Joanna Park-Tonks

“After starting my new venture in the diamond business, I’m so glad that I had a foundation in CI,” says Joanna Park-Tonks, Founder of Chelsea Rocks. “I think business requires knowing the right questions to ask and knowing where to look for the answers.” While Joanna began her career as a Competitive Intelligence Analyst, she is now pursuing new business opportunities with her company Chelsea Rocks. Offering laboratory-grown diamonds, Joanna’s retail business provides beauty and sustainability and aims to educate others in the diamond industry on this forward-thinking method. 

Joanna tells us that her career in the CI world and her new entrepreneurial journey are united by her love of people. In her CI role, Joanna enjoyed acting as an investigative journalist, gleaning information by listening to what others had to tell her and reading between the lines. Joanna’s mastery of German, French and Italian also gave her the unique opportunity to apply all three languages to her career in CI. Now, Joanna has discovered a new language in the jewelry she creates, which targets ethical and design-conscious luxury customers. 

Tune into this week’s episode of Running Into the Fog for a conversation with Joanna about her transition into the jewelry space. Learn more about the overlaps between Joanna’s CI and entrepreneurial roles, the applications of sustainability in the jewelry world, and how the language of jewelry continues to inspire Joanna each and every day.

Quotes

  • “And so, I’ve always sort of approached CI almost as an investigative journalist because I just find people endlessly fascinating: how they talk, what they tell you, what they don’t tell you. And for me, it was just ferreting out that information, which was just endlessly fascinating.” (7:22-7:41)
  • “Jewelry is in itself, in my opinion, a language. If you look at ancient and tribal cultures, jewelry was used in all sorts of contexts, for barter, for religion, for symbolism, for ceremony.” (14:03-14:22)
  • “I think that diamonds, because of their visual appeal, will always be a symbol of celebration. And I think that the thing that has changed the worship in diamonds is that there’s this whole shift around. If you look at what’s happened with hybrid cars and vegan leather and even the milk industry, which is now 25% plant based, I think that there is this massive shift towards sustainability, and asking some quite tough, clear-eyed questions about what one is buying and the provenance of what one is buying.”(15:54-16:33)
  • “My approach to Chelsea Rocks…is that I’m actually working with highly talented gemologist Helen Dimmick from the UK who’s got a national profile. Together, we really tried to create an education-led approach. So, in addition to the podcasts, we’ve also, got a lot of articles, you know, third-party verification certification.”(23:43-24:13)
  • “But that sort of empathy and that concern and that caring…that’s the very essence of Chelsea rocks and how I wish to live my life and conduct my business.” (27:56-28:10)

Links

Connect with Joanna Park-Tonks:

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/