CMJ’s chief executive takes to the stage at the UK Jewellery Conference. Those who attended in 2014 will recall that the Grill Willie question and answer session got a little punchy last year, so Professional Jeweller sits forwards in anticipation of Round 2 …
Q1: the industry is craving more data. How is the CMJ responding?
Willie: If the board approves, we will be investing a six figure sum in this area. Data is the new oil and we want to deliver it.
Q2: How are you going to enthuse people in ethical sourcing?
Willie: I am just going to keep banging on about it. It is a slow burn, but we are going to keep going.
Q3: What are the shoes all about. Are those red soles?
Willie: You have to do it right.
Q4: who inspires you from within the industry?
Willie: Hmm, I don’t know.
Q5: Jewellery Focus wrote an unflattering blog about you. What do you think?
Willie: I am not going to give it any credence.
Q6: when will the CMJ send out invoices by email and accept electronic payments?
Willie: Probably within about six months.
Q7: what did you learn from the regional meetings this year?
Willie: I learnt that I am definitely marmite.
Q8: Following the retirement of the CEO of Houlden, did you consider applying or merging?
Willie: I would never take that on, but a merger is a no brainer. Unfortunately the personalities involved will not allow this to happen.
Q9: How are the new board directors doing?
Willie: I think they are running the business even better now than the past board, but they were rabbits in the headlight for the first six months.
Q10: What is the greatest threat to the CMJ?
Willie: I think it is the issue of succession planning. It is a huge threat in this market.
*not a precise transcription.