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Brandee Dallow: Determined to Make a Difference

Updated: Feb 3

I was super excited to chat with Brandee Dallow this week. Brandee may seem unassuming, but she’s a force to be reckoned with. So, if you don’t know her yet, you should. Brandee is making a difference in the jewelry industry.

What strikes me about Brandee’s story is that jewelry chose her rather than the other way around. Don’t get me wrong, her passion for the industry is obvious. But she never expected this career path. She wanted to deejay and initially pushed toward broadcasting.

But moonwalking between odd jobs by day and radio gigs at night proved taxing. So, she found work in PR, which seemed the logical next step where she was thrust into high profile events. A recruiter soon asked if she’d be interested to work on the De Beers account at ad agency J. Walter Thomson. But she had no experience in fashion, which made her prospective employers skeptical, and Brandee determined to “prove that she could do the job.”

She credits her foray into diamonds to “people inviting her in,” though she may be understating her skills. I mean, her CV reads like a diamond career handbook as she played a role in key trade developments.

After a dreamy start working on the Diamonds for the Millennium campaign, conflict diamonds suddenly hit the headlines. The challenge grabbed her, and she was eager to learn more. De Beers hosted a tour of its Africa operations highlighting the role diamonds play on the continent. Meeting artisanal miners in places like Angola gave Brandee perspective on the product’s impact and our responsibility to protect all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, De Beers rolled out its Supplier of Choice (SoC) program, pushing sightholders to develop their own marketing. Brandee’s focus shifted to educating on SoC and the conflict diamond issue. She joined manufacturer Julius Klein to help with its downstream programs, which deepened her connection to Africa since the company was moving into Botswana as part of De Beers’ beneficiation drive.

Through lobbying the Botswana government, she saw the impact diamonds have in that country, and the potential to nurture female leadership. Brandee got involved in the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) as women were pushing for a seat at the table in a male-dominated industry.

After more than 10 years at Julius Klein, Brandee moved to Rio Tinto where she worked with the miner’s retail partners in India and on its traceability programs. Meanwhile, her work with WJA fueled a passion to help the industry do the right thing. Her career was about to come full circle.

That’s when Andy Bone, then CEO of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) with whom Brandee had worked at De Beers, recruited her to drive the RJC’s engagement on sustainability with US jewelers. From the RJC, Brandee moved to become VP for sustainability in luxury at SCS Global Services, which develops standards for sustainability certification across various industries. Today, Brandee is the chief communications & sustainability officer at Grandview Klein Diamond Group. And she also serves as president of the WJA Foundation.

I warned you, Brandee is a force who is determined to make a difference. She has the perfect blend of corporate know-how, industry passion and drive to do good, nurtured by her unexpected career path. And she’s super friendly and fun. I mean we still need to put those deejaying skills to the test, but I have seen that moonwalk in motion.

Either way, you should all meet Brandee...

This article first appeared on LinkedIn in February 2022.

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