Former Beaverbrooks chairman Andrew Brown joked that he might have spent his life selling ‘carrots’ rather than ‘carats’ had he not been born into the jewellery business, as he received the Professional Jeweller Lifetime Achievement award this week.
Brown joined the famous UK jewellery business in 1962 as a fresh-faced 16-year-old. At the time the business was run by his father, Percy, and uncle, Sydney, both of whom were nephews of the Adlestone brothers, who founded the business in 1919.
Taking to the stage at the iconic Lord’s cricket ground, Brown – who was made an MBE in 2008 – said that circumstances could have been so different had he not been given the chance to find his niche in the business from such a young age.
“It’s 57 years since I first walked into the headquarters of Adlestones, as it was then known, and by sheer luck it was that I had been born into the diamond business. It could have been anything – and I could have been born into any business. I might have found myself selling ‘carats’ of the wrong type! Fortunately, I found myself dealing with a wonderful product and something which nobody needs but everybody aspires to.”
During his six decades with the business, Brown was heavily involved in shop planning and diamond sourcing, in particular. He served as chairman for 12 years until 2012 and was involved with the business right up until March this year, when he officially retired.
“I have loved and appreciated every day of my 57 years with Beaverbrooks, whether it has been on the property side, finding shops, shop-fitting and design or buying diamonds. And I have been particularly pleased with the impact we have made with the Beaverbrooks charitable trust. I am so proud of it. Since the year 2000, we’ve raised £13m for charity.”
Brown received a standing ovation from those in attendance as he was presented with his award by long-time colleague and current Beaverbrooks chairman, Mark Adlestone.
“Success comes with good people and a good team, and a good team is essential and that’s what we have at Beaverbrooks,” concluded Brown. “I’ve worked with some dedicated, talented people and in particular for the past 40 years with working with Mark. Thank you for this award, which I will never take for granted.”
Adlestone described his colleague as an “absolute inspiration” in his speech, which you can read more about HERE.