Attire Accessories - Dec 2017/Jan 2018 (Issue 67)

When did Sea Gems start up? What was the reason for setting up the business? The company originally started more than 40 years ago back in 1971 by Managing Director Tony Price, then both an entrepreneur and keen diver, he merged both these passions into the business. It has changed and grown considerably over the years, but at the heart of the company has always been its Cornish roots and surroundings. Now it’s a highly diverse and successful jewellery design and giftware company with three generations involved in its daily running and development. How has the company developed over time? From the beginning, design has been a fundamental part of the company, developing into the in-house designed sterling silver jewellery and giftware it’s known for today. It has now established three very distinct jewellery brands and coordinating giftware ranges. Cornwall has again featured heavily in the inspiration of the jewellery and giftware, from the traditional designs inspired by the heritage of the area to the highly contemporary pieces highlighting the fabulous beach lifestyle. The ‘Celtic Lands’ brand encompasses the ancient Celtic culture and surroundings from the never-ending and beautifully intricate knot work to the motifs of regional Celtic areas such as Ireland.These themes and patterns have been translated onto stunning giftware and created timeless jewellery.The very individual look of Charles Rennie Mackintosh has also provided a legacy of inspiration, creating another highly decorative and flourishing range, celebrating his 100 th year anniversary in 2018. Sea Gems has forged close relationships, partnerships and friendships with suppliers and customers alike, to create and develop our designs. From the vibrant hand- coloured vitreous enamel to the delicacy of making exquisite silver jewellery or the intricate design on a pen. Maintaining a high level of craftsmanship, attention to detail and superb quality and finish as also been paramount in every piece. I joined the company 25 years ago, expanding the contemporary silver jewellery which has grown into the phenomenally successful ‘Pure Origins’ brand. An extensive and ever-changing range, with a myriad of themes and looks from wildlife, botanical and nature to fun, whimsical and romantic pieces. Cornwall and its enviable lifestyle also features strongly in the design and inspiration – particularly in the Beachcomber range with its shells, maritime and ocean life. But also in the subtle elegance of organic shapes weathered by the elements, and evoking a sophisticated minimal Hepworth style simplicity. It touches on trends and current themes in its own way, creates story-based evocative jewellery and bold statement pieces that will last forever. This all combines to make an exceptional contemporary collection that has proved popular with people of all ages. What was the inspiration behind the name? The glistening colours and opalescent of shells and sea life are truly gems of the sea – hence the name of the company and within this banner the brand names, each representing a family and design concept. ‘Pure Origins’ draws inspiration from the natural world and captures the uniqueness of our surroundings. ‘Celtic Lands’ being part of the Celtic nations and its wondrous ancient artwork, while ‘Mackintosh’ brings to life the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Tell us about your product offering. Describe Sea Gems’ signature style. As Sea Gems has grown, the customers we cater for have changed and expanded, and so has the variety of products. The giftware range is a decorative array of perfect little presents for both men and women. From the classic, ornate or sparkling pens, to useful compact mirrors and pillboxes and bookmarks. Sea Gems has always been keen to present their products beautifully and try to make display easy and productive for the retailer. Packaging and marketing are even more important these days and we are constantly refreshing and updating to enhance the ranges.This allows us to offer products that are suitable for independent retailers, jewellers, heritage sites, visitor attractions and mail order companies both in the UK and successfully exported from places as far afield as Japan to Australia. How do you keep your designs fresh and current? How often do you launch new lines? I’m constantly thinking about new ideas, and it’s in spring and autumn that the design process takes place. I was born in Cornwall and have always loved the ocean, surfing, diving and fishing, often travelling abroad to places like Indonesia.This affinity for the ocean and nature without doubt has been an endless source of inspiration, Director Marcus Price takes us on a journey uncovering the past 40 years of Sea Gems making waves 38 ATTIRE