What an exciting time in the jewellery community! A couple of weeks ago, the Australian jewellery industry hosted two trade shows, and my company ran a conference followed by a gala dinner for a select number of our customers.
I have always found the Australian jewellery industry to be fragmented. People were scared to share information, as there was a perception that “everyone is my competitor, so why should I share information?” It delights me to see that the industry can move beyond competition and look to each other for a community facilitated by these events.
I can tell you that the Jewellery Industry Network (JIN) event put on by Laura Moore and her team was a wonderful event at the trendy Carriageworks venue. JIN demonstrates the ethos of building the community and relationships I value, and I assume those reading this article do as well.
As the Jewellery Industry Fair was partnered with the Jewellery Association of Australia, awards for craftsmanship and prizes were presented. It showed the wonderful camaraderie in our trade as it was evident that even those who didn’t win were proud to be associated with the event and respected those who won.
I am the chief executive officer of Q Report Jewellery Insurance, and we strongly support JIN and the Jewellery Association of Australia. In our capacity, we held an event two days before the Jewellery Industry Fair in which we combined a seminar on selling luxury with insight from other industries, followed by a fun gala dinner.
In our seminar, we brought three speakers, all experts in the luxury space—Simon Cohen, Tiana Manticos and Andrea Pooler. Simon Cohen from the Handler Group joined us. He is renowned as Sydney’s number-one buyer’s agent. For those unfamiliar with the name—search for Lux Listings Australia on Amazon Prime, he is one of the stars. We also invited Tiana Manitcos from the Ahoy Club, Australia’s largest brokerage for luxury yachts. Last but not least, Andrea Pooler joined us from Hill and Co., a worldwide jewellery consultancy, where Andrea is a principal consultant.
In my opening remarks at the event, I said, “My measurement of the evening being a success, is that when you walk through that curtain into the ballroom, every one of you makes the effort to meet new people, create new relationships and hopefully the start of new friendships.” It would be a part of building or starting your community.
So, what does it take to build a community? Why is it so important? We just came out of one of the most traumatising periods of humanity—a pandemic. We were isolated, and many new employees had no time to build a network or join a community.
It is so easy to get caught up in your business, family or friends, and then, before you know it, the week, month, and year disappear. We are all acutely aware of the sheer volume of information that saturates our every waking hour, but how can we filter out what’s noise and ensure we don’t miss what is important so we can improve our businesses and quality of life?
I can guarantee you that a community is crucial to our well-being. WhatsApp groups are powerful and help make us more connected at a time when we are starving for the physical connection of meeting others. I know it’s often not feasible to go overseas, but when there is an opportunity to go to a local trade show, I believe you need to make every endeavour to do so. Unless you are constantly studying, reading books, and have built your tight community, this is where you will find others with whom you will have so much in common and can share knowledge and experience.
I recently read an article that said approximately 27 percent of people said they were suffering from loneliness. In the world we live in today, you have another cause for anxiety that is called FOMO, fear of missing out. Communities can keep us in touch. We don’t always need big groups, but large groups show us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
You have seen and read about the community I founded seven years ago, the Young Diamantaires that today spans four continents, made of people under 45 who are part of the diamond and jewellery industry. This community respectfully discusses the stresses and changes our industry is going through. At trade shows and events, there is always a meet-up and webinar. We have organised two incredible overseas trips to deepen our community connection.
Whether in my capacity as president of the DDCA, my role as the executive in the WFDB or as the chief executive officer of Q Report, I believe and strive to give back to those of us who have been privileged to be in the industry for many years. We must continue to build the Australian jewellery community for future generations.
Remember the most crucial factor of a community is that it’s a two-way street. You can’t just take what you need to think about how you give back. First, find a community that interests you, join, learn and then see how you can contribute.
President, Diamond Dealers Club Australia.