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449 NAJAwards2

After an enforced hiatus, the NAJ Awards returned to the jewellery calendar in its new home as part of the NAJ Summit. Guests from across the UK and further afield descended on Northhamptonshire to discover the winners of seven award categories as the industry came together to celebrate professionalism and excellence.

Hosted by NAJ Principal Officer Ben Massey and supported by newly appointed Chair Heather Callaway, the ceremony paid tribute to the incredible talent in the jewellery industry. 

Seven awards were up for grabs this year, including a new category, Designer-Retailer of the Year.

Congratulations to all our winners and finalists, and a big thank you to Headline Sponsor, Nivoda for supporting the NAJ Awards again.

 

2022 award sponsors

 

And the winners are...

 

Designer-Retailer of the Year

sponsored by Dimexon

Designer-Retailer of the Year Winner

Winner: Saunders & Pughe

With 22 years behind them, Saunders & Pughe shows no sign of slowing down. During Covid, they redesigned their website and completely refurbished their gold-smithing workshops, boosting their bespoke design business. 

Saunders & Pugh provides their customers with an amazing bespoke experience. The store is beautifully kept in a great location. They also adapted during the pandemic to improve the business online with a new eye-catching website that is easy to navigate.

Finalists:

Jessica Flinn Jewellery: Jessica Flinn prides itself on doing things differently, specialising in salt and pepper diamonds and unusual sapphires. With a 240% overall growth in sales post-pandemic, their commitment to different is clearly appealing to customers. 

Lucy Quartermaine Jewellery: Despite harsh trading conditions, Lucy Quartermaine has enjoyed double-digit year-on-year growth. They have been quick to react to the changing face of retail with an agile and innovative approach and increased their social media presence seeing a 30% increase in followers. 

Dinny Hall: With an omnichannel approach, Dinny Hall witnessed a record-breaking year in 2021. The exceptional growth in-store was matched with revenue and sales increase online by an impressive 140% from pre-pandemic levels. 

Purely Diamonds: Purely Diamonds enjoyed their best year in 2021, thanks to their customer service and ability to adapt. Purely Diamond embraced digital during the pandemic, delivering Zoom-led demonstrations and communicating with customers via Live Chat and WhatsApp. 

 

Salesperson of the Year

sponsored by JET Programmes

Salesperson of the Year Winner

Winner: Louise Coleman (Lucy Quartermaine Jewellery)

Overseeing retail and brand development, for Louise it’s not just about the sale but ensuring the customer has an unforgettable experience. She has increased accounts and sales and resurrected dormant retail partners in under a year. 

The sales team is the beating heart of any retail business, delivering the company’s message to the customer and making this a significant award to win. Louise has had an enormous impact on the business in a short time and deserves the recognition.

Finalists:

Claire Beatson (Nightingale Jewellers): General Manager Claire took the lead during the pandemic, transitioning all appointments to video and guaranteeing customers were never disappointed. She spearheaded Nightingale’s new showroom while maintaining her regular duties. 

Fatima Hammal (Purely Diamonds): Thanks to her exemplary customer service, hard work, and dedication, Fatima has the best sales conversion rate amongst the Purely Diamonds team. This is evident in the glowing testimonies of her many happy customers. 

Tina Mollard (Time & Motion Jewellers): Tina is a one-person sales team running Time and Motion Jewellers during a difficult period. With not only the pandemic to contend with, but terminal staff illness and even a bus driving into the shop! Despite all this, Tina continues to put her customers first with an unrivalled level of service. 

 

Supplier of the Year

sponsored by CMJ

Supplier of the Year Winner

Winner: V M + Events

Providing visual merchandising solutions for retailers, V M + Events works closely with the businesses to understand their brands and campaigns, delivering bespoke solutions for each client. 

V M + Events recognised the opportunity to support businesses by working directly with them to create and bring their ideas to life. Advising and exploring all ideas, they helped make changes and enhancements in stores which were game-changers for their clients.

Finalists:

Sierra Consultancy: Sierra Consultancy is building a reputation as one of the leading CAD software and training providers. Sierra Consultancy helps jewellery businesses design and create without boundaries with a personal level of service and support. 

Nivoda: Continually developing new tools and services for their customers, innovation is at the heart of Nivoda’s business which has seen the revenue and workforce treble in 2021. Over 1.2 million diamonds are now available on their platform. 

Merrell Casting: The last 12 months have seen significant changes for Merrell Casting with a new IT system and website and a back-office system that has reduced lead times. Investment has extended to new furnaces and casting improvements to help provide customers with the best service. 

Georgia Wang Jewellery: Launching the brand in 2019, Georgia Wang Jewellery has hit the ground running during a challenging period, seeing a 900% increase in turnover and boosting its number of stockists. 

 

Designer of the Year

sponsored by RWK Goodman

Designer of the Year 2022

Winner: Arabel Lebrusan (Lebrusan Studio)

Award-winning designer Arabel uses traditional craft techniques and responsibly sourced materials. In 2021 Lebrusan Studio unveiled a gender-neutral collection. 

