To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, we sat down with Tracey Jones, manager of our Manchester showroom and current holder of the title “Sales Person of the Year” from the National Association of Jewellers. Having lived and breathed diamond jewellery for over 30 years, she truly is an expert in her field. After working in both in the UK and Italy, we wanted to know her inspirations, achievements and challenges she has faced as a woman in an industry that was once predominantly male.
Tracey, you were the recipient of the “Sales Person of the Year” award at the NAJ Awards in 2019, how did it feel to be recognised by your peers in the jewellery industry?
I felt great pride and gratitude as I really was not expecting it. I have always thought it’s important recognising people in the workplace and celebrating each other’s successes, it gives you the motivation to carry on with the good work.
You’ve had quite the career within the industry both here in the UK and in Italy – you even hosted a television show! How did you get into working with jewellery?
Italy 1984, after two years of taking any job that came my way to enable me to live and learn the language, I was offered a job modelling jewellery for an Auction House that hosted a live TV show 6 days a week. I listened, observed and read a lot during this experience which gave me the confidence to interact directly with customers on the gallery floor out of TV hours. After a few years, I suggested to them that I hosted my own show, I have never looked back.
What has been a career highlight for you?
When I was presented my GIA graduate gemmologist diploma. To achieve this I studied in my spare time in a foreign language, I was running my own business and hosting a TV show all at the same time. It was a huge challenge and felt so rewarding when I finally got there.
At Purely Diamonds, we celebrate the achievements of all our staff, both male and female, but with a female leadership team, we are reminded of the successes of women in business on a daily basis. Why do you think is it important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
It’s so important as it reminds us to keep up the fight for gender equality and pay tribute to all the extraordinary women who have fought and are fighting every day to gain the same rights, opportunities and respect in life as men. There is no doubt there has been a vast improvement in the UK and other parts of the world in the last 60 years or so but there is still such a long way to go.
Have you ever encountered any gender related challenges in your career?
I am happy to say no. I was expecting to encounter challenges as it was quite clear in my early days that the jewellery industry was considered “a man’s world”. In Italy, however, I fitted into that world nicely with my dress on and often wearing the pants!
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge. Being fortunate to have worked with you for several years now, I know you as a confident and inspiring worker who is not afraid to speak your mind for the greater good of the business. Why do you think it’s important to challenge the norms in life?
There is always room for improvement and change in any situation we are living in, why settle for ‘it’s ok’ when maybe it could be amazing.
What advice did you receive early in your working life that has stayed with you?
To work hard, be confident, be loyal and treat the business you work for with the same respect you would if it was your own.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
From orphanage to fashion icon in the 20’s says it all plus I adore her quotes.
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”
Serena has had an incredible career and is living proof that with hard work and dedication you can reach success but you need consistency to remain there.
Your private matters should not effect the workplace and this lady in all these years has certainly lived up to that. I have always admired her for the professional and dignified manner in which she carries out her public duties no matter what is going on at home.
Tracey runs our Manchester Showroom which will reopen on Saturday 17th April. No matter what you’re looking for; engagement rings, eternity rings or diamond jewellery, she’s on hand to offer her expert advice. Book an appointment and begin your diamond journey.