What do you love most about your job?
I get to "wear many hats". There's constant exposure to ever-changing global trends and technologies. Although the environment is creative, the fast-paced buzz of retail allows me many opportunities to be a trader.
What led you to the jewellery buying field?
At the age of 11, I had my first tour of a jewellery workshop. Viewing my first one-carat diamond was love at first sight. Later, I studied jewellery design and manufacturing.
What are the latest trends in jewellery design?
The soaring gold price has led to huge innovation and designers are breaking all the rules. Silver has emerged as the new "precious" metal. Innovations include combinations of silver and gold and silver and diamonds. Also new is the range of diamond colors now available. Champagne, cognac, silver and black diamonds area major hit at international trade shows.
What are some of your most popular pieces of jewellery?
Our diamond bridal and dress rings continue to be our best sellers. Our fashion watch brands and fashion silver ranges are also very popular with customers.
Are there any festive season specials that you would like our readers to know about?
Our Christmas catalogue features great value Star Buys across diamonds, gold, silver and watches. Please visit one of our stores or log onto www.americanswiss.co.za to view.
Do your own preferences come into play when you are choosing what to buy?
I buy for a broad spectrum of customers, so I tend to identify with their needs and desires. My engagement ring category is one I identify with the most. I tend to be inspired by very large diamonds in opulent shanks. So, it is gratifying to produce a similar ring, at an affordable price.
Do you have any classic items that sell well every season?
Our diamond circle of life pendant has become the ultimate classic. Other classics include our diamond anniversary rings and diamond solitaire earrings and pendants.
Do you travel as part of your job?
Yes. En route to international trade fairs, I trend shop in either London or Paris. Local travel is required to see suppliers and to visit our 200 stores.
Where is the best jewellery fair in the world?
The Basel Fair in Switzerland, Italy's Vicenza Fair and the Hong Kong Fair are must sees.
Do you stock imported or locally made jewellery?
Both. Most of my range is local product and I import pieces we are unable to manufacture in SA.
Do men or women generally do the jewellery buying?
Both! Our jewellery appeals to the confident, fashion-conscious male and female customer. Gifts are generally for women, bought by men who have been well briefed.
Does jewellery sell better over the festive season?
There is definitely an increase in sales over Christmas.
How large is your selection? What is the price range?
Our selection of jewellery is extensive in more than 200 stores. Our most inexpensive item, a pair of earrings, retails for R49 and in our flagship store we have a two-carat diamond solitaire ring that retails for R149999.