Primrose Hill businesswoman Harriet Kelsall has been formally announced as the first female chair of The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ)-the UK’s jewellery trade body. On Thursday 14thJune, industry leaders gathered at the iconic Goldsmiths’ Hall in London for the NAJ annual general meeting (AGM) where Harriet was officially elected, having excelled in the position of Vice-Chair for the last two years.
One of the most respected bespoke designers and business trailblazers working in the UK jewellery industry today, Harriet Kelsall will volunteer her time as NAJ Chair in conjunction with her role as Founder and Chair of Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery. The company began life in 1998 on Harriet’s kitchen table, and it has now grown to three locations employing a team of 36, most of whom have started as young people new to the industry. Harriet has set up schemes to take in new young talent as design assistants or apprentices through to being serious industry professionals.
As Vice-Chair of the NAJ, Harriet prioritised ethics and education and in doing so set up the NAJ Education Steering Group which works to improve skills within the industry, particularly for young people. She also established the Better Business Group to promote ethical and responsible business practices across the trade.
Reflecting on her appointment as Chair, Harriet said:
“I am extremely proud to become the second chair of the NAJ and the first female chair of the NAJ. Our mission here at the NAJ, as the UKs leading jewellery association, is to increase confidence in the UK purchase of jewellery through the integrity, professionalism, governance, representation, education, training and creativity of our members. Ultimately when we work together to improve the whole industry, we improve it for ourselves too. But we also help to improve it for future generations; helping young people stand on our shoulders so that we can all reach higher in the future. Like a good orchestra, we are all so much better when we work together than the sum of our parts might suggest”.
Harriet’s commitment to empowering future generations and helping creative business to flourish is further exemplified in her forthcoming book- The Creative’s Guide to Starting a Business: How to turn your talent into a career– which will be published on 19th September 2018.
As an innovator, Harriet has revolutionised bespoke design within the jewellery industry and is a champion for ethics, the environment and education within her sector. She already plays a key role in the industry and as well as taking on the challenge of chair of the NAJ, she will continue to fulfil her non-executive director responsibilities for both the Responsible Jewellery Council and the British Hallmarking Council. She is also a regular keynote speaker on ethics and CSR, advises the government on jewellery skills as part of the Creative and Cultural Skills Academy and speaks nationally and internationally about responsible business.