PJ sat down with Domino Jewellery’s key accounts manager, Sam Felton, to discuss everything from his start in the industry 22 years ago to his top lockdown film recommendation.
How many years have you worked in the jewellery sector?
22 years. I fell into the industry really! Keen for a job so I could buy my first car, a 1970s Beetle, I started working at Kestrel Manufacturing in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. I haven’t looked back since getting involved in this amazing sector.
What do you enjoy about the industry?
The community spirit of the industry, especially here in the Jewellery Quarter. Building friendships with suppliers and customers along the way, and developing and helping retailers sell a product that has lasting value and desirability.
What’s the first thing you do when you get into work in the morning?
Within the first hour it’s a cappuccino while updating emails, and a team meeting to prioritise the daily workload for everyone.
Which company do you most admire?
Porsche. Trusted, long-standing heritage, iconic design, and a commitment to diversification and innovation, especially when you look at the launch of its pure-electric production car, and its crossover to a lifestyle brand.
What’s your most memorable moment in the jewellery industry?
Being part of companies who have been nominated for or won awards along the way has been memorable.
However, one slightly different moment stands out for me. In 2002, when on holiday in Italy, I was travelling by train on the Amalfi coast, and I met a couple on honeymoon.
They were wearing wedding rings that I had designed and supplied to a retailer. It was such a coincidence, but it really brought home to me the end result of what I do and the impact it can have.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The person who helped start my career in the industry, Simon Cox, shared some great advice with me: ‘Plan for success’ and ‘Under promise, over deliver’.
These are two key pieces of advice which have been the foundation to every day of my career.
What do you most enjoy doing outside of work?
Family is key to me. My kids monopolise my spare time doing road biking, swimming and bodyboarding when in Cornwall visiting my Dad. I also try and get a game of golf in between watching Aston Villa.
I enjoy good food and drink with my wife, and I’m really missing live music at the moment as well.
If you won the lottery, what would you buy?
I don’t gamble but if money was no object (and currently being starved of travel), it would have to be a two-year tailor-made package holiday which was featured in the Telegraph last month that takes in 1,000 Unesco heritage sites!
If you could invite three people to a dinner party, who would they be?
Steve McQueen – the king of cool – John Lennon, and Mom, who lost her battle with cancer 12 months ago.
What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
I’ve definitely watched more TV than ever during the lockdown, so it’s got to be a film I recently watched called Peanut Butter Falcon.
I really did laugh at the detail of human relationships that were brought to life in the story, but at the same time it warms your heart and uplifts your soul. We all need that in these current times.