CMJ’s chief executive takes to the stage at the UK Jewellery Conference. Those who attended in 2014 will recall that the Grill Willie question and answer session got a little punchy last year, so Professional Jeweller sits forwards in anticipation of Round 2 …

Q1: the industry is craving more data. How is the CMJ responding?

Willie: If the board approves, we will be investing a six figure sum in this area. Data is the new oil and we want to deliver it.


Q2: How are you going to enthuse people in ethical sourcing?

Willie: I am just going to keep banging on about it. It is a slow burn, but we are going to keep going.

Q3: What are the shoes all about. Are those red soles?

Willie: You have to do it right.

Q4: who inspires you from within the industry?

Willie: Hmm, I don’t know.

Q5: Jewellery Focus wrote an unflattering blog about you. What do you think?

Willie: I am not going to give it any credence.

Q6: when will the CMJ send out invoices by email and accept electronic payments?

Willie: Probably within about six months.

Q7: what did you learn from the regional meetings this year?

Willie: I learnt that I am definitely marmite.

Q8: Following the retirement of the CEO of Houlden, did you consider applying or merging?

Willie: I would never take that on, but a merger is a no brainer. Unfortunately the personalities involved will not allow this to happen.

Q9: How are the new board directors doing?

Willie: I think they are running the business even better now than the past board, but they were rabbits in the headlight for the first six months.

Q10: What is the greatest threat to the CMJ?

Willie: I think it is the issue of succession planning. It is a huge threat in this market.


*not a precise transcription.