Gecko’s co-heads of design on working inspiring women in the industry.
As part of our Jewellery Girls Rule issue for July, Professional Jeweller heard from 21 females leading their sector of the UK jewellery industry about the challenges of today’s business, making their mark and their inspirations. Gecko’s co-heads of design Hannah Trickett and Vicky Leyshon talk women in business, marketing and design inspirations.
Professional Jeweller: You are making your mark in the industry through your commercial designs. What have been your biggest achievements to date?
Hannah Trickett: Being made co-head of design with Vicky [Leyshon] has been a great achievement, and since then we have both seen the continuing success of Gecko and all of its collections and brands. The future plans are also very exciting. Also, seeing the year on year success of the Elements Gold collection has been a great personal achievement, with the range improving every year.
Vicky Leyshon: After being here for twelve years, I’m immensely proud of being part of what has driven Gecko to be such a large and successful part of the jewellery industry.
PJ: Have you faced any challenges as a female working in what is typically a male-dominant industry?
HT: Here at Gecko it is far from a male dominated company. The majority of staff members are female and from the very start it was headed up by a male and female director so was very equal. During my 13 years here I haven’t ever felt any specific challenges being a woman within the industry and believe I have every chance to achieve my full potential.
VL: If I’m really honest, it’s staying interested at tradeshows with all the grey suits around.
PJ: Where do you see the jewellery industry going in the next few years?
HT: I see the industry continually moving towards brands, both mainstream and independent. But hopefully there will be more emphasis on recycled, ethical and fair trade metal and gemstones.
VL: Although challenging at the moment, it is an exciting time because of the strength of individual designers, myself and Hannah, and the exciting branded jewellery ranges emerging in the UK.
PJ: Who do you consider inspiring female figures in the UK jewellery or luxury goods industries?
HT: Annoushka Ducas is an inspiring female figure in the industry following the success of her own jewellery brand. Her designs, marketing and stores all look amazing. I must admit though, my greatest inspiration is Vicky. She is an amazing designer and brand creator. She switches from designing to marketing to trade show planning seamlessly and never forgets anything.
VL: Annoushka Ducas; she has created a brilliant business model for the jewellery industry, and leads the way for UK branded jewellery. I’d also say Jane Shepherdson, because as both brand director at Topshop and chief executive of Whistles her effect on raising the UK high street has been inspiring.
To read the Jewellery Girls Rule issue in full online, click here.