Meet the founders of Diamond Collective – An interview with Parys McClean and Kate Bishop

Long-steeped in tradition, the jewellery industry has a reputation for being a man's world. Parys McClean and Kate Skinner are two women from Perth who…

By Ashie Luke

Long-steeped in tradition, the jewellery industry has a reputation for being a man’s world. Parys McClean and Kate Bishop are two women from Perth who are determined to shake things up by championing transparency in the diamond business. 

In 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Parys and Kate left their jobs as jewellery store managers to start their own venture, Diamond Collective (DC). From offering home visits to clients, they have managed to grow their team and acquire a storefront in Perth’s Raine Square. Diamond Collective is a refreshing addition to Australia’s diamond industry, offering a uniquely customised experience.

“The DC experience is completely unique from what you’ve come to expect from your typical jeweller. What makes DC so unique is our concierge-like diamond-sourcing service. We are diamond specialists–not salespeople–providing a bespoke experience that offers transparency and education, empowering you to become the diamond expert,” says Parys and Kate. Using the latest HD video technology, DC matches clients with their perfect diamond from a live global market, never compromising on quality, value, and sparkle. The DC showroom displays a selection of their completely customisable signature designs.

Parys and Kate believe that representing their target market gives them an edge over their competitors. They understand what women want and can create bespoke pieces to reflect personality and style. When asked what advice they would give women trying to break into the jewellery industry, Parys McClean and Kate Bishop have several valuable tips. Acknowledging that age, gender, and appearance can be significant obstacles to overcome, they highlight the importance of believing in oneself, trusting one’s instincts, and never taking “no” as the final answer. 

Parys and Kate believe relentless determination and self-confidence can ultimately become someone’s biggest strengths. They emphasise the importance of building community in an industry that has historically been difficult to break into. “Previously, jewellery has been one of the hardest industries to build community as it is so opaque, but that does not have to be the case going forward. We have the opportunity to change that narrative and have jewellers supporting other jewellers, celebrating each other’s success. There [is] enough business to go around, and it would be amazing to share each other’s successes and support each other’s harder times,” they explain. Lastly, Parys and Kate emphasise that the rarity of such approaches in our industry should not deter us from exploring new possibilities and redefining how business is conducted. After all, confidence in yourself and your vision sets you apart from others.

DC offers both lab-grown and natural diamonds, catering to the millennial market’s demand for integrity and transparency when purchasing diamonds. “We are experts in all things diamonds–lab and natural–and are pro both options. At DC, we aim to offer unbiased, but educated guidance to our clients to choose what suits them best personally. By offering both, we achieve that goal and a more honest approach,” they add. 

Their passion for jewellery started very simply from their love for all things that sparkle. Initially working for conventional jewellers, they found the lack of design options for millennial clients–like themselves–frustrating. “The pivotal point of our careers came after we gained experience in diamond buying and realised that clients could achieve far greater for their budget when we sourced from a live market, rather than purchasing over the counter,” says Parys and Kate.  Sourcing from live markets has been an extraordinary aid in helping Diamond Collective bypass issues of transparency and liquidity, and purchase more for their dollar. 

In a world governed by patriarchy, in which the jewellery industry is no exception, Parys McClean and Kate Bishop are challenging the status quo. They provide honest communication and a unique flair to the diamond business, offering clients bespoke experiences and guidance to become near-experts themselves. Passionate about empowering women, Parys and Kate have successfully smashed through the glass ceiling and proven that determination and self-confidence can lead to success. As they continue to grow and expand, they remain committed to building a supportive community within the industry, celebrating each other’s successes and offering support through harder times. The team at DC is passionate about providing a more honest approach to diamond buying, catering to the millennial market’s demand for options that suit them personally. Diamond Collective is the future of the luxury jewellery industry, and its bold approach will continue to challenge norms and broaden possibilities for women in jewellery.

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