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Reflecting back on 2017; we introduced to you the Browns Living Well Programme and with it, the two minute meditation which I believe has become so much a part of who we are that it is difficult to believe that we commenced with this just a year ago. We hosted a spring day event with a difference that focused on Gratitude. In 2017 our birthday celebrations became colourful and exciting. We are now afforded the opportunity to enjoy some quality time with Larry and the Senior Management Team. We introduced the “Gift that Keeps on Giving” and I am sure there are quite a few children in our homes that are benefiting from this special gift, I know my little girl is. Yes, February 14th is Valentines Day. We are already in the month of Love. But what is Love? The dictionary defines love as “a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend”. Feeling loved and loving another brings you joy, peace and happiness. I challenge every single one of you to firstly; love yourself, love the next person the way you would want them to love you, love what you do and let it show in the pieces you create; love life and live it well! Come on...Love us, because we surely do Love You!


s is customary here at Browns we ended 2017 in grand fashion with our Family Fun Day at Gold Reef City, being the highlight. I am certain that this event touches the lives of our families every year and adds a little extra joy to their year end festivities. Speaking of touching lives; we never miss an opportunity to brighten the lives of little ones who do not receive the love and care we are fortunate to experience and seeing that December is a time of giving Browns stays true to their commitment as we hand out Teddies for yet another year. All you need is Love, Love is all you need - so say the Beatles and I am inclined to agree! It’s that time again when the school shopping has come to an end and the stores have been decorated for the next event on the calendar. If you are a parent you will be thinking about what your child is going to wear to school for Valentines day and just as you thought you were done with the school shopping there is another requirement on the list.



from Albert

Hard to believe that we are already more than 1/12 into 2018! When we pause to appreciate what great people we have in our team, and realise what it means to be part of a team of the Best People, it certainly warms our hearts! This years recruitment for the Diamond Leap students will be in February, and this is such a great opportunity for us to get more of the Best People involved in our training programme. The selection process for eligible students is aimed at identifying individuals with the same core values that will tie in with our existing Browns family. Unemployment is certainly right there at the top of the list of challenges that we all witness on a daily basis. It is our responsibility to strive to create meaningful employment opportunities to improve the situation. By supporting local brands and industry, we know that the money and jobs stay in South Africa and stimulates our local economy. As an organisation, we need to grow and expand to serve this purpose and to create a safe and sustainable platform for generations to follow. When we celebrate birthdays at the office, people often mention their years of service, and it is encouraging to see how many people are sculpting careers and finding a home in the Browns family! ☺ Every single day is filled with opportunities to train and grow confidence; -I would like to encourage all of us to recognise and make full use of these opportunities to grow ourselves and those around us!

Getting to know you Name: Zinzile Burns Department: Stone Allocation Years/Months with Browns: 1 Year 7 Months


What song is stuck in your head?

“Meant to be” by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line. 1.

How long have you been part of the Browns Family, and where did you start?

1 Year and 7 months, started of as 2IC in Stone Allocation. 2.

I love working at Browns because...

I get to see the most stunning creation come to life, especially the Diamond Halo Ring with the Emerald centre (1.75ct).


What is your all time favourite movie?

Maid in Manhattan. 8.

What is your ultimate holiday destination?

Italy 9.

What are three things you can’t live without?

My son

3. What is something most people don’t know about you?


I used to play hockey.

10. Your words to live by?


“Never say never”

What is your best feature?


My quite strength.

11. In 5 years time you hope to be...


Travelling and seeing the beauty that the world has to

If you could trade places with any one person for a week, who would it be?


Kerry Washington – Then I could get some insight on how she plays Olivia Pope on the Fixer.

