It is only when we empower others that we can truly grow…
Throughout her Jewellery journey, Helen has continued a relationship with the esteemed National Association of Jewellers. From studying for a Diploma in Jewellery Management, to becoming a full member of the Association, Helen is now recognised by the NAJ as its Retail Ambassador, representing the organisation in the UK and further afield.
Formed by the merging the British Jeweller’s Association (BJA) and the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG), the NAJ’s mission is to make sure Jewellery businesses remain fit for the future. For its members, the NAJ provides benefits and incentives to deliver ‘better business’, though education and training, advice and guidance, and commercial and networking opportunities, all geared to make jewellers and their jewellery businesses fulfil their potential.
Ben Massey, Marketing Director at the NAJ said,
“Helen’s role with the Association informs and empowers individuals on their own Jewellery journey. Being a voice and valued opinion for the modern day Jewellery retailer, her invaluable support for NAJ activities drives relevance, adds credible value, and in her own style gives real insight for and to NAJ’s Jewellery community.”
In all facets of life, Helen believes that everyone has something to offer. As part of her role with the Association, Helen remains a constant advocate for empowering others to engage with the NAJ, and with other like-minded individuals in the Jewellery community. Helen’s experience within Jewellery retail, her network and her can do attitude enables her ‘collaboration’ philosophy to result in impact for NAJ members, supporters and stakeholders.
One example of just what’s possible when people come together is when Helen visited India for its renowned India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), the signature edition. Attending as NAJ Retail Ambassador, the objective of the visit was to explore bilateral opportunities and form alliances for trade between the UK and India. Accompanying her on this trip were NAJ Industry Ambassador Lindsey Straughton and the British Asian Jewellers Association’s Jayant Raniga. Meeting several designers, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, marketing professionals, event organisers and key members of GJEPC (the Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council), it was not long until new networks bringing new opportunities began to open up.
Returning to the UK with new connections, Helen has continued to develop the opportunities, as well as reveal the insights and information she learned through the NAJ’s trade publication, The Jeweller. In her report, Helen shared the key nuggets of ‘priceless information’ from IIJS’s seminar programme on topics such as digital opportunities and lab grown diamonds. The increased usage of communication tools such as WhatsApp over traditional email is also presented in her insights. This is significant in terms of technological evolution, but also in a cultural context.
This type of detail is exactly the benefit of such trips, providing NAJ Members with a better understanding to form harmonious international communication. It wasn’t ‘all take’ however, at the same time Helen shared with IIJs representatives her opinions and experiences, such as how to garner feedback from retailers instead of just visiting retailers at large, in order to work more efficiently.
Supporting members and sharing insight
As part of her endeavor to support members by sharing relevant and useful information, Helen also hosts the NAJ’s Live webinar programme, an activity that began in lockdown. As a host, Helen gives her input on current scenarios facing the jewellery industry, and what challenges and possible opportunities which could arise, often helping members to understand the bigger picture. Helen also supplements the monthly NAJ webinars with her own programme of digital events, which have included selling diamonds and Christmas campaigns.