JCK’s 150th: Lightbox CMO Sally Morrison on the Importance of Women in the Industry

JCK magazine is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year! To commemorate that milestone, we’re talking to 150 veteran jewelry professionals in 2019 for a feature series meant to distill the voices of some of the industry’s most enduring and successful professionals.

We can’t print every interview in its entirety in the magazine—so we’ve been posting full interviews here on JCKonline every Thursday.

This week we hear from Sally Morrison, chief marketing officer of De Beers’ lab-grown diamond jewelry collection, Lightbox.

JCK: How long have you been in the jewelry industry, and how has it changed since you joined? 

Sally Morrison: I joined the jewelry industry in 2002, when I came from Miramax Films to JWT to work at the Diamond Information Center. I had a very young child and had been on the road a lot for movie press junkets, and this was described by my predecessor as “a very corporate job,” so I thought it would be an easier assignment and that I could be home more. What a joke! It was incredibly busy, and although we had quite a large team, there was constant pressure to create new news, promote trends, and keep diamonds endlessly in front of consumers. And, of course, we were very frequently in London, because the client, De Beers, was there.

I do think the industry has changed—it’s consolidated and shrunk, become more digital, and so on. And we have all had to learn to do more with less, to pivot, and to be flexible. But that’s not a bad thing: The whole world has changed, and if we want to stay relevant to consumers, we need to learn to move with them. If anything, my view is that we need to change more, particularly in thinking about the role of women within the industry. Despite the fact that women are overwhelmingly our end consumer, they are still underrepresented in decision-making roles, and I think that means we’re missing opportunities.

And—not a new point, but one that cannot be overstated—our marketing communications must reflect the full breadth of what an American woman looks like today.

What’s your experience with JCK magazine? 

I was introduced to JCK in 2002. I honestly had not heard of it before. And on pretty much my first day on the job, my colleague, Brandee Dallow, said, “Here’s a list of the trade reporters you must meet immediately, starting with JCK, because they are so important to the business.”  And I was kind of surprised because in other situations, meeting with the media would not have been my go-to activity for week one!

What has JCK magazine meant to you? 

Well, it’s an institution. I think the magazine does cover anything of significance in the industry, so it is a comprehensive chronicle of our space. Especially important to me is that it contains real, accurate reporting of actual business news, in addition to covering the trends and consumer insights. It’s remarkable to me that this is still possible, despite limited resources, because I appreciate how much time that kind of thorough reporting takes.

Top: Sally Morrison (photo courtesy of Sally Morrison)

Catch up on JCK’s 150th interviews:

Susan M. Jacques, president and CEO of GIA
Marie Helene Morrow, president of Reinhold Jewelers
Jenny Luker, U.S. president of Platinum Guild International
Beth Gerstein, co-CEO of Brilliant Earth
Russell Shor, GIA senior industry analyst
Walter McTeigue, cofounder of McTeigue & McClelland
Caryl Capeci, president of Hearts On Fire
Eddie LeVian, CEO of Le Vian
Peggy Jo Donahue, freelance writer and former JCK editor-in-chief
Rebecca Moskal, jewelry marketing veteran

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