Industry journal Retail Jeweller has named its latest 30 under 30 rising stars in the jewellery world, with three young women from across our region tipped for the top.
Maria Mann, aged 25, was hoping for a career in the performing arts industry, but then along came Covid-19 and she returned home to help out at the family business in Stroud.
Mann Jewellers has been buying and selling jewellery in Gloucestershire since 1741 and are now into the eighth generation.
Like in most family businesses, Maria helped out in the family’s Stroud store ever since she was little. Her performing arts background means she excels at sales and has just passed her JET1 jewellery foundation course.
Currently Maria is working on expanding the business’s buying in a of second hand jewellery and designer watches from the public. This is something the business has been doing since 1741, but more recently the team has found that some business owners are looking to sell watches to realise some cash fast.
Grace Blinco, 20, is brand and trade co-ordinator at the Berkshire-based fashion jewellery brand Scream Pretty. The award winning British jewellery brand founded by Lucy Lee with her sister Jessica Pearce in 2016.
Grace Blinco started working with Scream Pretty at 16 as part of a government apprenticeship scheme and over the
past four years has blossomed a confident businesswoman. She is now the go-to contact for all trade enquiries and the brand’s wholesale customers, advising them on new lines and bestsellers.
27-year old Zoe King is a project manager at Lily Charmed, based in Slough.
Zoe King joined the Lily Charmed team eight years ago, aged 19, when the brand’s founder, Lucy Lee, was still designing and running the business from her kitchen table. She was originally Lee’s children’s babysitter but began part time at Lily Charmed and then became operations manager across Lily Charmed and sister brand Scream Pretty. She returned from maternity leave in January 2022 into a new role as project manager.
Since being with the business she has overseen the redesign of the brand’s website, sourcing and implementing sustainable packaging and organising two office moves as the business grew. She also processed the very first Lily Charmed trade orders.
Lily Charmed is a family owned British jewellery designer that has been creating beautiful sterling silver and 9ct gold charm necklace designs since 2011
Ruth Faulkner Editor at Retail Jeweller said: “It is my belief that Rising Stars 30 Under 30 is oneof the single most important initiatives that we run at Retail Jeweller. It was launched in 2015 and, after a one-year hiatus in 2021 caused by the pandemic, this year will see our seventh cohort of 30 of the industry’s brightest up-and-coming talents recognised for their achievements in their various different roles from across all aspects of the trade. That makes a total of 210 young people who have been profiled since 2015, many of whom have gone on to have very successful careers in the industry. The winner of last year’s BBC Two series All That Glitters, Hugo Johnson, is just one example of a Retail Jeweller Rising Stars alumni.
“The jewellery sector is often called out for being old fashioned and behind the times, but when
you look at the range of talent that exists on the following pages, hopefully you will agree that the next generation is helping to ensure that in years to come, it will be anything but. Clearly, as a trade, we still have some way to go in terms of diversity, but hopefully initiatives like this will encourage everyone to shout about their achievements and feel proud of what they do.