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George Hadary of Astteria Diamonds: “Invest in relationships as well as your business”

“Invest in relationships as well as your business”. If I trace the trajectory of my career back, it’s like my hard work and drive has always been coupled with being tuned into welcome coincidences. Sure, a one-time deal is great, but a business relationship built on an alignment of ideas and goals is worth its […]

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“Invest in relationships as well as your business”.

If I trace the trajectory of my career back, it’s like my hard work and drive has always been coupled with being tuned into welcome coincidences. Sure, a one-time deal is great, but a business relationship built on an alignment of ideas and goals is worth its weight in gold (or in my case, diamonds!).


As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing George Hadary, also widely referred to as ‘George the Jeweller’. George has fifteen years of experience in the diamond industry, is a certified gemologist, and holds a degree in engineering.

George’s love affair with diamonds began as a manufacturer but evolved rather quickly into the jewellery business. He is an expert in special diamonds, especially large diamonds and rare diamonds.

In 2012, George founded Astteria UK, which was a natural move given his British background. With his exceptional interpersonal skills, it is impossible not to take a liking to the man who lives and breathes diamonds and luxury jewellery, but also has plenty of time to be a family man to his wife and children.

One of George’s strongest qualities, in addition to being incredibly friendly and professional, is his accessibility and relatability, which goes hand in hand with his belief in giving the absolute best service to his customers.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My career direction was originally in engineering. I studied industrial engineering at university with Aviad Bashari of Eliyahu Bashari Diamonds LTD. We spent hours studying together throughout all our courses, which is how we became such good friends.

Aviad joined his seasoned gemologist father’s business, which he established in 1978. It was Aviad who encouraged me to join their growing company. I was employed, and newly married, so I was nervous about taking chances by becoming invested in a business.

However, Aviad would not relent, reassuring me that it would all work out. I took a second mortgage on my first apartment, and that is how my diamond career began.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

Every new venture includes some hard times, and my personal journey was no exception.

My first client was one that I met on the way out of another client’s office. Realising that I was a new supplier, he asked to see my merchandise. Of course, I was thrilled to find a new client, and he was ecstatic with the stones I showed him.

He made an offer on some of the diamonds, and after discussing it with my partner, we decided to make the deal. We gave him the merchandise and he gave us a check. Everything happened so quickly and smoothly. Too quickly, and too smoothly.

We deposited the check the next day and after a few days, it bounced. That was a great lesson in dealing with clients, particularly new ones, and how to fit credit payments into safe diamond transactions.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Even though I encountered some difficulties during my career, my drive to continue and persevere remained. This was because I saw that I was able to make progress each year that went by.

I was selling more and more merchandise, and slowly but surely we decided to focus on particular niches. One such niche was fancy colour diamonds. Although I was told that these types of stones were not suitable for England, I saw it as a challenge and decided to go for it!

I knew I wouldn’t have much competition and would find clients that were interested in our products. The next stage was to create fancy colour diamond jewelry and that’s how the brand Astteria London was born.

So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Today, we are seeing great success in our business. Essentially, it’s already been three or four years that we’ve been advertising and selling our diamonds via pictures and videos that are shared on all major digital marketing platforms. These include WeChat, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook.

Our efforts in the marketing sphere are twofold:

To attract potential clients, and to present them with our wares. Drawing in customers is done through organic and financed online marketing and advertising.

The second part, presenting our products, holds tremendous significance as the photos and videos we share speak for themselves. With the high quality images and presentation that we provide, our audience has a clear idea regarding the type of prestigious item they would be purchasing.

Additionally, we understand the power of online sales and have therefore built a physical showroom where our stones can be viewed in person.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I remember one great story, but it’s not necessarily funny or about a mistake. It’s more about luck, fate, and good faith.

During one of my first visits to London, I was determined to find new clients. My idea was to walk through the streets and stop in stores instead of taking the Underground; because this way I wouldn’t miss a single opportunity.

