Wall Street Luxury Europe has decided to become a partner of Vivid Events and as a result of that we have had the opportunity to speak and exchange some insights about the jewelry industry with Tracey Ellison, better known as “TheDiamondsGirl”, jewelry blogger.
Hi Tracey, can you tell us about your career and how you became the diamond’s girl?
I have always loved jewelry. Ever since I was little, I remember spending a lot of time in front of the windows mesmerized by these incredible and unique pieces. In fact, on special occasions like birthdays I only wanted to receive jewelry, I wasn’t interested in fashion like other girls. In 2014 I opened an Instagram profile to share this passion of mine, just out of fun. With time, I started to get more followers and receive invitations from brands, it all happened on its own, very organically. However, at that time, I also had a stable corporate job, so during the day I was working and during my evenings or leisure time I was developing my channels and pursuing my passion. At a certain point I had to decide whether I wanted to continue in the corporate world or if I wanted to take a leap of faith and pursue this uncertain journey. I chose my passion and here we are.
“Currently, there is a high demand for fancy cut diamonds, a shift from the past focus on round brilliant cut as the perfect engagement ring. There is a high demand for fancy cut emerald and pear cuts, as well as oval, cushion, and radiant shapes..”
In the past jewels were bought only by men as a love gesture towards their beloved ones. Today we live in an era in which women also like to purchase jewels for themselves. Do you prefer to receive a jewel or to buy it yourself?
I totally agree, as you said, nowadays it is okay to buy important and significant jewels, we are confident enough to purchase expensive products for ourselves. Personally, I like both, self-gifts and gifts, they will trigger different emotions. Moreover, the meaning and personal attachment behind each piece will be different. For example, when you treat yourself to something special, it’s often to mark a significant achievement or milestone. Every time you wear that item, you will be reminded of the pride and joy you felt at achieving that milestone. When we speak about jewelry the most important thing is the emotion that it transmits to you. When you wear a jewel it should give you instant pleasure, that’s why I think you should always wear and enjoy them, they are not made to be kept in a box.
Which differences have you noticed in terms of tastes and purchases between each nationality and culture?
In general, I think it really goes down to the differences in cultural tastes, jewelry market and safety. For example, Italian artisans mostly work with gold, and they are very innovative in terms of technique and design. Italian masterpieces are considered appealing worldwide, these jewels perfectly reflect Italian culture made of fun and passion. On the other hand, the Middle East market tends to appreciate more important and rare stones like rubies, while Far East customers conversely prefer more delicate, elegant, and feminine pieces. Furthermore, it is interesting to highlight that for the Asian culture symbolism is extremely significant, that’s why some brands create exclusive pieces for specific occasions such as the Chinese New Year. Lastly India is a really developed market, from mining to manufacturing and consumption, the jewelry industry is absolutely valued, and today’s clientele appreciate pieces that can mix the traditional Indian culture with new contemporary and trendy design. Depending on the country, you can encounter different tastes and consumption behaviors, however, global brands like Graff, Cartier, Bulgari, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels, are coveted worldwide, even if their in-store collections vary from country to country.
Conglomerates are taking more and more renowned luxury brands in their portfolio. What do you think about it and what does it mean for the independent and small brands?
As far as I know, renowned brands are happy to be part of a larger conglomerate. However, I do think buying jewelry is a very personal moment, maybe more than any other industry, therefore, I believe customers will support and remain loyal to a brand regardless of ownership. At the end, it all comes down to the relationship you build with your customers and how you treat them. On the other hand, smaller brands cannot spend as much money as conglomerates to build their brand awareness, and to hold massive events with celebrities. It would be a very sad day indeed if the larger companies overshadowed the market to the extent that we lose the creativity and uniqueness of smaller brands, and emerging designers. However, they have other strengths, for instance smaller brands may have better prices, unique pieces, fully personalized service, and they have flexibility that more established brands may not have. Although you encounter two different experiences in a jewelry boutique – depending on the size and how well established a firm is – you will still experience two equally good moments. For instance, when I go to Harrods, I feel like a kid in a candy shop and when I go to a smaller boutique, I really appreciate the level of attention and personalization. I just love being in a jewelry boutique!