It’s been a while since I attended a CMJ Buying Group Meeting. In fact, last night the Company of Master Jewellers celebrated its 30th birthday and my last time out partying with the buying group was at its 25th anniversary.
The 25th party was pretty eventful, there were singing waiters and a marriage proposal to one member of the head office staff, as I recall. Things have changed under the stewardship of chief executive Willie Hamilton, but it made for a no less eventful night. There is certainly more to witness during the day, with the number of suppliers swelling at the day’s buying meeting. It’s also encouraging to see new designers welcomed among the ranks of established designers. Ana de Costa, Sho Fine Jewellery, Alexander Davis, Sarah Herriot, Claire English and Francesca Sybilla all had space at the show.
I really enjoyed seeing the wares of Hans Krieger, Ti Sento, Goldmajor, CW Sellors and Sarah Jordan by day. But by night, Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole became the audition hotspot because the group laid on a “CMJ’s Got Talent” style event to entertain the 600-plus guests. Four acts – an Elvis impersonator from Peers Hardy, a Whitney warbler from Ortak, two songstresses from Allum and Sidaway and the winner – Michelle from Wakefields in Horsham – all took to the stage to try and win votes from the audience.
Congratulations to Michelle, who gave her rendition of Abba’s Money Money Money with her own words (including reprising the line about going to Monaco with Pandora), making jokes about not getting caught discounting by the brands “in a retail world”. Hilarious.
I intended to get off to bed early, but Willie forcefed me champagne, I think with the motive that I would say only nice things about the CMJ in my blog. Job done Mr Hamilton. Happy birthday CMJ. Here’s to 30 more.