It’s not as competitive at it seems. The jewellery industry is a big enough market, each with our own unique designs, to be in the same space, talk to each other and not always be so competitive. I’ve met some lovely jewellery designers who are open, forthcoming and willing to share!
It’s becoming more common to find manufacturers and suppliers worldwide who adopt ethical practices with staff, production and sustainable sourcing of stones.
Keep in contact with all the connections you make. Connections are so important, I’m not talking about friendships but key people in your career that can be good contacts to have in the future. I wish I’d gotten into LinkedIn from the beginning as that is a good tool to keep in touch on a professional level.