Navin Pillay, Michael Sobbi and Melissa Goh
Jewellery industry helps unwell retailer
A slew of Australian watch and jewellery suppliers have donated money
and products to help a jewellery store employee recently diagnosed with
Melanie Goh, operations manager of Linda & Co. Jewellers was diagnosed with cancer last Christmas, just days after she had bought her first home. It was a shock for the talented Goh, who in six years at the Sydney jeweller has overseen impressive growth and business changes.
“She has helped make us become a three-store operation,” Linda & Co. director Michael Sobbi told Jeweller.
“We’ve gone from a ’mum and dad’ jewellery store to a watch destination. She’s also had some great ideas along the way. All of our jewellers now have one or two days dedicated to sales, and three days on the bench. It means the customers talk to genuine passionate goldsmiths and designers who are actually going to make the piece, and I think this is what has kept us alive.”
Sobbi said when Goh stopped coming to work, word quickly travelled about what happened, and fellow employees wanted to help.
"She is very popular, she is very close to the staff here. Apprentices started putting money in a jar and sharing it around, and they bought her some flowers and gave the proceeds to her.
“When my brother and I saw 16 year olds putting their low apprentice wages in, we said we have to do something. So we contacted our suppliers, and asked if they could help out in any way,” Sobbi said. “
Linda & Co. Jewellers held a dinner in Melanie Goh's honour
He was astounded by the response, with brands he knew were doing it tough in a tight retail market making generous money and product donations. Top of the line watches were donated including Rado, Tissot, Frederique Constant, Seiko, Armani, Skagen and DKNY.
Jewellery suppliers also assisted, with Georgini, Annabelle Jewellers and Protea all donating product. The pieces were used at a party Linda & Co. organised in honour of Goh.
“We decided to do something more personal for Melissa, for her family and friends, and jewellers we were close to, to take the financial burden off her,” Sobbi said.
We booked out a whole restaurant, and we had a huge success with silent and live auctions for watches and diamonds and gave out some door prizes as well.
Sobbi said the night was a massive success and wanted to thank the brands that had generously donated to the cause. Goh is still currently undergoing chemotherapy.
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