don’t sell on consignment. We buy everything,” Schneider said. “Thank you.”

Prior to the presentation of the Cindy Edelstein Award, the Couture Design Awards recognized jewelry designers for their work in 15 separate categories, from bridal to gold to haute couture.

See all the winners of the 2018 edition of the jewelry design awards here.

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