Millennial steering group hails first event a ‘great success’

Left to right: Danielle Chib, James Veale, Millie Knight, Raph Simmons, Gavin Merrison, Anna Dighton, Simon Johnson, Britni-May Edwards.

More than 50 young professionals gathered in London for the inaugural meeting of Group Engaging Millennials Socially (GEMS), the NAJ steering group create to support jewellery industry members born between 1980-1999.

Bringing together a broad range of skills representative of all sections of the industry, GEMS has been created to provide young jewellery members with advice and support.

The launch event afforded guests the opportunity to network with their peers, build contacts and gain valuable insight into a variety of industry sectors, and the young professionals working within them.

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Danielle Chib, head of the GEMS steering group, said the launch had been a landmark moment.

“The event was a great success,” comments Chib. “It provided a relaxed atmosphere for millennials from all parts of the industry to get together and make new connections that may never have been made otherwise. In the last couple of years, millennials have come of age. We now form the majority of the global work force – GEMS is about connecting this generation within the jewellery industry.”

The steering group is focused on celebrating the modern techniques and developments in the industry, while acknowledging the importance of heritage, traditional methods and ways of thinking that have laid the foundations for the trade.

Simon Johnson, chairman of the NAJ who attended the event, he adds: “The first GEMS meeting in London was a fantastic opportunity to meet other jewellery professionals in a informal environment. The next generation of the trade coming through would really benefit from attending future networking events – you will have the opportunity to meet new contacts, where you can discuss ideas and projects.”

The event was sponsored by market-leading jewellery care brand Connoisseurs, which also provided gift packs to attendees.

Director, Gavin Merrison remarks: “We were delighted to support this event, seeing so many enthusiastic young professionals under one roof was really inspiring, and we really hope that GEMS is the start of something great. We are looking forward to working closely and supporting the group in the future.”

Sitting on the steering group are gemmologist Anna Dighton, retail assistant managers Britni-May Edwards and Millie Knight, head of retail Raphael Simmons, and business owner James Veale.

Keen to build on the success of the launch, a follow-up event has already been announced and is scheduled to take place in September.

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