This is going to be my last editor’s letter for a while as today is my last day in the office before Baby Hailes arrives.
To say this is not how I expected to spend my pregnancy would be an understatement.
On a personal level I assumed I would be celebrating my growing bump with friends and family and shopping for all my baby’s needs with my mum, and on a professional level I was ready to fight for my right for a seat on the train each morning and couldn’t wait to enjoy some industry events before taking some time off.
But none of us expected 2020 to pan out the way it has, and just like all of you, I’ve had to simply weather the storm and adjust to a new normal.
Before I leave though, I want to say that I am really proud of the jewellery industry and how it has reacted to this unexpected pandemic.
For starters, many of you have given so much to the fight — from being a support to customers on social media and donating money and goods to worthy causes, to using your spare time to support local care homes, the NHS and food banks. I’ve seen so many random acts of kindness from the jewellery trade online and I know there will be plenty of unsung heroes among our readers as well.
I’ve also been really impressed with the trade’s unity at this time. Everyone has pulled together to navigate through new ways of doing business; to share ideas, experiences and advice; and to support one another in order to keep the industry shining in the middle of a crisis.
And that’s why I am so excited to celebrate all that you’ve done during these unprecedented times – as individuals, teams and companies – at the 2020 Professional Jeweller and WatchPro Awards in November.
There’s so many stories to share and people to honour — it’s going to be an amazing night that I for one won’t be missing (yes — I will be back for one night only from my maternity leave and I hope to see many of you there!).
So while it may be ‘goodbye for now’, I shall certainly see lots of you soon and look forward to raising a glass to the individuals and companies that have blazed a trail amid this global pandemic.
While I know there is still a long road of recovery ahead – with the phrase ‘new normal’ continuing to be used without any idea of when just plain ‘normal’ will return – if the trade keeps working together, supporting one another, and being agile to national changes and willing to invest and innovate, I am confident that by the time I come back from maternity leave many businesses will be booming.
For now though I wish you all the best of luck as stores open their doors and consumers return to the high street.
I look forward to continuing to follow the trade’s success and reading lots of positive news from this wonderful industry.