As autumn draws in, we review another year at International Jewellery London at Earl's Court last week. This year, like the weather, the show blew hot and cold, with some exhibitors having a great show and others feeling the pinch. IGL (International Gemstones Ltd) were showcasing some imaginative designs by Elke Berr, the famous Swiss jewellery designer, alongside our array of multicoloured gemstones and diamonds, with some very funky footwear by Kurt Geiger and Marc Jacobs. These turned people's heads men and women alike as did our "Red Edition" stand.

Whilst the exhibitors were there in all their glory, attendance was disappointing. In fact it felt better attended last year, even with a tube strike on. I'm sure people's fears about the economy were partly to blame. However, this can be a self fulfilling prophecy. IGL is working to dispel that mind set. My view is that when times become challenging, that is the when to try something a little different - show your customers something creative. Show them you're moving your collection forward. Not a total departure from your core collection, but move it forward. Work closer with your gemstone and jewellery suppliers and they will go the extra yard for you.

Create reason to contact your customers. They in turn, stay aware of your inspiring collections.It is the innovators who get noticed when times get tough. My selection of coloured gems, especially the mixed coloured sapphires and collection of brown diamonds certainly show potential for interesting jewellery that protects the bottom line. Opportunities always exist during difficult times and there is always more time available to plan for them. Use the time to develop your strategies - may be through your website, your collections – making them stand out (using colour), and your relationships with your customers and suppliers.