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INTERVIEW: Hayley Quinn reveals how Swarovski continues to sparkle amid a global crisis

It’s safe to say 2020 has not panned out how Swarovski, or any business for that matter, imagined.

For this jewellery firm, 2020 was meant to be about celebrating 125 years in business, with the fashion brand having many events planned to mark this milestone throughout the year.

While the company may not be able to celebrate how it planned, it is still continuing with its mission to ‘Spark Delight’ by putting its employees and customers first and foremost.

Here, we catch up with managing director for the UK & Ireland, Hayley Quinn, to find out what she and the brand have been up to since the nation went into lockdown.

What are you doing to make the most of the digital side of your business?

The primary aspect of maintaining the online business has been ensuring that we are applying safe working practices so that we can protect our employees whilst maintaining that side of the business.

How are you preparing for life after the lockdown?

With agility! It is impossible to know now, what life after the lockdown will look like, so our planning and solutions have to consider both what’s the best case and what’s the worst case and how we move seamlessly between the two. Its less about making a decision and more about deciding how we could respond given a specific set of circumstances.

Can you share anything of the strategy you are putting in place to keep business afloat during this time?

Even during a period of uncertainly such as this, our customers and our employees remain front and center of any strategy; how do we meet the needs of the former whilst ensuring the welfare of the latter? This will undoubtedly lead to some difficult decision making, but our core values won’t change.

How have you been communicating with staff?

Our retail employees have been furloughed and as a result we cannot communicate with them on any business matters. However, our teams are very socially integrated and there are lots of What’s App groups and Microsoft Teams meetings going on. Some of the teams have arranged a collective weekly online yoga workout and I’m aware of one of the warehouse team organising a trivial knowledge quiz for many of their colleagues. Let’s just say it’s bringing out a creative side to many people we haven’t seen before – which bodes extremely well in our plans for the future.

What have you been doing personally to stay sane and make time go by a little faster during self-isolation?

Well personally – if the time were to go any faster I would be at warp-speed! I normally commute to London every day and would have assumed that I would love not having to cope with the daily grind – but actually, I miss the thinking time and the chance to separate work and home. To be honest I’ve been a bit less disciplined about switching off so have now started taking the dog for a run every evening. It makes me separate work and home, is good exercise and the dog is very happy to get a good run around the park.

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