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Rex Steele-Merten, former winner of the Diamond International Award
Rex Steele-Merten, former winner of the Diamond International Award

Nationwide announces jeweller contest

Buying Group, Nationwide Jewellers launched a contest for apprentice jewellers and marketing expert, Amanda Stevens, will speak at the group’s Darwin conference.

Announcing the competition last week, Nationwide has invited 20 apprentices from the group’s member stores in Australia and New Zealand for its Apprentice Support Scheme, where they will compete in a skills contest.

Nationwide managing director, Colin Pocklington, said the group donated $500 jewellery vouchers to purchase materials from the House of Jewellery and consequently 20 of these jewellers have so far enrolled.

“We’re in the process of sending the invitations out now and hope to have notified everyone by next week,” Pocklington said. “The 20 we’ve invited have already accepted their $500 vouchers and we’re hoping we can entice more members to enrol their apprentices now.”

In April each apprentice will receive a detailed sketch of an item to be manufactured along with the required materials to construct the piece.

The winning recipient will be selected from a panel of judges consisting of Nationwide’s Barry Jackson and Niven McArthur along with jewellery designer Rex Steele Merten, a four-time winner of the Diamond International Award. The Diamond International Award from diamond giant, De Beers, was an annual competition recognising diamonds and diamond jewellery around the world, ceasing in 2000.

The winning design will be announced at this year’s International Jewellery Fair in Sydney in September. The winner will receive the Nathan Cameron perpetual trophy.

Selling to women
In other news, the buying group has secured Amanda Stevens to be the keynote speaker at the company’s annual conference in Darwin this May.

Stevens is an expert on marketing and selling to women.

Pocklington, was delighted at securing Stevens for the conference.

“In our industry the vast majority of purchases are made by women,” Pocklington said. “Amanda’s thoughts on how to increase market share will be extremely beneficial, particularly in this tough trading environment.”

Stevens is president of Chicago-based advertising agency, HY Connect, creative director of the Marketing to Women division and divides her time between Australia and the US, consulting organisations on how to grow their brand, profile and return on investments.

She has dedicated nearly two decades to understanding the science of marketing to women and the psychology of selling to women. Having studied thousands of consumers Stevens has an intimate understanding of what works when it comes to investing in sales and marketing.

She has written four books – SheMarketing, SheSelling, You & Improved and PurseStrings, on ways to connect with the female mind.

Nationwide’s annual Jewellers Conference, free for all reward members, will be held from May 31 to June 3.

More reading:
Nationwide jewellers hit Antwerp
Cerrone Jewellers goes Nationwide

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