At JC Jewels, Craig Miller understands the crucial role staff play in ongoing business success and looks to technical advances for the future of the diamond industry.
As a leader in your business, what is the single most important value you want to pass to your customers?
There are two critical moving parts in my business, our clients and my staff. Customers are king, and it’s my belief that staff should be treated like family. We strive to exceed our clients’ expectations on every level and you need to develop a motivated, respectful and passionate team to execute this. Never underestimate the value of your staff and the work they do – they are a lifeline in your business.
Most employees spend more time at their work desk than they do at home with their families. Respect your staff, invest in them and appreciate the value they contribute to your success at all times.
Craig looks forward to the advancements and developments in the industry, and considers them his best ally for continual growth.
How do you find inspiration to move your business forward?
The only constant is change. The world is moving fast and my business needs to do the same. I find inspiration in disruption and the change it brings and the opportunity it creates. This, and the people I surround myself with, inspire me to not only move forward but lean into change – and fast.
I make sure my company has a new development in the works at all times, which means always having more staff on than needed, not less. While most staff are working their usual work day, other team members are developing our next big thing that will take my clients to the next level.
As an entrepreneur, Craig is accustomed to taking risks. At JC Jewels, the venture into the tech space has paid off.
What risks did you take this last year? Why? And did they work in your favour?
As a second generation diamantaire and then a first mover in the lab grown diamond space, many colleagues told me I risked my entire career. When my company, JC Jewels, introduced technology and a new way for our clients to order their diamonds, gemstones and jewellery, we confronted the age-old traditional process of Australian and New Zealand jewellers ordering their goods.
No doubt this was a substantial risk. However, it resulted in my company becoming a leader in our space. I believe every successful entrepreneur must be inspired and enjoy the challenges that come with risk. Step out of your comfort zone, take ownership of your decisions and only look forward. Be mindful that not all risks go your way, know when to stand down and how to triage when necessary or cut your losses and move on. When you make a risky call and it pays off, make sure you have the next move in place. Risk that pays off will bring the opportunity to place you in a leadership position.
Noticeable changes in the industry are where Craig spots his opportunities. With JC Jewels, the technology space is adding business transparency and bridging the gap between supplier and customer.
What differences are you seeing in today’s industry vs three to five years ago?
Three years ago, when my partners and I started JC Jewels, we looked at other industries, their developments and achievements. We identified one major flaw in the jewellery industry, one that opened our minds to an opportunity that would inevitably become a major catalyst for change and advancement in our industry, one that would change the landscape forever: technology.
We took the plunge, built technology and today, JC Jewels is not a traditional diamond merchant, we are a tech diamond merchant. Our technology and delivery system is one of very few global platforms that takes our clients directly to the growers and manufacturers in real time. This undoubtedly accelerates the rate at which our clients are closing sales, gives our clients higher conversion rates and at higher margins. They are engaging with this new user experience, one that levels up the game to where and how other industries operate. If a supplier’s job is to deliver value, our clients’ feedback is just that. I see this as a catalyst for our industries success and future overall. This difference is imperative, and I feel proud of JC Jewels’ achievements on many levels, particularly as a pioneer that has transformed our industry for the better. Today, JC Jewels has an in-house tech team that is continually developing new technology to keep our industry ahead and advancing into tomorrow’s fast paced business world.
The company mission at JC Jewels evolves with updated technologies and feedback from user experience.
Has the mission and vision for your company changed at all in the last year?
Yes, on one hand we improved on our mission beyond my own expectations, by continually advancing our tech to assist our clients. They are able to buy the best diamond, gemstone or jewellery faster, easier and with better user experience. On the other hand, in doing this, I am achieving our vision of being the leader in our market as the leading lab grown diamond supplier in Australia and New Zealand.