Head of global on grabbing opportunities and living life to the full.
David Butler has has had a varied career that has taken him from geologist to head of global sales at Clogau Gold. He has worked hard with the Welsh godl brand to build its global presence, an effort that was noted by the Professional Jeweller team which celebrated his successes by selecting him as a Business Big Shot in the Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. Here Butler speaks to us about the royal wedding, his obsessive timekeeping and his love of extreme sports.
Professional Jeweller: It has been a very busy year for you in 2012. What stands out as your top moments of the year?
David Butler: My personal highlight was celebrating my wife’s 50th birthday playing golf in Miami. She has been very ill for 15 years now and to see her get to this milestone age was very reassuring. My professional highlight was bringing two new people into the Clogau international team and to see the boost in business as a result of this move.
PJ: The economy has been tough for everyone but Clogau’s international business has gone from strength to strength. Has it been a challenging project?
DB: There are always challenges. They are usually about trying to do as much as we can at as little cost as possible. That’s part of the great joy of working with a small family business and being so close to the ultimate decision makers. It gives me great flexibility and means we can move quickly when opportunities present themselves.
PJ: Tell us a bit more about your work to make Clogau Gold a global jewellery brand.
DB: We had three international customers when I arrived at Clogau in 2009 but a number of perfect branding opportunities came along in the following two years, the royal wedding being one, which I was able to take advantage of and we now have over 30 international customers including 20 airlines with global reach. The strategy was to build the brand in travel retail which I think we have done quite well. The challenge now is to build meaningful revenue streams from International domestic markets.
PJ: How do you plan to take Clogau Gold’s international division forward in 2013?
DB: I need to help our small international team optimise their opportunities. We have built the brand into an internationally recognised name and the next step is to reward the company for their faith with profitable business both in travel retail and in international domestic markets.
PJ: How did you find your way into the jewellery industry?
DB: I started my professional life as a geologist working in the oil business but together with a partner started an import wholesale business in gifts and jewellery back in 1986. That eventually became the HD Group and the Hot Diamonds brand, which I was very proud to have been associated with. After a much-needed year off in 2008 to 2009 I joined Clogau to help build their international brand.
PJ: How would you describe David Butler the professional?
DB: Looking at the big picture, I think I am fairly relaxed and consider work to be one of a number of important aspects in my life. I like to do all things well however and for me the customer is always king. I am an obsessive time keeper and I try to give my customers the level of service I would expect to get if I were the buyer.
PJ: And David Butler off the clock?
DB: I have a great love of extreme sports which has the added advantage of keeping me fit and healthy. I have also started playing golf for a time in the future when rock climbing, mountain biking and snowboarding become too much.