One year ago it all changed for me, I decided to walk away from it all.
I was the buyer of luxury jewellery at Harrods —my job included travelling around the world meeting jewellery designers, going to fashion shows, and of course, getting the first look at some of the most interesting, luxurious, and beautiful jewellery in the world. I was successful in my role and raised revenues by more than 200% over the course of a few years, and to everyone on the outside, it must have looked like I was set in my role for life. And then I chose to walk away from it all.
Like all the most interesting journeys, mine hasn’t been straightforward.
I started out in corporate service, a 19 year old trying to make a go of it in London. After about 6 months, I got a job as a buyer’s clerk and realised that I actually enjoyed the number and analysis side of retail, so I moved across into merchandising.
That still wasn’t the right fit though — I found that I wanted to be the one making the final decisions about the products and lines we sourced, so when I finally got the opportunity to become I buyer I jumped on it.
The funny thing is, I never really thought I would be involved with luxury jewellery. I would walk through the jewellery room at Harrods and think idly that it would be a lovely department to buy for, but I never took it seriously until one day a friend mentioned to me that the buyer’s job was up. I decided to go for it, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I didn’t know lapis from labradorite…
At least in the beginning. But I learned fast and I quickly fell in love with the whole field of luxury jewellery, from finding designers to learning about the technical aspects of the stones, to picking the perfect lines for the department. In many ways, it really was my dream job — I was surrounded by gorgeous jewellery all day, I got to meet so many interesting people, and I was able to let my analytical side out to play with the more technical aspects of retail.
But even more than all of that, the best part for me was learning about the deeper meanings and powers that the stones have — I became much more interested in my spiritual side and started to wonder what else might be out there beyond the material world. It was also around this time, after working for Harrods for several years that I started to dream about opening my own business.
Even comfort blankets can get scratchy.
I never thought I’d be employed by somebody else for as long as I have been. I constantly planned and thought and dreamt about how I could set up on my own, but having spent so long at Harrods, I felt it was my safe place! I had my amazing friends and colleagues, I loved physically spending time in the store, but eventually it got to the point where my ‘comfort blanket’ got scratchy. I set myself an exit date and decided to jump ship.
The Alkemistry is up and running, featuring designers that I have handpicked from around the world and pieces that are original and deeply luxurious, but also wearable enough for every day use. I’m loving running my own business, and finally feel like I’ve found my ‘home’ in the jewellery world.
And to anyone who’s thinking of jumping ship like I did: just go with your heart and don’t worry about what people will think. As long as you’re ready to put in the work along with your leap of faith, you’re unstoppable.
Now I’m asking you: what’s your big dream? Why not take our quiz and see which gemstone is waiting to help you reach it?