chairman, board member and agent of change
A highly accomplished senior global retail executive, with more than 48 years of experience, leading some of the world’s most respected retail brands. These include Harrods and House of Fraser in the UK, Brown Thomas in Ireland, Holt Renfrew in Canada, Saks Fifth Avenue in the US, Woolworths in South Africa and the Karstadt Group in Germany.
Andrew is now based in London, working with international retailers and private equity organisations as an advisory, Board member or Chair. These include Ted Baker International, Lion Capital International, Alpha Wealth SA and Boschendal Wine Estate in South Africa.
He is actively involved with The Prince’s Trust in the UK, where he Chairs the ‘Retail, Hospitality and Leisure’ Board. The Prince’s Trust have benefitted of the sales of his highly successful debut book “Almost is Not Good Enough – How to Win and Lose in Retail.”
Anna Whalley Consulting, founder and director
Anna is an experienced retail professional with broad, multi-channel business experience in high street and luxury retail, e-commerce, department store and franchise-based businesses, who has successfully delivered sales growth and profit. She has a particular expertise in focused planning and trading, helping businesses to realise their potential. She is a versatile category specialist with expertise in fine and fashion jewellery, accessories, apparel and fashion. Anna set up her consultancy to work closely with retailer leaders to provide a practical approach to their stock management and help maximise their sales growth. After having extensive experience collaborating with Merchandise, Buying, Planning, Design and Sourcing teams, Anna works closely with her clients to deliver tailored pragmatic solutions for their business.
chief executive, Factotum
Bobby Lane is currently chief executive of the multi-disciplinary outsourcing practice Factotum and is a specialist in providing consultancy for growing businesses, assisting with start-ups, and helping to get struggling companies back on track.
He is also a SAGE Global Business Influencer and was voted No 1 in the Top 50 most influential sources of finance news and information on social media by Economia.
A chartered accountant with over 25 years’ experience in professional practice and as a chief financial officer, Lane built the first multi award-winning SME outsourcing team at SSH before their sale to Azets in 2017.
An experienced keynote speaker, panellist and expert on all issues facing growing businesses, Lane is also a regular contributor to many trade and national media titles including The Mirror, The Times and Economia and previously BBC Radio London’s Business Agony Uncle. A regular judge on the Drapers Independents Awards and a judge on the Women in Accountancy and Finance Awards and Accounting Excellence Awards.
Former Member of The Accountancy Age Advisory Panel, Lane has a large international network and was formerly a member of the Global Advisory Board of Abacus Worldwide. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a registered ICAEW Business and Finance Professional. He is also currently a trustee of Grief Encounter.
social media strategist, Visualsoft
Charissa McAneny is passionate about being able to develop and implement a cohesive and data-driven social media strategy with the customer at the forefront. In her spare time she curates vintage collections, freelances as a digital content creator.
founder and sustainability consultant, Studio Modolo
Studio Modolo helps jewellers make sustainable choices that deliver growth.
Responding to the unique requirements of the jewellery industry, Giulia Modolo founded her coaching and sustainability business to offer strategic advice and hands-on support. The aim is to improve your bottom line by making changes that are good for people, planet and industry.
Combining her detailed knowledge of the jewellery value chain with a sales and marketing perspective, Giulia has the ability to translate complex sustainability principles into a language that makes sense. Her method is centred around consumer preferences and concrete actions, leading clients on a smooth path to sustainable growth.
If you need expert advice on your journey to sustainability, Giulia will help you achieve measurable progress and gain loyal customers. With the right support, change is easier than you think.
founder and managing director, EC One
Jos Skeates is the managing director of EC One the Jewellers, which he founded in 1997. EC One is an ethical jewellery company based in Clerkenwell, London. It was the first UK jewellers to gain B. Corp certification and under Skeates’ direction has been a pioneer in ethical sourcing and manufacture. Initially trained as a Goldsmith with The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, Skeates undertook a degree at Central St. Martins in Jewellery Design before opening his first store in Exmouth Market. EC One was the first UK jeweller to create a piece of jewellery using Fairtrade gold. The company has won several prestigious awards including Ethical Jewellery Business of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards, Inspiring Independent and Independent Retailer of the Year. Over the past few years, Skeates has concentrated on creating a sustainable business model and is currently undertaking a Masters in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. He lives in London with his wife (and business partner) Alison and their two children.
Fursa, founder and director
Katie is a consummate buying professional with over 20 years industry experience. Starting her training with Next in 2001 on its well-respected graduate buying scheme. She has gone on to specialise in Jewellery and fashion jewellery, most recently working for Jon Richard as buying director for the last six years. Katie has now set up her own retail buying consultancy Fursa, with the aim of helping small-medium size business’s reach their potential in a digital world. She is passionate about product, ethical sourcing and supply chain management, with a wealth of experience in sourcing from overseas factories and suppliers. She offers practical advice on inventory constraint, curated collections and how to home in and target that customer.
Last Night I Dreamt, owner
Rebecca opened Last Night I Dreamt in 2015 in the beautiful Minster town of Southwell. Seeing a gap in the jewellery market for a design led jewellery boutique bringing the very best British and International designers to the market in a beautifully curated and styled environment, Rebecca is passionate about bringing her slice of jewellery heaven to all. Fed-up with the exclusive image of traditional jewellery shops Rebecca’s desire for Last Night I Dreamt was that everyone feels the warmth and magic of the boutique, no matter what their budget. In 2019 Last Night I Dreamt launched its website and the brand has gone from strength to strength. Known for its vibrant and personal social media, window installations, not to mention its unrivalled family of fabulous designers, Last Night I Dreamt has become known as the UK mini Liberty and a jewellery boutique on everyone’s radar.
lead social strategist, Visualsoft
Sarah Adams says she is enthusiastic about generating results-driven strategies that are both efficient and effective across various platforms, while leading a team of innovative social media marketers. Outside of work she spends time creating content for her own digital space.
The William Agency , founder and director
Sarah started her career working on digital titles at Hearst Magazines UK before moving on to become an editor in the B2B jewellery publishing sector. Since going freelance in 2015, Sarah has developed an impressive client base, from retail businesses and corporate entities to luxury brands and magazines. Sarah founded her own copywriting, PR and marketing agency, The William Agency, in 2016 to offer professional services targeted at jewellery retailers, jewellery brands, suppliers and manufacturers. She specialises in content marketing, brand storytelling, PR, social media marketing, search engine optimisation, web development and communication strategy. She has worked at a national and international level on big campaigns and one-off copywriting projects, providing flexible services for clients with a range of needs, budgets and marketing experience.