The sense of aesthetics and quality of the work is impeccable. Enriched further by a future-forward ethical and sustainable approach to every aspect of the business. Truly inspiring!

Finalists:

Dainty London: Jade creates luxury pieces using recycled Sterling Silver and Fairtrade Gold. Dainty London has won several awards, and high-profile celebrities have worn their pieces. 

Isabella Day: Recently awarded her fellowship with the Institute of Professional Goldsmiths, Isabella champions traditional techniques. Isabella designed the ‘star map ring’, immortalising the stars in the sky at the exact time, date and location of her customer’s choice. 

Augustine Jewels: Founder, Alexandra, offers a tailored and personalised service to clients. With her expert knowledge of gemstones, she can advise customers and source the perfect stones for the perfect ring. 

Emma Fathers (Jessica Flinn Jewellery): Emma has quickly climbed the designer ranks at Jessica Flinn Jewellery. She has an eye for designing new collections and sourcing gemstones. Her main inspiration is antique and Art Deco jewellery which is evident in her stunning designs. 

 

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year

sponsored by BATF

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year 2022

Winner: Lebrusan Studio

The Lebrusan Studio Against Child Labour fundraiser, launched in 2021, is a campaign to raise awareness and funds for The Global March Against Child Labour. Donations to the campaign were matched with silver earrings for the donors. 

The judges were particularly impressed with the commitment shown by Lebrusan Studio to “Global March Against Child Labour”. Not only did Lebrusan partner up with this worldwide charity and make donations itself, but they were very active in its promotions, engaging customers and staff alike.

Finalists:

De Beers: In partnership with National Geographic, De Beers spearheaded a programme to protect the source waters of the Okavango Delta, helping the livelihoods of 10,000 people and countless species. 

Karlin Anderson Jewellery: In 2021, Karlin Anderson launched “The Freedom Collection” in partnership with anti-human trafficking charity ‘Hope For Justice’ to raise funds and awareness of their work. 

Purely Diamonds: 2021 saw Purely Diamonds’ partnership with charity organisation Trees for the Future, helping combat climate change and deforestation. Last year, their work with the charity saw them plant nearly 100,000 trees as part of the initiative. 

Lucy Quartermaine Jewellery: Their partnership with the Ripple Africa charity helps empower local people and assist them in managing projects that affect their community. For every purchase from Lucy Quartermaine, a tree is planted, and by this summer, all their boxes and bags will be 100% recyclable. 

 

Retailer of the Year

sponsored by Hockley Mint

Retailer of the Year Winner

Winner: Mitchel & Co

As a manufacturing retailer, Mitchel & Co continually produces new products and strives to innovate. They visually catalogue the journey of a piece of jewellery, providing customers with a unique story to take with them. 

With scores of 95%, the mystery shoppers were hugely impressed with the level of service and knowledge provided by Mitchel and Co.

Finalists:

Bradley’s Jewellers*, York: It’s been an impressive 12 months for Bradley’s Jewellers, having been nominated for most of the major industry awards and launching several key initiatives, such as Eco Rocks, a laboratory-grown diamond collection and working with the iconic Fabergé. 

C W Sellors: The team at C W Sellors has put into place the key components to launch a new jewellery collection, alongside a broader marketing campaign to promote UK hallmarking. They have worked to promote the importance of hallmarking to the trade and educate their consumers. 

Sonny’s Jewellers: With 20,000 products available, customers are not short on jewellery options. They are also treated to excellent customer service from the well-trained staff at Sonny’s. Their recent refurbishment has increased shelf space to give customers even more variety. 

Fitzgerald Jewellers: Moving to new, larger premises has allowed Fitzgerald to go from strength to strength with three consecutive record-breaking months for the business. They are an integral part of the local community and provide JET training for staff. 

*N.B. Bradley's jewellers York were not mystery shopped due to an unforeseen error.

 

Team of the Year

sponsored by TH March

Team of the Year Winner

Winner: Hockley Mint

The diligent team at Hockley Mint has helped see the business to a record-breaking year. Training and retention are prioritised, with ten staff members achieving 25+ years with the company while the team has grown their industry presence through trade events and digital exposure. 

Lasting success for a business of any size is never achieved by one person but by a team of people working together and supporting each other to achieve a common goal. Hockley Mint exemplify this ethos and are deserving winners of the award.

Finalists:

Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery: The whole team benefit from the ‘HK Academy’ – an in-house training scheme developed by the designers, senior goldsmiths and hospitality people. It clearly works as the business has many customer experience awards to its name. 

Daniella Draper: The team of 12 is part production and part customer service. With the pandemic, the group rose to the considerable challenge, delivering exceptional customer service and profits for the business. 

Powells Jewellery: Powells’ team comprises multi-talented individuals with a passion for fine jewellery. With experience and qualifications from all corners of the trade, they are a well-rounded team focusing on the customer. 

77 Diamonds: The 77 Diamonds team grew by opening three new showrooms across Europe in 2021. However, service remains their priority, with staff going above and beyond to deliver for their customers.