A Solihull-based jewellery industry expert has taken up the reins at the national trade association promoting jewellers and silverware suppliers.
Simon Rainer has been appointed the new chief executive of the British Jewellers’ Association, which represents the UK’s jewellery supply chain.
The Jewellery Quarter-based organisation numbers among its members some 900 companies ranging from individual designer makers to the UK’s largest and most influential producers, as well as gemstone dealers, internet suppliers and a range of associated businesses.
Mr Rainer has over 15 years experience in the international and domestic jewellery markets and comes from a sales, marketing and general management background.
He has previously worked with major brands including Victorinox Swiss Army, Colibri Jewellery and Esprit.
Most recently, he has been working in the US, managing the distribution of watch and jewellery brands to major organisations including the US Army, HSN, Sears and QVC.
Mr Rainer said his main focus of his new job would be to promote the prosperity and well-being of the organisation’s membership.
“We will try to do whatever we can to work in the best interests of the British jewellery industry,” he said.
“We will be looking for new services we can put in place for our membership.”
He said it was an exciting time to be working in the UK jewellery industry, but there were many issues and challenges facing the sector.
“The whole industry is fairly fragmented – there are a lot of small suppliers into the UK supply chain together with some major suppliers.
“The traditional skills that were once prevalent are slowly going as more foreign products and services come in from abroad.
“There are new threats but there are also new opportunities.
“It’s quite an exciting time as well because traditions and designs are changing.”
Mr Rainer said the association would get involved in any subjects facing its members.
“There are a lot of issues facing the industry – obviously some of them well publicised like the issue of blood diamonds or issues around security,” he said.
“Those are the issues that we are going to get involved with and have an authoritative voice on.
“And also there are issues around training and developing young designers, making sure their products are commercially viable and they are actually earning a good living from their skills.”
The British Jewellers’ Association is part of the British Jewellery, Giftware and Finishing Federation, based on Vyse Street.
Other branches of the same federation include The Giftware Association, the Surface Engineering Association, the British Travel Goods and Accessories Association and the Jewellery Distributors’ Association.