In Conversation with... Dame Kelly Holmes
Well, wow. Where do I start!
Every now and then life throws us an awesome opportunity – and this was one of them! WinchestHer were lucky enough to be invited to speak to national treasure, Dame Kelly Holmes on the eve of her ambassadorship with Burrells Jewellers. More than 100 guests attended her inaugural event at the Winchester store, in the wake of their Watch Retailer of the Year award at the UK Retailer Jewellery Awards 2019.
We caught up with Kelly before the event to pick her brains on mindset, discipline and what the future holds for her new collaboration with a respected, independent family legacy.
What was it that drew you to Burrells and what will your involvement be as an ambassador?
Well, interestingly – I actually bought a watch from Burrells’ Tunbridge Wells store years and years ago! I’ve lived in Kent all my life and that was my main town – I always knew of the shop being there and I wanted to treat myself after winning something – not that I’m an extravagant person but I like the odd nice thing, right?
……….More recently, it just happened that I got chatting to Ed around some of the charity work they do locally – we got talking about all sorts of things, watches, industry, high performance etc. We aligned on the ethos of having something higher end and respecting the craftsmanship.
……….Of course, they’re a local family business, which is something else I really love!
With the opportunity of being an ambassador I’ve attended the Retail Jewellery Awards – where Burrells won Watch Retailer Of The Year! Now I’m here checking out the Winchester store and it’s beautiful – I’ve never even been to Winchester before!
How do you think the discipline of being an athlete has translated into your business life?
It’s so important to find those transferrable skills. There’s so much in common between business and sport: strategy, long term planning, team work.
……….Having the right people around you is vital. In sport it’s having the right physio, partner and coach. I can run round a track as fast as I can, but if my body isn’t working I need my team. It’s exactly the same in business. There are ups and downs, setbacks and rewards.
I can think of people who have been incredibly successful, in both fields, who have been through a journey to get there.
“As long as you stick to the plan and you know what your ultimate goal is… you can be successful.”
Why do you believe exercise is so intrinsically linked to mindset?
More and more now it’s become obvious to people that keeping active can have a positive effect on your wellbeing. Being more positive and getting outside can help with lots of things – with mental health, for example, the advice is always to talk and get active.
……….Keeping your body active, keeps your mind active. You might just go for a walk and get some fresh air, take some ‘me-time’ or get fit with other people. Any of that is going to help with your mindset and overall positivity.
……….Sport has an ability to engage with people – so many people struggle with stress and anxiety, but life is just stressful! You can combat that stress with things like Park Run – run off, run with people, run off the stress!
If your athletic career has given you one vital skill, what would it be?
Resilience. When you go through life there are ups and downs, just like I’ve had in my athletic career. But, if you have resilience, you can look back on what you’ve done before and give yourself a pat on the back to keep yourself going.
……….When you hit the down times, it’s easy to give up, become negative and tell yourself you can’t do it, you’re worthless and it’s all going wrong. If you can look back and remind yourself of what you can do, you’ll realise you can carry on.
Positivity is what comes from building your resilience.
You learn by things that you perceive to be a failure or a negative at the time. The only way to be better is to make mistakes.
What does the future hold for you and Burrells as a collaboration?
Well, we’ve got the event tonight which we hope will bring in lots of new faces. It’s such a wonderful and beautiful business!
……….I want to cement the relationships here – including encouraging Ed Burrell to join me on a Park Run! It’s a two way thing, I bring my positivity and mindset to this family business based on craftsmanship and charity. If I can be a voice for that and bringing those values into the industry, that’s where we can work together. We align on those connections and there will be ways in which we can use that in the future.
……….Like all trades at the moment, this industry is changing – Burrells is hoping to be a part of leading that change within the industry. Working with Ed, I’ve found that we’re both passionate about those changes.
Ed: “We’re starting with taking you down a mine, Kelly!”
Kelly: “I’m so up for that!”
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