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Game Changers: Sarah Harris Interviews Jewellery Queen Karin Adcock

Successful business leaders always share similar traits: they’re determined, resourceful, ambitious, and most definitely passionate about their brand.

But above all, they’re visionaries.
They’re what we like to call Game Changers: that rare and special breed who change the way something is done, thought about, or made, without breaking their stride.
To learn more about what makes these driven individuals tick, we’ve gathered some of the nimblest business minds in Australia for an exciting new video and audio podcast series, called Game Changers.
With popular Studio 10 TV host, Sarah Harris leading the interviews, each week we introduce a leader in their respective field who shares their amazing story and secrets to their success.
The first episode features the inspiring Karin Adcock, founder and CEO of House of Brands, who also owned the Australian sector of jewellery giant PANDORA for eight years.
Game changer behind the scene
Behind the scenes of the Game Changers shoot: Karin Adcock and Sarah Harris chat to Screentide Film Director Adam Marks. Photographer Cliff Kent
From her garage in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the mum-of-three built PANDORA into a $200 million Australian business before she sold out to private equity ahead of a stock market listing of the Danish parent company in 2010.
More than three years later, the former school teacher now has the exclusive distribution rights for a new jewellery collection, the US-based eco-spiritual Alex and Ani brand, which is rapidly expanding its retail reach across Australia and New Zealand.
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to go back into the jewellery industry,” Karin tells host Sarah Harris.
“But having said that, when I parted with PANDORA it was almost like losing a child. I missed that interaction with the retailers, the staff and the customers, and being able to create something.
“So when Alex and Ani contacted me, I got really intrigued by this brand. It represented some very unique and different things, which I hadn’t seen before in jewellery.”
Made out of recycled brass, with a silver or gold finish, the Alex and Ani range instantly resonated with Karin’s eco-friendly ethos to life.
“These pieces have had a life of their own before, which I think has such a strong positive message.”
Despite her stellar success, Karin confides to Sarah that it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
She credits being entrusted with big projects early on in her career for giving her self-confidence in her abilities, but like everyone, she had doubts to overcome along the way.
“When PANDORA was at some point around $70 to $80 million, I thought ‘Oh My God, I can’t do this, I’m a school teacher, what would I know about a P&L’.
“I engaged a business coach because I felt that probably I should walk away because I wasn’t the right person to lead it to the next level.
“And at same time had such strong feeling around what should happen with the company, so I didn’t really want to give it away.
“I was never afraid of what I wasn’t good at which meant we could collectively work out where my weaknesses were and make sure we have a very strong management team around me. I then became the glue between the different parties – we work very much together as a team.”
Alex and Ani owner Karin Adcock shares her wisdom in The Carousel's Game Changer series. Photographer Cliff Kent
House of Brands founder Karin Adcock, with US jewellery brand ALEX AND ANI, shares her wisdom in The Carousel’s Game Changer series

For more about Karin Adcock’s exciting new jewellery company Alex and Ani, please click here.

Presenter

Written by Presenter

Sarah Harris has been our resident presenter of Game Changers since it first began in 2016. She is also a mum of two, journalist and host of Network Ten’s news-based panel show, ‘Studio 10’ and 'Shark Tank'.
Sarah has spent more than a decade on the road as a reporter, covering some of the biggest stories around the world.
Before moving to Network 10, she worked for more than a decade at Channel Nine as the network’s go to reporter: delivering extended live coverage from Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, the Christchurch earthquake and Queensland’s devastating floods in 2011.

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