Sharpening The Tool by Christopher Pretorius



oving what we do, an eye for the finest detail, and every brain in the game, are all elements that are required to set a stone successfully. At Browns we use the highest quality diamonds, and it is essential that these diamonds are showcased by the highest possible standards. In order for us to achieve this result, we need to consider the setting process from stone selection to the final product. To stay ahead of the pack in the Jewellery industry, we need to be brave enough to take risks in trying new and different setting styles to set us apart from our competitors. A setting’s journey starts in the CAD department where the Design Team experiments with different sizes, shapes and forms of claws. 2D Concept Design is the first step in bringing a jewellery piece to life. Our CAD Operator takes the 2D design groundwork, and models it with the understanding that each model will go through various processes in the workshop and therefore it is essential that the designs are created with each step in mind. This means that it must be considered how the claws will shrink in Preparation; from the form of the claws to the design that might distort during wax injection or mould release, as well as the challenges that might be faced in the Casting Department with regard to shrinkage In order for the design details to translate all the way through into the final product, it is essential that all the departments take the necessary time to analyze the piece, as well as all the information provided in the special instructions. It is vital

that feedback is given via the feedback forms in order to know how well a piece travels through the different departments, and where adjustments might need to be made. A good example of the attention to detail required would be the “My True North” engagement rings, where from wax cleaning to polishing, it is important to maintain the form and thickness of the claws. We have made improvements on our framed pave setting by standardizing the wall thickness of the “frame” as well as the claws we use. The claws we are using are a specific distance from the walls and from each other, and it is through training and the guidelines provided that we can achieve excellent results. Newly introduced to our range is our Square Pin Pave setting, identifiable by its deliberate cushion shaped claws. The development of this setting has come a long way and it has been thoroughly considered to create a setting that is new and in-line with advancing techniques. Although the claws are spaced very close together, our incredible setters have the skills to precisely split the claws and define their shape. It’s important to notice the continuity of the form of the setting, and how this is emphasised through the meticulous polishing by our Polishing and Finishing department. We have various shaped claws that we use to set free-size stones, and it is through the rendered images provided in the Bag that it is possible the eliminate miscommunication when it comes to how the setter shapes the claws in the finishing stages of setting. The Stones Department have been scanning all free-size stones, with the aim of settings being designed to perfectly fit the stone that will be set in that particular model, thereby contributing to our setting success, as we have had challenges regarding this in the past. This assists in producing more accurate and precise models with no metal showing around stones after setting.

The integrity of the design can either be maintained or compromised during filing. It is up to our skilled Filing Department to stay true to the instructions specified. Claws are worked-off just enough to not alter the shape and size or metal thickness required to successfully set a stone. The polishing department also plays a vital role in how our settings are refined and is the last step that could affect the success of the setting in the very last stage of production. It is with this in mind that our pieces are designed to compensate for metal thicknesses of the claws and walls, or exaggerate shapes and forms if necessary, to allow for some metal loss in areas where the piece will naturally be more exposed to polishing mops. We have also made major advancements with our millgraining techniques by challenging our boundaries and experimenting with new methods. Our CAD models are now printed with the millgrain already added on, and these models sail through the workshop with beautiful results. As we strive to continually make setting easier and more efficient for our setters, we will be focusing on the standardization of setting types in 2018. We are continually working on achieving specific claw heights and thicknesses. By supplying the setters with tools and setting guidelines which are displayed on the walls of the setting department (also available electronically), we ensure that all the claws are identical and that our jewellery in the stores are uniform and are identifiable as “Browns” pieces.

Communication and collaboration between each department is a large reason why these advancements have been possible for us. Feedback is essential in eliminating obstacles preventing us from achieving our goals. Success is only possible if each department ensures that the design maintains its identity, before handing it over to the next department. In essence, focussing on what the next department needs to effortlessly and efficiently proceed with a particular jewellery model will ensure that we continue producing excellent jewellery pieces.

PRODUCTIVITY FOCUS Tsebo Chrstopher Moleleki How long have you been with Browns? 2 Years What are your hobbies? Reading, sport and music. My current favourite is Dr Tumi “No other God” Tell us what you are passionate about: One of my greatest passions is helping others. When I was younger, I enjoyed helping my Mom with household repairs. As I grew older that habit grew and I desired to help others as well. I like helping people find solutions that meet their specific needs.

