HOT 100 2011: Sonia Menezes & Ben Roberts


A right royal year landed this duo in the CMJ Business Big Shots.

As we look forward to the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partner Ti Sento, we indulge in a bit of looking backwards to the leading lights of the jewellery industry that made it into the Hot 100 2011. Today we’re celebrating CMJ Business Big Shots Ben Roberts and Sonia Menezes, managing director and brand manager at Clogau Gold, who enjoyed a right royal year in jewellery wholesale.

Clogau Gold managing director Ben Roberts is a familiar face in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 – no doubt many of you will remember his gun-toting photograph from last year – but standing by his side at this very appropriate royal box is someone new: brand director Sonia Menezes.

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Sonia joined Clogau Gold in 2010 from Hot Diamonds and since then the business has blossomed, reinforcing its status as a force to be reckoned with in the UK jewellery industry.

And what a time to join Clogau Gold. The brand has had a phenomenal year, thanks in no small part to the nuptials of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Kate and Wills’ choice of Welsh gold for the royal wedding ring has bolstered the Welsh gold brand’s sales globally, and Ben says that 2011 has undoubtedly been its best year to date.

“The business as a whole has enjoyed the renewed awareness offered by the royal wedding, and the international division saw not only increased sales but new business too,” he says.

For Sonia, 2011 has been about making Clogau Gold the go-to British jewellery brand worldwide. Her efforts have helped the brand to be part of the Best of British campaign at Heathrow T5 in April, and the company has also developed is retail support to include special brand events for customers and shop-in-shop furniture.

“Looking forward to 2012, Clogau Gold will continue the steady and moderate growth path rather than the meteoric rise and subsequent fall that we often see in the marketplace,” explains Ben. “Plans include a brand redevelopment programme, starting with the product, point of sale and the packaging, just to keep everything fresh.”

Ben has said that the royal wedding has caused a Christmas-like peak mid year and admits that the company will have its work cut out next year to match the success of 2011. But for this power duo anything is achievable and Ben is even confident enough to take his first ever two-week holiday, although he jokes that he’ll “be taking plenty of spare phone batteries”.

This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. If you or someone you know has had a great business year and are hot enough to be part of the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 then click here for more information about the nomination process.



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