Lessons I Have Learnt: Chris Ellis

Managing Director, Dipples Jewellers.
Chris reflects on his younger self and his experience in the family business.
Published in UK Director Magazines Summer 2024

About Chris

I’m the managing director of Dipples, a family jewellers located in Bury St Edmunds, Norwich, and Dereham. I run the business with my wife Bex, who is also the manager at our Norwich showroom. We stock high-quality watch brands and jewellery, with one of the largest collections of diamond rings and precious gemstones in the region. I’m the fifth generation of the business, which is approaching 150 years old. 

We asked Chris to look back and reflect on his younger self…


How would you describe yourself at 18?

At 18, I was already four years into my jewellery career within the family business, and really starting to enjoy it. It was the first year I started attending jewellery shows, which set me up to continue in the trade.

If you could go back knowing what you know now, what three things would you tell yourself to do before becoming a business owner?

  1. Work harder than others to make sure you can progress at the speed you want.
  2. Do not be afraid to make mistakes – they make you stronger and set you up for the future.
  3. Running a business is not just about yourself. You must inspire others – your team, your suppliers, and your customers.

If you could relive one day, what would it be and why?

The day I married Bex. It was such an amazing day, and we shared it with so many friends and family. I would have loved more time on the day to chat with everyone! Prior to our marriage, Bex had joined me in the business, and she is now part of the management team. The rest is history!

What are the biggest lessons you have learnt about being a business owner?

Time never stops. You have to work both inside and outside your normal business opening hours, especially being a family business where the buck stops with me.

How did you deal with a big mistake, and what did you learn from the experience?

There is not one big mistake as such, but sitting back and taking your eye off the ball is too easy, especially when business is booming. You have to watch everything all the time to make sure all cylinders are firing correctly – the brands, the stock, the team, and the marketing.

What does the future have in store for your business?

Hopefully, we will continue to grow organically and can look forward to good times ahead, but I expect the business will have to pivot along the way…if the last ten years are anything to go by, compared with the previous hundred plus!

What does the future have in store for you personally?

I’m a proud father, so I really look forward to seeing my three-year-old daughter grow up – she is amazing! Hopefully, one day, she might decide to join Bex and me in the family business and take over from us, but that will be entirely her choice when the time comes.

Lessons I Have Learnt: Chris Ellis 1


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