When I am involved with a project at work I want to do my best to achieve success. I also feel the same way about what I do in my personal life. I am also passionate about animals – I have two dogs with whom I enjoy early morning walks on weekends. It helps me focus and gather my thoughts.

What is your secret to high productivity and a high FTA rate: FTA 95%. I do my work with ease and focus to avoid complications and I am willing to invest time in what I do. This helps in maintain a high FTA rate. The passion I have for jewellery is my secret to high productivity.

I am passionate about making a difference.


Code Focus by Brian Chingarire

BEST PEOPLE “Best” means something that is of the most excellent or desirable quality. Some synonyms are; finest, top, supreme, incomparable or ultimate. All of these are used when describing a Brown’s Ambassador. Another new year is upon us and it brings with it a great opportunity to up our game to remain the best. To stay ahead of the pack, it is important how you start the race, run the race and finish the race of the year 2018. A new year brings with it a new level of thinking which breeds a higher level of groundbreaking results. There are few habits that contribute to making the Best People successful; 1. What you plan for gets done. Success is being consistent in planning to ensure goals are achieved through structure and processes that are flexible enough to accommodate the changing needs that new growth demands.

What better way to kick-off 2018 than to reflect and celebrate some of our many successes of 2017! In 2017 we focussed a lot of our energy on improving the quality of our jewellery, while continuously striving to find better and easier ways of doing things. Introducing the FTA (First Time Acceptance) helped us to easily measure ourselves and our departments’ efficiencies.

Sifiso Myeni

In 2017, the workshop produced 39 882 items of jewellery of which 5385 were Collection Orders! In the beginning of last year our FTA was at 95% and through collaborative focus in all departments, we ended 2017 on a FTA rating of 99%! ☺ Another Goal for 2017 was to eliminate delays in our Production Orders. In the beginning of 2017, we were faced with a situation where 8, 7% of the orders were not completed by the planned delivery date. Daily Start-up meetings discussing solutions to eliminate delays helped us understand different departments’ challenges and requirements better. Improved communication led to the delayed orders reducing to 1,4% -a 7,3% improvement! When looking at the number of stones that the Workshop set, I had to look twice. In 2017 we set more than 560 000 individual stones! The part that really made me proud of the amazing teamwork we do, was when I thought of each of those Gems passing through multiple departments, and QC steps where all the teams applied themselves to more than half a million individual stones. Together, we are truly doing something amazing, and I can’t wait to see what unprecedented levels of excellence we are going to achieve in 2018!

2. What gets measured improves. Measuring is necessary to see how far we have come and how much more we can still strive to achieve. 3. What you evaluate and monitor progresses. Evaluate what has been done and consistently monitor progress to stick to the plan. 4. What you reward gets repeated. Include a reward system that is in line with the goals planning to make success more desirable. 5.

Be loyal and faithful, and embrace opportunities.

Find happiness in everyday life and be grateful.

Forever in our


Lastly a major key that the Best People have is an attitude of gratitude and selflessness. Our beloved Pinky very much resembled this and her love for others will continue to be lived through us. She will forever be in our hearts as an example to 1988-2017 never give up on others.

