It sounds like a glamorous proposition: 2 days in Vicenza Italy, scouting for jewels – surely it couldn’t be that difficult right? In reality our feet never touched the ground!
When Amit invited us to film his buying trip to Vicenza Gold trade show, we jumped at the chance. I had no idea that I would be designated taxi driver, we’d walk over 12 miles trailing after Amit and Deepak with their unstoppable energy, and we would have sore eyes from the glare of the gold and jewels on offer.
From the moment we arrived, it was freezing cold with snow still on the ground, but the sun was shining and the team were keen to get to the show.
Inside it was boiling – the lights to make jewellery shine and shimmer mean that the heat is almost unbearable. Amit asked the suppliers to turn off their lights as we were melting!
At no point did we follow a map of the vast five-hall show with over 1,500 stands to navigate through, we just followed the intrepid pair. Everybody seemed to know Amit and Deepak, with people coming out of their stands to greet them and book in appointments over the three days.
Most buyers and retailers from across the world struggle to book viewing times, but it was the other way round for our team – we had to be selective!
The dynamic duo of Deepak and Amit got going with meetings as soon as we arrived, carefully negotiating over every last penny, Amit leaning across the order sheets many times to write his preferred price in the billing columns.
Negotiations are always lively – suppliers bring items out in rolls, on trays, in cases and by hand to demonstrate their latest designs and innovations. Amit and Deepak know by instinct what will work for our beloved customers, but I get side-tracked and taken in by the shiny stuff and the latest trends.
The prettiest pieces are tried on, laid out, examined in the light and this time (lucky for me!!!) I was able to wear a couple of items to test their size and ease of putting on and taking off. We told suppliers our customer feedback about extending sizes, making clasps easy to attach, making necklaces a little longer to flatter the neck – and it really helped our negotiations. It’s always worth letting us know what you think – firstname.lastname@example.org – because it means we can take this information directly back to the source when we’re buying again.
Bumping into old friends is always a pleasure and it was great to see Guiseppe Perez at the show, whose stories entertained us – especially when he told us about when he first met our Chairman and Founder back in 1969 and they both cooked and did the washing up together.
Our intrepid buyers are already putting plans in place for the next shows and negotiations they’re working on – but the rest of us need to put our feet up for a little while – exhausted after following Amit and Deepak around Italy!
P.S. Take a look at our fabulous Vicenza Collection online HERE!