Our Founding Ambassadors will always be very special to the Women's Jewellery Network.
Call it our Hall of Fame. These women joined us at inception, and have helped us to understand what we need to be and how – together – we will get there. These four industry professionals have formed the foundation of how we work: collaboratively, across every discipline and border in the jewellery industry.
Rachael Taylor, formerly Brighton Ambassador, (@rachaeltaylorgram) first started writing about jewellery and watches not long after graduating. Rachael has extensive jewellery editorial calibre and experience and is a freelance writer and regular contributor to a number of titles including The Financial Times (@financialtimes), JFW, VO+ (@vo_plus), Retail Jeweller (@retailjeweller), Rapaport (@rapaportmagazine) and Platinum Resident.
As of 2019, Rachael is TRENDS Ambassador for @wj_network.
During her earlier career Rachael launched and edited two business magazines for ITP, Professional Jeweller and WatchPro, as well as the hugely popular Hot 100 projects for both titles. Rachael has travelled the globe in search of stories, visiting trade shows, factories and ateliers in Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Thailand, the US, Russia and Hong Kong. She has also been on multiple jewellery judging panels.
Rachael has taken part in and led seminars at industry events including IJL, Flux and Jewellery & Watch Birmingham. She also writes copy for large clients including Rio Tinto, Rolex and The Company of Master Jewellers (@master_jewellers). Rachael is also co-founder of innovative, experiential jewellery platform @thejewellerycut.
Formerly, Wales & Sheffield Ambassador, Sonia Menezes is Head of Brand Development at Clogau (@clogaugold and www.clogau.co.uk), and will now use her passion and expertise to lead on OMNICHANNEL for @wj_network.
Sonia works across most departments within the business with a focus on the developing the brand aesthetic, NPD and managing brand partnerships with Historic Royal Palaces (@historicroyalpalaces), Wales Rugby Union (@walesrugbyunion) and other key ambassadors. She also manages the Clogau - QVC UK relationship.
Sonia is particularly proud of the Clogau National Treasures Ambassadors. Clogau supports three young Welsh women whose commitment and dedication to their respective sports is only matched by their incredible talent.
Sonia is an avid traveller and loves discovering new places. She believes that to travel is essential to personal growth and wellbeing, and in the words of Confucius, says: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
Kate Pickering founded jewellery school and studios Vanilla Ink (@vanillainkuk) in 2009, with the goal of bridging the gap between education and working in industry.
Knowing that it can be difficult to find your place within the ever-changing jewellery landscape, Kate developed Vanilla Ink to support and promote jewellers in the early stages of their careers. Having a degree in Jewellery herself, she understood the difficulties new designers face when setting up their own business and wanted to create a space that allowed collaborations, mistakes and time to reflect.
Together with her team, Kate has created an environment that focuses on educating, inspiring and empowering budding jewellers and silversmiths. Built on transparency and honesty, Vanilla Ink responds to their needs and those of the trade, equipping them with the skills and confidence to thrive.
Kate partnered with goldsmith Scott McIntyre to develop Vanilla Ink into the unique jewellery school and studios it is today. Born in Dundee in 2009, Vanilla Ink moved to Glasgow in 2014 and set up in its current home of The Hidden Lane in 2017. Most recently, Kate and Scott have opened Vanilla Ink The Smiddy, a second location in Banff, Aberdeenshire.
ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY AMBASSADOR
Victoria Waugh has more than 15 years’ business development experience across the clothing, jewellery and accessory sectors, plus leading the Fairtrade Foundation's work to launch Fairtrade gold. She is the perfect candidate to lead on ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY for @wj_network.
Victoria is widely recognised for her in-depth knowledge on the subjects of ethical and sustainable practices and materials sourcing – matters that are becoming increasingly integral to the professional operations of both new and established jewellery businesses.
Victoria, an independent consultancy (@vvcollective.jewellery) for brands and individuals seeking to improve or advance their supply chains and sustainable practices, is also Non-executive Director of the Ethical Fashion Forum.
Previously, she held the role of Global Business Development Manager for Fairtrade Gold at Fairtrade International.