Why Browns? by Etienne Ferreira Let’s face facts, 2017 was a tough tough year for all. Many industries, including our own, have felt the severe aftermath of the ratings down grade. This has resulted in many local jewellers shrinking or even closing shop. This has resulted in retrenchments on an unprecedented scale across the industry. We at Browns on the other hand, have come together as a company, and have headed the call to be frugal. With our drive to “do More with Less” and with our focus on efficiencies, we have managed to weather the storm and have come out the other end stronger and more agile. We are proud to say that for the last 25 years in a row we have been fortunate enough to have never had to retrench, reduce working hours or even reduce salaries as a result of tough times. For each of these 25 years, we have not only paid salaries on time, every month, without fail, but have also paid 13th cheques and bonuses as a reward to our people for their continued commitment and hard work. Now, as we steadily come to terms with the reality that another year has passed, we as a company look to the future and the new year with renewed hope and enthusiasm. The excitement surrounding the changes in the political landscape and the buoyant consumer confidence is evident in not only the smiles on people’s faces, but more and directly measured in economic terms, by predictors such as the strengthening of the Rand as well as the recent announcement that South Africa is once again the golden-boy for investment opportunities in the emerging market place. I ask myself the question, but what does that mean for me? How will all of this effect me directly? The rule of nature, and business, is the strongest will survive and with an abundance mentality we at Browns do not see the pie shrinking – but rather the size of our slice increasing. My advice to you – chose to stay onboard our winning team, because the choice is ultimately your own.




Thanndiwe Mahlangu Accounts


Cynthia Mlalazi Receiving


Prudence Mokgawa Accounts


Zanele Ndebele Dispatch


Petronella Mdebele Receiving



Rebecca Mphuti Canteen


Thomas Mosala CAD


Mathabo Lesia Marketing

14 15 16 18


Mthokozisi Ngobese


Palesa Tsotetsi



Jabu Jiyane


Aviote Shikwambana Control Room


Boy Kwanaite


Siphesihle Khayisa Control Room


Nthabiseng Jamekwana


Tshepiso Mphahlele


Idah Sibeko


Nana Maphike


Babisile Zitha

Kamohelo Mohale

Nqobile Tsotetsi Stones Lusanda Sithole Client Service Lindiwe Matola Accounts Laurence Vosloo Design Studio






Richard Ndlovu Housekeeping


Louis du Plessis BI



Bo-Ying Reed Sales Support


Walter van Rensburg IT



David Nzunga Driver


Chrysantia Nkosi Client Service



Prabashni Moodley HOD


Prince Aphane Control Room


08 10 10 11

Nomthandazo Mabuza


Rosemary Mbatha Receiving Hobusamang Noko Security Namasindi Mudau Housekeeping

17 18 18 19

Esrom Mashala



Bongani Masondo Maintenance


Mpho Nemavhola Accounts Christine Venter Merchandise


Phumzile Nyembe Housekeeping


Zandile Mtshali Visual Display


Joyce Tshabalala Canteen


Teboho Samosamo Internship



Nelisiwe Msimanga Ndivhuwo Madodonga

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Brian Chingarire Joshua Taderera

Thapelo Morudu Anthony James Peter Ngoetjana Ingrid Greeff Morgan Nyalungu

Birthday Celebrations

Our main goal in Customer Care is to ensure we have Browns fans internally and externally, this can be challenging at times but the rewards out way the hard times. When you truly have a passion Thando Cibi

Lerize Cordier

for what you do and a deep love for the company this is shown in

January Birthdays

every interaction. Below is feedback we received from one of our assessment clients. The key to turning situations around is genuine care and


follow up. Our clients are important to us and the best way to show this is by following up and following through with clear communication. Shannon de Goede BRK

Christiaan de Klerk CAV

Good Evening My Wife and I are humbled by the attention we received – after I complained about our disappointment with the piece we invested


in. Our confidence in Browns has been restored. Regards Dev

Kids Corner

Valentine’s Day colouring in competition! Email your completed artwork with your name and store/department to to stand a chance of winning movie tickets!

Nico Horn Frances Aarons


Kribashni Pillay Andessa Reddy


Daniel Masenya Ingrid Greeff

Driver/SO Factory


Congratulations to our very own Sanke Weyers on her

engagement to Nelis Louw. He spoiled her with a stunning Browns Bespoke 1ct Solitaire tube setting. We wish you all the best!

Browns Workshop February Facets  

The Browns February Workshop edition of Facets!

Browns Workshop February Facets  

The Browns February Workshop edition of Facets!