I happened to come across a jewellery store and walked inside, asking to speak to the boss. After being told that he had taken a lunch break and I shouldn’t bother waiting for him, I decided to go with my gut and wait for him to return.

Fifteen minutes after he was supposed to return, I walked back inside the shop and was told to wait a moment. A minute later, an older man emerged and greeted me warmly. We spoke, and he told me how he loved Israel, and we even had some mutual acquaintances!

He asked for a specific heart-shaped 1.5-carat diamond, and the very next day I called to tell him that I had found one for him. He was thrilled and made the money transfer, telling me that he would wait patiently for his diamond to arrive.

I love this story for several reasons. First of all, it shows that persistence always pays off. Secondly, having faith in people, in my abilities as a salesman, and that things have a way of working that has stayed with me till today.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

What makes our company stand out is our extensive collection of large precious gemstones that is unparalleled. We incorporate emeralds into many of our jewellery pieces, as well as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

The market has become practically unrecognisable now that everything is online. We would recommend changing your direction in terms of how to approach consumers.

Service must be provided online at all times, with access to images of all items that are in stock. The images that are shared must be high resolution and as close to the actual item as possible. Today, every company has to have a website and a real presence on social media platforms to help market their products.

So much of marketing has shifted to social media, which provides potential buyers with an entirely new way of being exposed to products. This is why it is imperative to make these accounts engaging, exciting, and unique.

Furthermore, pricing must be accurate and competitive since today’s online shoppers are constantly comparing prices with other sites.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

First of all, the entire staff at Astteria London gets along wonderfully with one another; on a personal level as well as on a business level. This makes getting to each stage of the diamond jewellery process so much easier; whether it’s turning concepts into a reality, creating new goals and visions, or bringing the final product to the market.

Teamwork is of utmost importance to us, which is why we place such significance in every single role. Each role is linked to one another, and cannot exist on its own without the help of other team members.

Therefore, it is difficult to give credit to just one person, one role. I will repeat and say that without every member of our fabulous staff, we would not be where we are today.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

One of our core values is realising that our success is never a given and should not be taken for granted.

Like all businesses, we too understand that companies face ups and downs. This is why we are trying to do our part during these trying times by giving charity to those who are struggling financially due to the pandemic.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company would definitely be:

  1. “You can do it, but you have to earn it!”

It’s always nice to hear a bit of encouragement, and following my gut has helped me out more than once in my career. Still, a little encouragement never goes astray.

2. “Never stop learning”.

If I hadn’t been engaged with learning (although I was studying engineering) I would never have met Aviad and started my career. Now that I have, I try to be open-minded to new ideas, and encourage our team to be as well.

3. “It’s worth nothing if you can’t share it”.

I mean this in the sense of not only sharing wealth with those who are less fortunate, but sharing the journey. This might be with your family, with your employees, and via taking time to reflect and impart knowledge on to the next generation.

4. “You have to make your bones”.

I’m not sure this is something that I needed to be told, but it’s something that I would offer as advice to any new business leaders. I started, as if on my own, in a new country going door-to-door. How things have changed! It won’t always be easy, but it will get better.

5. Because of this, my last piece of advice I wish I’d heard earlier would be, “Invest in relationships as well as your business”.

If I trace the trajectory of my career back, it’s like my hard work and drive has always been coupled with being tuned into welcome coincidences. Sure, a one-time deal is great, but a business relationship built on an alignment of ideas and goals is worth its weight in gold (or in my case, diamonds!).

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I can answer this question in one word: education. Influencing and encouraging the younger generation to succeed at school, focus on important values, and develop deep interpersonal relationships is key to providing them with the necessary tools for building a successful career.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of teenagers who are growing up in challenging conditions without the proper support and resources needed to jumpstart a promising future.

Every child has the ability to grow and blossom but doesn’t always have a support system that would really help take their skills to the next level. This is something I’d love to have a part in changing.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @astteria, @astteria_london

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ASTTERIA.DIAMONDS/

and our website is www.astteria.com.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining!

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