Sam Willoughby, event director, International Jewellery London
My day starts at 7am when I get on site to make sure that everything is OK from an operational point of view, then suddenly it’s 4pm and you realise you haven’t eaten or drunk any water.
My days are so varied: meeting key exhibitors, organising parties or working on the sales and floor plan for the following year. My radio is permanently going off. There’s always an issue, from somebody’s light not working to getting pulled into events — when you’re the event director, everyone wants to have their photo taken with you. I rarely get into bed before 1am.
Sammie Jo Coxon, jewellery designer, selected for the KickStart initiative for new talent at IJL
It will be my first time exhibiting at the show, although I usually visit every year. I only launched my brand in January and I wanted to debut it through KickStart as I know a lot of people go to IJL just to see it. There is a lot of hype around it.
When I applied, I hoped I had a good chance. But you never know, so I was ecstatic when I got in. I’m going to be at the show all day, every day, with flat shoes on and lots of energy.
Wes Suter, director, Steffans, family-owned jeweller in Northampton
I’ve been going to IJL every year for the past decade — it’s a great excuse to break away for a bit. This year, I’ll be on a mission for better margins so I’ll be looking for new fine jewellery suppliers that can deliver that. I think the mood at the show this year will be cautious . . . but if people don’t buy stock then things will turn into a post-Brexit self-fulfilling prophecy.
However, I think in reality it won’t really be any different to any other year, as people still need to stock up for Christmas.
Henrik Leth Møller, UK managing director, Sokolov
At IJL I will be launching Russia’s biggest jewellery brand, Sokolov, in the UK. It has more than 8,000 points of sale in 14 countries and its own factory in Kostroma — it’s a Russian giant waiting to be unleashed.
IJL is the perfect location to launch a new brand as it is where the whole industry looks, so you can make an impact. My days will be a mixture of booked appointments and people just passing by, plus old friends in the industry stopping to say hello. We expect to be quite busy.
Gemma Balm, jewellery buyer, Goldsmiths jewellers
Quite a few of our team go to IJL each year — there are usually about four or five of us. We go to look for up-and-coming brands, new ideas and trends for the [next] season.
There are also suppliers that we go to see and we will have appointments with brands we already stock. When we get back to Leicester we always do a report feeding back on key trends and looks, which is then relayed to heads of departments.
IJL runs September 4-6 at Olympia, London