Daren Daniels gets 20minutes with Paula Grenney the lead figure of The Guild of Valuers & Jewellers

I met Paula too many years ago now, more than I care to think about, she basically took over a role that I had loved and fronted for over 2 years as the company launched into the jewellery market, back then it was called online appraiser for those that can remember. It was a time when people still thought the internet was phase and wouldn’t take off, how wrong so many were.

Let’s jump forward to now, the GV&J has become one of the most well know and respected services in the UK trade for valuations. Paula is one of the most professional and motivated individuals I’ve had the pleasure to meet with a big sense of fun thrown into the mix.

We thought is was time to get to know a little about this professional who has worked so hard at the top of the trade for many years, so let’s hear from Paula in her own words.

Q. How did you come to work for the company, what attracted you?

I graduated from Bristol University with a joint honours degree in Sociology and Social policy. It was perfect for me to head into a career as a social worker, counsellor, teacher, or even a politician…none of which I wanted to do.

At the time I was working part-time in Waitrose to support my studies. They offered me an opportunity on their graduate training scheme to become a Branch Manager. The money looked good, so I thought I’d give it a go. I’d just missed out on that year’s enrolment, but they assured me that it wasn’t a problem, and they would start me off on the shop floor as a trainee manager until the next round of applications.

I lasted two weeks before I decided it wasn’t for me. I was nobody’s slave, and quite frankly the customer is not always right!

I walked from Waitrose and headed to the nearest temping agency and there was The Guild of Valuers & Jewellers. They were looking for an Administrator and I was employed straight away.

That’s where I fell in love with the Jewellery trade, and my passion for valuations was born. I have worked through various roles within the company, and I’m very proud to now be Business Operations Manager.

Q. Are you all work no play or tell us about what do you get up to at the weekends

I enjoy a good balance of work and play. Whilst I’ve calmed down in my latter years, the weekends are still very sociable with friends and family. I love cooking, running and going to Spas. My two children keep me on my toes with their various activities. I enjoy a spot of DIY too. It’s always so satisfying to see the rewards of your hard work.

Q. Who do you look up to in the trade and why

I’m a bit of a feminist at heart, so seeing any woman in a position of power has always inspired me. When I first joined the trade, it was very much an “old boys club” and many women were in substandard positions. Fast-forward 20 years and there’s more women filling big roles now, that’s really lovely to see.

There are several women that have inspired me along the way. Without naming names, we have been on this journey through the trade together.

Q. What’s the biggest challenge to you achieving your ambitions?

Running a valuation company requires qualified valuers to do the work. Since the pandemic, many have retired or slowed down their business, or are simply inundated with work themselves. This makes them much harder to come by. They’re highly skilled individuals, so if you know of anyone wanting valuing work, please point them in my direction.

No one could have foreseen the pandemic and its impact on our industry. To have come through it and to be thriving is amazing. My ambitions beyond here …well that would be telling. Lots more to come from me!

Q. What achievements are you most proud of?

I have to say my two children – they’re beautiful, wonderful beings and I’m immensely proud of them.

Personal achievements have to be taking over and running the company. It’s been a very rewarding journey and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

Click here to contact or learn more about Paula and the GVJ

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