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How to Bring Your A Game Into the ‘Next Normal’

Caryl Capeci shares six guiding principles for success in 2020 during WJA’s National Night In.

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THE STARS ARE
 aligned for a holiday season marked by a strong demand for diamond and fine jewelry gifts, says Caryl Capeci, CEO of Chow Tai Fook North America, home to Hearts on Fire and Memoire.

“The reasons women love diamonds and fine jewelry have never been stronger,” she told a virtual gathering of hundreds of Women’s Jewelry Association members Thursday night for the group’s annual National Night Out, dubbed National Night In this year.

Capeci said that while she has found 2020 to be as unexpected and challenging an environment as anyone else in the jewelry industry, she is excited about the potential the fourth quarter has to offer. Nothing on the planet right now would be more important than a gift of diamonds or fine jewelry this year, she says. “No one can travel or have the experiences they valued last year, and the gift of fine jewelry has never been more appropriate or more important.”

Capeci is also excited about the ways in which the jewelry industry has begun to transform itself with scrappiness and grit in the face of unprecedented change often referred to as the new normal.

“I’d like to call it the next normal because I believe it is going to evolve, and evolve at an accelerated pace.

Six guiding principles have emerged for Capeci in 2020:

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1. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. “It was surprising and unexpected to be thrown into this environment. But we found new ways to get things done, to work more nimbly. Where comfort is there is also complacency. The risks you take and the newness you experience and all these things you are learning to do differently – that’s where the magic happens.”

2. Be the person in your organization who thrives on the excitement of change, she urges. “Think about the ways in your own role you can help those around you embrace change in a way that speeds up the ability for the organization to move forward.”

3. Be scrappy. “All of a sudden we were a smaller team,” she says. “We had to be scrappy, we had to be nimble, we had to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to do things with fewer people, faster, fewer steps, more efficiently. Speed is important. Taking on an entrepreneurial attitude is going to be essential.”

4. Identify and lean into your superpowers. “Figure out how you can take what you are really, really good at and use it as a way to build your own personal brand,” she says. “If you are a leader, think about all of your players and their individual superpowers and bring them together so they complement one another.”

5. Avoid looking in the rearview mirror. “This environment is so different that the more time we spend looking back the more bad information we’re going to have going forward,” she says. “Really spend your time assessing, understanding and analyzing everything about today and the future.”

6. Find your grit. “Grit is the one word I dial up every morning when I get out of bed. I am as challenged as anyone else in this environment to step up to my A game every single solitary day. It’s about that dogged determination to break down brick walls and drive through whatever you need to achieve in the most difficult circumstances. Marry together passion and resilience. This environment calls for all of that. Hard work, putting in the time, not settling for not being able to get it done, and finding your way through.

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Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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