Industry Forum 2022: Jewellery Industry Network – Laura Moore, Managing Director

The highs and lows of 2021

It’s certainly been a year of challenges and I think the past few years have enabled jewellers to operate more dynamically and more quickly adopt digital assets that should hold them in good stead into the future. The lows have been the severe mental health challenges for all. Whether your business is doing well or struggling, the mental health impacts of this pandemic have been experienced by all to different degrees. It will take some time to get back to the confidence we had prior to the pandemic, but so long as we support each other and listen to each other, it will be a speedier process to recover.

How are you looking to use the next 12 months to gain a positive outcome for your business and a greater buying experience for your retailers?

The next 12 months for the Jewellery Industry Network will be exciting. We have a few things up our sleeves that we can’t wait to share with the industry and our large network of members. As we have done over the past year plus, we also want to continue to explore new ways of working so that we can bring more dynamic tools and assets to the Industry. We have really enjoyed working with so many incredible businesses and people over the past few years and want to continue to build on those relationships.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the industry moving out of lockdown?

I think there will be a couple of challenges we will need to face. One being consumer confidence and bringing back face-to-face retail quickly so that our bricks-and-mortar stores can continue trading. Without government support during these times, it’s critical that we have foot traffic return sooner rather than later. Another challenge will be maintaining the interest in locally made, hand made jewellery, that has been assisted by the pandemic. Due to the lack of travel and disposable income not being spent on experiences, consumers have had the ability to spend more money on jewellery and this has bolstered many businesses during this time. We need to nurture these customers and ensure that the sentiment around locally made jewellery remains strong.

What do you think are the biggest opportunities have been with the borders being closed for so long?

The two biggest opportunities have been the ability for businesses to use the time in the past two years to build their digital assets and presence, and to also build their relationships and customer base with their local communities. Enhancing both digital and local focus will give retailers and manufacturers the ability to have two strong avenues to recruit customers.

What will you be doing differently in 2022 to drive your business forward?

We set out last year to launch the Jewellery Industry Network, which we had been working on for some time prior to the pandemic. We successfully launched our platform and have gained over 500 members in our first few months. We set out to build educational support, launch our Australian Designer merchandise, build events both online and physical and continue to grow our channels. We intend to drive all of these areas forward in 2022 and increase our membership offering along with more support for the wider industry.

With the reduction of businesses in the industry through retirement, businesses folding etc. what advice do you have for business to raise their profile and awareness?

For businesses that are relatively new or starting out in the industry, we would always suggest connecting with others as often as possible. This will assist with building business assets and resources, finding suppliers and materials and allowing you to find mentors and support programs that can assist you to grow. Even though businesses will have different ways of operating, there is always something to learn from each other, so connect, ask questions and then use that information to forge your own unique way ahead.

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