Monil Shah, Vandan Associates inc.

Embracing the Future: Exploring the Diamond Industry’s Evolution in Canada

Monil Shah, the dynamic founder of Valour Lab-Grown Diamonds, has been at the forefront of the industry’s transformation. His journey began when he attended a seminar on “The Future of Lab-Grown Diamonds” at the Hong Kong Jewellery Trade Show. Despite initial skepticism, Monil recognized the untapped potential of lab-grown diamonds. Today, Valour Lab-Grown Diamonds is flourishing, driven by the demand for affordable alternatives and the influence of social media. Monil will delve into the rise of lab-grown diamonds, their market potential, and how they are reshaping the industry.

AJ Rooney

Embracing the Future: Exploring the Diamond Industry’s Evolution in Canada​

With seven locations across Newfoundland & Labrador, Bogart’s Jewellers has become a prominent retailer in Atlantic Canada. A.J. Bogart, alongside his father Richard, has successfully steered the family business into the future. A.J. will share his insights on embracing change, creating a seamless customer experience, and leveraging online presence and social media to stay ahead in the industry. His modern approach and innovative strategies have made Bogart’s Jewellers a go-to destination for customers seeking quality and unique designs.

Jewellery in films: What are the opportunities

As CEO of the Canadian International Fashion Film Festival, Roger brings over 40 years of various roles in the fashion industry to the festival. Roger also sits on the Board of Directors for the Commonwealth Fashion Council (CFC). Based in London, England, the CFC is a fashion body of 54 nations promoting fashion education, youth and gender empowerment, and responsibility. He also served eight years on the board of directors of Fashion Group International ~ Toronto, including three years as its Regional Director. Furthermore, he sat on the Advisory Board for Canada Fashion Group Inc. which hosted the largest fashion weeks in Canada: Toronto Men’s Fashion Week and Toronto Women’s Fashion Week.

Social media and digital marketing for jewellers and jewellery brands

Dr Samaneh Soleimani is an assistant professor at the Australian Institute of Business (AIB), Australia. She holds a PhD in business and management from University of South Australia (UniSA). She has extensive experience in applying qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods. Her research and teaching interests include consumer behaviour, digital marketing, digital business start-up, entrepreneurship and tourism. She has published in international journals such as Journal 0f Business Research, Current Issues in Tourism, Journal of Strategic Marketing, and Tourism Review.

Elevating client experience with thoughtful and strategic Interior Design

Diana Rose is known for luxurious interior designs with an approachable, signature style that blends both modern and transitional aesthetics. Diana’s multi-layered interiors are influenced by her love of nature and travel. She has worked on a multitude of full-build and interior design projects. Regardless of project size or scope, she strives to deliver tailored and sophisticated spaces that are infused with warmth and achieve her clients' unique vision of "home."

Sparkling Success: Unveiling strategies for jewelers to shine online

We believe that our retail partner’s priority should be to focus on building a trustworthy relationship with their customers.” With over 12 years of experience within Swatch Group as the Hamilton watch Brand Manager in Canada, Thomas has gained in-depth knowledge of the industry and, more specifically, a profound understanding of the requirements of providing authorized jewellers and luxury brands with industry knowledge to increase their brand presence online and through in-person activations. The company’s motto is “Connecting a network of authorized retailers with brands.

Colleen Montague, Founder of Moissy Fine Jewellery

Diversity in the luxury world panel

Colleen Montague is the owner of Moissy Fine Jewellery, specializing in Moissanite gemstones. Her passion for this diamond alternative has revolutionized how people shop for engagement rings and jewellery. With affordable prices, exceptional brilliance, and environmental sustainability, Montague has introduced Moissanite as a game-changing gem. As the exclusive retailer in North America, she offers a personalized experience in her showrooms and connects with clients through social media. Montague's dedication to educating consumers and providing outstanding customer service has made her a leader in the industry. Colleen was featured in many magazines including Canadian Jeweller.

Ivor Pinder, General Manager Versace Canada

Diversity in the luxury world panel

Ivor Pinder is a prominent figure in the fashion industry, known for his contributions to the Versace brand in Canada. Born London, England then immigrating to Toronto, Ontario at the age of three then returning to the UK at 16 , Ivor developed a deep passion for fashion at a young age, which eventually led him to pursue a career in the industry. Ivor's journey with fashion began when he joined Harrods in London England as a retail supervisor at their standalone store in London prestigious Knightsbridge area. With his innate sense of style, impeccable customer service, and a keen eye for detail, he quickly caught the attention of the management team. Recognizing his exceptional talent and dedication, Ivor was given opportunities to take on more significant responsibilities within the organization. Through his hard work and commitment to excellence, Ivor steadily climbed the ranks at Harrods and beyond, working at a management level in Selfridges UK , Farfetch and as a Retail Consultant in China for over a year. On his return to the Canadian market. Ivor continued this trend at notable companies Nordstroms and Hugo boss before landing his current role in Versace.

Diversity & the world of luxury: Visible minorities are breaking down walls and creating opportunities for all

Anita Agrawal is the CEO of the multi-award winning Canadian jewellery manufacturing company, Best Bargains and the brand Jewels 4 Ever. The company is a recipient of the Organization of Women in International Trade’s, 2012 Ontario Woman Exporter of the Year award and the Profit W100 in 2010. In both 2021 and 2022 Anita has also won 4 prestigious International Jewellery design awards for her unique and one of kind jewellery through INSTORE magazine. She oversees the sales, promotions, advertising, jewellery designing and media relations of the company. Best Bargains has been in business for over 31 years and has products that are shipped globally. They specialize in low cost gemstone jewellery which they sell to over 13,000 small businesses and several corporate clients including: Walmart Canada, The Bay, TD Visa, RBC rewards and much more. As an industry expert, Anita has been interviewed for leading Canadian and international magazines, newspapers and TV, including the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Profit Magazine, Canadian Jeweller, BNN and many, many more. In addition to her work at Best Bargains, Anita is a part time professor at the School of Business, Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario. Anita’s commitment to her local civic and business community led her to run as both a provincial and a federal political candidate in 2007 and 2008. She recently shared her experiences as a political candidate in her recent 2020 Tedx Talk “Oh, so You’re the Candidate?” to encourage other women to run for political office. She has extensive experience as the president and vice president of eight Not for Profit associations, including being the president of the Organization of Women in International Trade, Toronto Chapter for 4 years. Anita holds a B.Sc (hons) in human biology from the University of Toronto, a post graduate diploma in E-commerce from Centennial College and an MA in Social Anthropology from Carleton University in Ottawa. She has also taken executive courses at The Rotman School of Business and was chosen as one of twelve Canadian mentees for the Accenture Supplier diversity training program for 2013-2014.

Diversity in the luxury world panel

Multidisciplinary designer, entrepreneur and activist are all different ways one can begin to describe George Sully. Based in Toronto, with an impressive worldwide network, Sully has established a collective of multifaceted companies that leverage him as an innovative player in the world of multimedia content creation and fashion design. Celebrated CAFA Change-maker Award winner, George Brown honorary degree recipient and FGI Visionary Award Winner, Sully is also known for his collaborations that include but not limited to, DHL, EBAY, Disney, Hudson’s Bay, and Mercedes Benz. Sully is also a Bata Shoe Museum inductee, creator of Black designers of Canada, co-founder of House of Hayla and creator of break-out brand Sully & Son Company.