Hot 100 2013: Hayley Quinn

On overseeing Swarovski’s UK presence in an omnichannel world.

They don’t get bigger than Swarovski. Earlier this year it was reported top prestige brand for social media, present on 15 different platforms (the average is eight), it published its respected GemVisions trend book and the Daily Mail gleefully reported on the Harrods £1,600 dog bed smothered in the brand’s crystals.

But if you expect some sort of corporate speak from managing director Hayley Quinn, a former of operations manager at Mothercare, then forget it. 

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“I’ve never really stopped to think about the length of my working day. I guess it is as long as it needs to be," she says. "Balancing the needs of the business with the rugby training, drama rehearsals and last-minute homework crises that are the milestones of family life is never easy, and yes I admit I don’t always get it right.”

But she is doing plenty right at work. Sharper than crystal, she knows where the future lies. “We live in an omnichannel world where the consumer does not care if you are retail, franchise, wholesale or online. She wants you to be everywhere she is when she wants you, with the widest assortment possible.”

And that is what she is making happen at Swarovski, along with a very healthy dose of prestige publicity. “Whether it was the amazing 360° campaign that we forged with The Saturdays and Universal music, or the realisation of our partners’ dreams with their fantastic new stores, it is the realisation of what we can achieve when we truly collaborate that is for me, the highlight of the year.”

She admits it’s not always easy but that is precisely what motivates her. “Whoever said necessity is the mother of invention really knew about retail, because it is the tough times that force us to be at our most innovative, creative and entrepreneurial,” she says and reflects on the journey that brought her here. “I started my retail life as a Saturday girl for Woolies and within weeks was hooked on the buzz that I got from the pace, the variety, the interaction with people and the wad of pound notes in the tills. 20-odd years later and I still get the same buzz.”

Hayley Quinn was selected as a CMJ Business Big Shot in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.




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