Taking a risk and coming out on top

Taking a risk and coming out on top - Artificial Jewellery

Playing it safe in the jewellery industry is always tempting because the consequences for failure are dire. GERRI MAUNDER says risk-adverse behaviour closes the doors to success.

Who dares, wins. Fortune favours the bold, they say. Or, you need to take risks to succeed.

We’ve all heard these kinds of sayings before – but how often do you put that wisdom into practice?

We took a leap of faith nearly 30 years ago when we started Gerrim. Anyone that’s spoken to me about the history of the business knows that our motto is ‘pride in ownership’.

It’s not just a gimmick. It’s something we’re really passionate about – and if you’re reading this right now, you should be too! It’s about owning your space, owning your business, owning your personality, and the impact you have on
the people you work with.

It’s about taking pride and ownership of the decisions that you make. Being responsible and being prepared for the consequences of your decisions and most of the success we’ve had has come from taking a calculated risk.

You’ve got to be in it, to win it

For example, during the COVID lockdowns, we took a big punt; we overstocked on product. We invested in inventory that exceeded our traditional requirements.

We’re based in Queensland, and we watched what happened in Victoria with great interest. There were major delays in transport and delivery, both domestic and international. A supplier’s worst nightmare!

In Queensland, we didn’t experience the types of lockdowns that Melbourne and, to a lesser extent, Sydney did – but the possibility was always there. We looked at Victoria and asked ourselves – what happens here if that happens to us?

We decided to make a significant, ‘risky’ investment and increasing stock in anticipation of COVID lockdowns ending
and there being a major impact on our ability to deliver to our retailers.

Our mantra has always been that if a product we offer is made and manufactured in Australia, we will be able to deliver that product to a retailer in 7–10 business days. We’ve always said that, and we’re proud of that part of our business.

Suppliers are, essentially, solution-based businesses. Retailers need stock – and they want the supplier to offer a solution – to provide the stock and deliver it on time. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. We also understand that the jeweller is in turn attempting to offer a solution to their customer.

COVID forced all businesses to re-think how they operate. Our decision to ‘well-stocked’ our business needed to be carefully considered.

The decision was not easy because it meant we needed to invest more money in very uncertain times. And worse, making a large financial investment in a business when it could all go so wrong so quickly,
is a daunting prospect.

We had to think about the dollars of course. We needed to think about what we were risking by carrying extra stock.

We estimated our requirments based on a previous pre-COVID period of trade. Then we added a bit more after noticing a few of our country retailers had already told us that stores sales had greatly increased because people were traveling less and treating themselves more.

Our decision was made!


It certainly paid off. As soon as the doors swung open and businesses were open, retailers wanted more and more stock and we were in an excellent position to complete orders.

It’s about offering the solution and because of our decision to ‘overstock’, because we took that gamble, we were in the right place, at the right time, to complete those orders.

When a customer visits your store, they’re looking for a solution too. The solution to a need to provide a gift, for a birthday or anniversary, or even a marriage proposal. When a jeweller comes to a supplier, they’re looking for a solution too. And they want it quickly – so we need to be ready.

We’ve just come back from two buying meetings over the weekend and at one of them we’ve had the biggest meeting in terms of sales that we’ve ever had, which is amazing.

It was far greater than we expected – and as a result of that decision we made to overstock, we have been able to invoice it all early in the week and get those sales completed and delivered.

The items a buyer looked at on Sunday will be at their retail store before the end of the week. When a retailer purchases a stock they want it now. And we want to meet that requirement.

Ride the wave

We will continue to take risks too.

We’ve spent more on advertising and marketing in recent months. We’ll be looking at more and more advertising in the months to come, particularly around August, as we build up our inventory again in the lead-up to jewellery fairs and the ever important Christmas and New Year trading.

We’re able to make these investments with confidence now because we’ve had such a great year sales-wise. And that goes back to our decision to take a risk – a well-calculated risk, but a risk nonetheless –  and overstock on product, and being willing to live with the consequences of our decisions.

Name: Gerri Maunder
Business: Gerrim
Position: Co-director
Location: Brisbane, QLD
Years in the industry: 30

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