The Brains Trust gives cause to smile

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Meet the Brains Trust. Mother Jilly and daughter Jessica (Jessie) to be precise. The mother and daugher combination behind Jakk, the Australian jewellery brand that has become one of the most vibrant independent forces in the business over the past 16 years since Jilly showed her first collection internationally.

She – and the business – have overcome all sorts of hurdles along the way.  Around three years ago Jilly was confronted by her optometrist with the brutal news that she would go blind unless she had an operation promptly for her cataracts. She kept the news quiet, reasoning that there wasn’t a big market in duty free for blind jewellery designers.

Duly she had the operation but it went badly wrong and for a while Jilly was indeed blind. Support from her family and friends, plus subsequent operations put the same sparkle back in her eyes that had always characterised her jewellery. Jilly – and Jakk – were back in business.

With Jessie now as committed to the business as she was to her mum, the business flourished again – so much so that Jakk has enjoyed a couple of storming years with bright new designs (many of them Jessie’s) and a flurry of new listings around the travel retail globe.

 Jilly’s refreshing and typically Aussie candour is mixed with one of the biggest hearts in the business. Mention a charity promotion or any other good cause and Jakk is there. From the time The Moodie Report got involved in children’s cleft charity The Smile Train, for example, Jakk has been an ardent supporter.

At the recent TFWA Asia Pacific show in Singapore she organised a raffle, drawing on the generosity of not only her own company but of many fellow exhibitors.

The Moodie Report (pictured with Jillie and Jessie – left and second left) had the honour of drawing the prizes and announcing that enough had been raised to fund five life-changing operations for children in emergent countries.

So bravo to the Brains trust and to Jakk, who even during the darkest days of Jilly’s eye problems, never lost their sense of humanity, their inner or outer sparkle, nor the most important vision of all.

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