To celebrate International Women‘s Day on March 8, PJ recognises four professionals working in the industry blazing a trail for women across the jewellery sector through innovation, creativity and a fierce entrepreneurial spirit. 

Perhaps the busiest woman in jewellery, Judith Lockwood juggles a few jobs right now. Not content as the founder and managing director of Ti Sento – Milano distributor, Mesmeric Distribution, she has also recently taken up roles with the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council and the CMJ.

“Someone once told me you are either in and out of the jewellery industry really quickly or you are in it for life. I guess I must be a lifer,” says Judith Lockwood. “I love it, I enjoy it, and it is my life.”

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Lockwood’s storied career in the jewellery industry has included work with the likes of Hockley Mint and watch brand Cartier, while she also boasts experience at big-name brands outside of the industry like Honda Motorcycles.

For the last seven years, though, she has run Mesmeric Distribution, UK distributor for jewellery brand Ti Sento – Milano.

Of her work with the brand, she says: “Ti Sento is 18 years in the market, known for its high quality, core business and seasonal collections, its designs and great marketing. [Business development managers] Angela Lee, Micheline Graham and I currently support and work with over 100 independent jewellers and department stores across Scotland, England, Wales and the Channel Islands.”

In recent months the founder and managing director has added a couple more strings to her bow, as well as a great deal more to her workload presumably: she has been appointed CMJ supplier director and has also become a member of the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council (GCDC).

She says: “I was once told: ‘Give a busy person something to get done and it’s likely it will be.’ Both of these roles make me feel very responsible and entrusted for any actions, feedback, suggestions or work that I am involved in, as both are important and recognised industry organisations.”

How does she keep up with all the additional work these positions must bring on? “I don’t see it as work,” she explains. “I see it all as an extension of me and something that I enjoy doing.”

When asked to name another woman who inspires her, it’s a simple answer that she comes to quickly when she names her close friend Karen Cruikshank.

I see an industry today that is open, aware and recognises we need all kinds of people to make a world”

She says Karen ‘motivates her’ to do her job better everyday. “Prior to having her son Daniel, Karen was a big cheese in Barclaycard corporate. Her son became her priority when he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, so she gave up her career.

“She inspires me every single day with her grit and determination as a single parent. If I ever have a day when I’m a bit fed up I think of the beautiful face of my friend, because she has a proper job and motivates me to do mine better.”

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, Lockwood gives her opinion on the state of gender equality in the jewellery industry right now.

Ever the optimist, she says that things have come a long way since she began barging her way into male-dominated boardrooms. “I believe I see an industry today that is open, aware and recognises we need all kinds of people to make a world,” Lockwood adds.

And how will she be spending International Women’s Day? Aside from her daily video call with her team, Lockwood has only one priority. She says: “I will telephone my lovely friend Karen and tell her she is my inspiration, and is now in print on International Women’s Day in Professional Jeweller.”