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Home » 10 Questions For Casey Lane Of Lanes & Co

10 Questions For Casey Lane Of Lanes & Co

Casey Lane set up Lanes & Co which deals in luxury jewellery including gold, watches and precious gemstones. The business has bases in Newcastle and London.

What was your first job (and how much did it pay)? My first job was at the pub next door to my house working as a waitress. My hourly rate was £4.20. I look back and can’t believe I gave up my weekends for that however I absolutely loved it.

What is the best advice or support you’ve been given in business? Go into the room where you know the least rather than the most. This advice was given to me by my form teacher in high school and it really resonated with me. He probably said it back then because I likely thought I knew everything since I was always the loudest in the classroom. I believe that being aware that you don’t know everything and being open to learning from others is key to growing a business and as a person.

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What are the main changes you’ve seen in your business/sector, and what are the challenges you’re facing? Two major changes and challenges are notable when considering this question. Firstly, the economic downturn has had a significant impact on the jewellery and luxury goods sector. People no longer have the same level of disposable income, resulting in a decrease in retail sales.

Secondly, the diamond market has been influenced by the introduction of lab-grown stones, affecting the price of natural stones to some extent. While I do not oppose lab-grown stones, as I understand they may be more suitable for certain budgets, I am frustrated by the way they are being marketed. Advertisements often falsely suggest that natural stones are harmful to the environment, which is not the case.

What would your dream job be? Without sounding cliché, I believe I am in it. I have found my passion within the jewellery industry. It brings me joy and I never experience that ‘ugh it’s Monday again’ feeling, which I believe is a sign that I am on the right path. My dream is to expand my company, Lanes & Co, to increase our buying and selling capabilities on a larger scale. I have many ideas for the future, and I am excited to see where they will take us.

What advice would you give to someone starting out a career in your sector? Don’t be too afraid to make mistakes – they happen. A lot of what I do involves buying and selling, so scared money doesn’t make money. Try not to rush any decisions, especially when you are starting out. Don’t be afraid to ask people for advice. I still find myself checking with others in the trade, especially when buying in. Creating a strong, positive reputation in the trade is key. Help where you can and stand by your word.

What makes the North East a good place to do business? I believe that the B2B community in the North is something to be proud of. A strong support system makes things that little bit easier. In the North East, particularly in the city centre, there is no one else doing what we are doing by emphasizing luxury products and services from a non-chain company. This allows our unique selling proposition to shine. Most importantly, everyone is friendly and supportive, and the support I have received since launching last year has been incredible.

How important is it for business to play a role in society? Now, more than ever, it is extremely important to be visible as a founder and as a business. People tend to show interest in you and your story when you are a founder, as I have experienced when looking at other companies. Sometimes, a more personal approach can lead to a better response than a standard marketing strategy, as people appreciate getting to know the person behind the business. If you are not visible and present in the right places, how can they get to know you? It is also crucial to support others in your sector and beyond.

Outside of work, what are you really good at? This is probably the question I dread to answer. Admittedly I am terrible and trying to find that work life balance. I think starting a business you can lose that life away from the work element, which is where I currently am. I do try to remind myself that you are only in your 20s once. So I would hope in the right setting I am just good at being a 23-year-old.

Who would play you in a film about your life? Taraji P Henson for sure! I think she is one of the most captivating and strong female actresses of all time.

Which three people would you invite to a dinner party, and why? Firstly Steven Barlett: he is someone I look up to from a business perspective and would recommend to any business owner to follow. I would love to run my future plans by him more so than ever since he become a Dragon on Dragons’ Den. Secondly Tracey Ellison – international diamond dealer because I would be eager to find out how she got started in the industry. Finally, my grandma as I would be nowhere without her endless love and support, especially throughout the process of setting up Lanes & Co.

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