Deborah Hunt is general manager of CME Jewellery, a wholesaler with more than four decades of history.

Here she talks childhood dreams, a family legacy in jewellery and the enduring power of Michelle Obama.

How many years have you worked in the jewellery sector and how did you get into the industry?
I’ve worked full time in the industry for five years, as, with the family having been in the business for 43 and needing a manager, I was tempted by the chance to change career.


What’s the first thing you do when you get into work in the morning?
Make a cup of tea, and then have a few minutes chat as I check everyone’s temperatures. I check that each department has the right number of staff and try to put off checking e-mails as long as I can.

What’s your most memorable moment in the industry to date?
Gaining the Responsible Jewellery Council Certification. It provided us with an excellent structure to re-think our business processes and consider our ethical stance.

What do you most enjoy about working in the industry?
Seeing our customers develop and thrive. We have seen many start-ups go on to be award-winning ventures.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Be a lifelong learner and remain open-minded for opportunities that may lead to a better or more valuable perspective.

What’s the most difficult part of your job?
Over the past year it’s been making sure that staff are safe at work, and that we have done all that we should as a business. So far, so safe.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Reading, walking and recently have taken up portraiture which I am finding every relaxing.

If you won the lottery, what luxury item or experience would you buy?
First class tickets to Sydney to see my family. I’m a terrible traveller and so anything that would make that journey easier!

Which other company or brand (inside or outside the industry) do you most admire and why?
A new company called Arrival who are developing electric vehicles for commerce. It’s their commitment to turning traditional thinking and methods on their head that is inspiring and gives hope for the future of the planet.

Tell us something about yourself that none of your colleagues know?
That I wish I’d been a ballet dancer – though they know I’ll get on the dance floor at Christmas.

If you could invite three people to a dinner party, who would they be?
David Attenborough, Michelle Obama and Daphne du Maurier.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
My husband – every day at some point!