To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021, we have invited some of the CMJ’s inspirational female members to talk about experiences in their careers and the jewellery and watch industry in general. Here we meet Sif Jakobs, founder and owner of Sif Jakobs Jewellery.
What is your career background?
When I decided that jewellery was going to be my future, I invested in getting to know this industry from all aspects. I educated myself. First as a goldsmith, secondly by working for a foreign jewellery company to get to know the market and the mechanisms in this industry. I used this experience and all these learnings to be clear on the kind of brand I wanted to launch, and I launched my own brand in 2009 and have developed this since.
As a female business owner, is there anything you have done or want to do in the workplace to support gender equality?
I have a certain ability to never be biased. I love differences and the beauty and strengths of being diverse. So I aim at having my team as differentiated as possible. However being in the jewellery industry, it automatically attracts a lot of women but I try to bring different genders in to strengthen the team and the amazing ideas and results that are generated when different genders meet.
Besides that, I believe that strong women have so much power. When my husband was working with me in my company, I experienced that when we went to business meetings together people would address him instead of me, because I was a woman. That annoyed me since I was the name behind the company and the founder. Male business leaders are so commonly accepted so when a woman and a man appear at the same meeting – people instantly believe that the man is the boss. Back then I decided to go forward as a woman whenever possible and to never be biased when I meet a woman and a man together.
We are all for celebrating women’s achievements. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?
From a business aspect, it must be when I won jewellery brand of the year in the UK. Coming from a small country like Denmark where we are always taught that you are never more or better than your neighbour – this was something that I was afraid to even dream about.
When I was on the stage to receive the award and that felt like a huge step. This wouldn’t have been achieved without a lot of work and people behind it, but I was the one in front and going for this and standing on that stage felt like a big milestone.
Do you have a female role model and how has she influenced/inspired your career?
My mum is probably my biggest female role model. She is such a powerful and amazing woman who has never given up on anything. She taught me to believe and keep believing and that hard work pays off.
What would be your one message to other women starting out in their careers now?
It’s going to cost you a lot of nights without sleep. You’ll be worrying and working hard. But you will definitely also feel the upside when things are going well. Make sure to consider that if you want a family don’t complicate it. Both things are possible – but find your own way.
What does International Women’s Day and this year’s #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?
It’s a day that makes me feel like a real woman. A strong woman, which I tend to forget on a daily basis when things are challenging. I feel a connection to women all over the globe on this day because we are reminded that we are all equal. #ChooseToChallenge is a beautiful and strong message and to me it means that you should never settle for less. Challenge the status quo and always aim for more and challenge yourself. It’s about the empowerment of women and encouraging them to trust in themselves as a woman and go get what they want. Never wait for it to happen or even worse wait for a man to make it work!
You can read more International Women’s Day features on our blog. Let us know what you think in the comments section.