Having joined Garrard as chief executive at the start of the year, Joanne Milner has hit the ground running.
During 2016, Garrard showed for the first time at the Vegas Couture show, leading the expansion of the brand into the US; it launched a new website with ecommerce capability; and the refurbishment of its flagship store in Albemarle Street, London, was completed.
“This, combined with Garrard’s first brand campaign in the UK for over 10 years, is ensuring that its heritage as the longest-serving jewellery house in the world is honoured and respected, while constantly evolving to maintain its relevance for today’s consumers – as it did in 1735!” Joanne enthuses. This British heritage is of huge importance to the Garrard team – especially Joanne, who says it is an honour to lead such a prestigious brand, even more so since she has always had a love of gemstones.
“With Garrard’s DNA steeped in British craftsmanship, and as a Royal Warrant Holder, we have a responsibility to ensure that we nurture the British craftsmen and women of tomorrow,” she explains. “Therefore, in collaboration with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, we have launched a ‘craftsman scholar’ window, where each month a QEST scholar can display his or her products to help build awareness and sales opportunities.”
Garrard has also launched a three-year apprenticeship programme at its in-house London workshop in collaboration with the Goldsmiths’ Centre.
“After all, today’s luxury consumers are quite rightly looking for far more than just a beautiful product. They demand the highest quality in craftsmanship, as well as a brand they can trust and that provides them with a unique experience,” Joanne adds.