An Interview with Jewellery Show Event Director, Lennox Addo
Tell us about your background?
Back in the late 80s - mid 90s my mother, in fact my whole family, owned several jewellery shops in Essex when I was growing up. She specialised in bridal jewellery and silver jewellery but I always went with her to buyer exhibitions - anywhere from Geneva to Germany. I went on brand expeditions and watched how she conducted business, I watched how the jewellery trade room ran from the inside before I even entered the industry myself. What I learnt very quickly is the jewellery trade is built on trust. Once a business and their customer forms that trust, the relationship can flourish.
From understanding the mechanics and mindset of a jeweler coupled with first-hand experience of buying, thanks to my mother, I have somewhat accumulated the knowledge of how best to communicate with jewellery suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and designer.
What made you want to join CloserStill?
I was Sales Manager for the International Jewellery Show London for just over 7 years. During my time there I saw elements of the trade that needed to improve and so I started exploring how to innovate the exhibition. After being made redundant due to the pandemic, I started getting calls from both retailers and suppliers to help fill that gap because the UK market is big enough to have its own trade show.
I started conversations with Phil Nelson, who coincidently was looking for a potential venture into a new market. The proposal I put forward to the board was well received and they were able to see growth in my ideas. They gave me a chance. They believed in me, whether it's a calculated risk or just a risk, I don't know, but they believed in me, and they supported me and I really appreciate that.
What makes you passionate about the Jewellery Industry?
When you look at the jewellery trade landscape, internationally you've got big players in Las Vegas, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Geneva. However, the UKs jewellery industry goes back to the 16th century, and that for me is why I want to represent the UK jewellery sector and bring it back to the top.
From my perspective, particularly when we've got well established designers and esteemed suppliers in the UK, it doesn't make sense for the UK to not be recognised on the same market level as it’s other global competitors. That's my passion. That's my drive, but more so to challenge the status quo, and a challenge for market share as well. So that's what I'm really driven to really challenge market share and own sort of more of the market on the international scale. But we've only done one show. So I mean, we've still got a long way to go, but that's the that's the vision there too, to eat up more than market share, and be core leaders in the jewellery trade industry for sure.
What do you hope the future of the Jewellery Show will look like?
I would want to say with the way how CloserStill Media runs the other trade shows in niche markets is very much integrated. It's knowing the market and understanding the core elements within these niches. I hope we can bring some of that CloserStill magic into the jewelry trade and expand some more.
What are you most excited for in the next year CloserStill?
After the show, I've been inundated with calls from around the world to have country pavilion. Like I said, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Austria, and there's been so many calls. So the excitement here is to expand into those territories or have representation of those territories at the 2020 free show. And also introduce watches on a not a foundation level but on the intermediate level, whereby we showcase premium, we showcase British premium watchmaking. Again, this is a sector that is untouched and there is an abundance of watchmakers that are based in the UK that need a platform like this, however, that's a different beast in it. Because they need a different type of love. And they need their own section which is cultivated for what they do.
So there's a lot of work in order to cultivate that and to harvest that there. But that's one of the main excitements for us as well is to introduce watches and other countries into the show for 2023.