Lumbers boss battled brain tumour to keep Leicester store on top.
As we build up to the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partner Ti Sento, we indulge in looking back to the leading lights of the jewellery industry who made it into the Hot 100 2011. Today we pay homage to Ti Sento Retail Star Dominic Gommersall, owner of Lumbers in Leicester who battled through a brain tumour to ensure that his store remained the finest jeweller in the town.
For Dominic Gommersall, this year has been one of successes. Whether throwing himself into new challenges or simply keeping his business focused, he is certainly pleased with the progress Lumbers has made.
“I think the real mark in this economy is the jewellery you sell,” he says. “Our diamond sales have been pleasing, with several over 10cts.”
Dominic is not a man who minces his words, and speaks plainly about what he percieves to be the value in staying independent. “We are not part of a buying group so we have no restrictions,” he says. “We can do what we wish to achieve what we want.”
With no restrictions Dominic likes to think outside the box and he runs one event that keeps his customers coming back; each November he turns the shop into a pop-up restaurant complete with a Michelin-starred chef.
“We have 90 people for three nights running,” explains Dominic. “Everyone gets a three-course meal and entertainment. It is always a huge success and we sell an awful lot.”
And it is not just his business life that has been extraordinary for Dominic, he has also achieved some very personal goals. Eight years ago Dominic suffered a brain tumour and this year he took part in a charity rowing event from Lands End to John O’Groats for the Brain Tumour Trust.
“We had a party half-way up, taking a canal route and stopping off in Leicester where we were met by cheering locals and clients,” he says. “It was great and was not only a highlight for the business in terms of marketing, but also because of the awareness it raised, plus it was fantastic fun.”
Looking to next year, Dominic says there isn’t much he’s likely to change about his business and is keen to keep his work-life balance in perspective.
“We’ve made Lumbers a desirable local brand so we’re happy with our lot,” he says. “After my brain tumour it changed my life from being a workaholic to someone who values family life. I love spending every minute with my six-year-old Freddy, he’s my way of getting away from it all.”
This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. If you or someone you know has had a great business year and are hot enough to be part of the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 then click here for more information about the nomination process.