Hot 100 2014: Michael Hyman, Leonard Dews

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With a near 140-year history behind it, Leonard Dews Jewellers has become one of the UK’s leading independent luxury retailers, offering elegant diamond jewellery, Swiss watch brands and a host of British designers including Andrew Geoghegan, Yoko London and SHO Fine Jewellery.

This past year, managing director Michael Hyman has faced the kind of challenges that would make others baulk, but he has been steadfast in his commitment to the business.

“Having been diagnosed with prostate cancer last year it was up to me to empower my senior management team,” he explains. “It was always my long-term ambition to delegate some, if not all, the responsibility to my team but I never thought it would happen so soon and so effectively.”

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And effective is what it has been, because the past 12 months has also bought with it the opening of a new store on the Isle of Man, which marks a return to the family’s ancestral home. Wilkins Jewellers, a diamond specialist, has bought a similar range of sleek branded jewellery, diamonds and luxury watches to the Isle.

“We completed the move to a purpose-built store on Strand Street, Douglas,” Michael says. “The unit comprises 1,800sqft of retail space, 1,500sqft of offi ces and a purpose-built fl at over three fl oors of more than 1,500sqft.”

Though he has taken time out to work from home this year, Michael is still busy setting goals, creating his vision for the business and giving more responsibility to his team. He is also an avid golf player, escaping to the fairways when he can, and has also pushed himself to take more holidays. But Michael has had other, more personal goals.

After his diagnosis, he took it upon himself to raise £10,000 to support cancer patients at Manchester’s Christie Hospital. So far, he’s smashed his original target, reaching donations of almost £57,000. The next challenge? To keep raising funds to hit the £100,000 mark. Admirable indeed.

Michael Hyman was named IJL Retail Stars in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014, in association with headline sponsor Pandora and principle partner The Company of Master Jewellers.

To read a digital version of the Hot 100 2014 book in full online, click here.

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