When did you start up and why? We started Reeves & Reeves in 2012 to focus on a wholesale business after many years in retail shops.
What prompted you to launch the business? We both had a passion to do something on our own as we love jewellery and the creative design process. Having a young family meant we wanted to be based more at home with a little less travelling involved.
What challenges have you overcome since the company's launch? Too many! We have had industry specific issues with the price of silver increasing hugely, but also then the issues surrounding Brexit, COVID and the most recent cost of living issue.
Tell us about your product offering. We offer a varied and wide range of beautifully designed and crafted sterling silver jewellery with touches of gold vermeil, and some enamel work too.
What are your most popular products? Our best sellers are mainly from our Nature collection but still a wide range from highland Cows to Hummingbirds. Bees are still very popular with then seasonal aspects coming into play with Hearts and Stars. Our inspiration is taken from the countryside around us. We live and work in Dorset, and on our journey to work we will always see the British wildlife and countryside at its best and worst!
Based in the stunning grounds of Forde Abbey, we have a small team, and we are ALL involved in the design process with a very robust critique before anything is put into sampling or production. We have to keep a close eye on our budget but try not to let this stop us being experimental. We really have commerciality at the front of our minds too - will my Mum like this? Our sisters, friends? Who will be the end customer? The design process starts with Caroline and a pencil, very old school, but it seems to work! She works closely with our manufacturers to take her pencil sketches through all the stages to final production.
Have any styles taken you by surprise with their popularity? Yes, we always love the element of surprise and try not to be too restrictive when bringing new products to markets. Ideas we are unsure of in the drawing stage can come to life once created in silver, so we mustn't restrict ourselves too much! It's a fine balance. Commerciality is really at the heart of what we do, we are a small business BUT we love to look after our staff, and ourselves, and reward them when we do well, we really want them to love and enjoy where and how we work and be as excited as us when our new creations arrive and are successful.
How do you keep your designs fresh and current? Do you follow trends? Price is (unfortunately) the main overriding factor when designing. If I had my way, everything would be supersized, but then I would be very poor! I love jewellery being impactful, and it's so important when we are designing that we still achieve that whilst also keeping prices to where they need to be, creating exquisitely detailed pieces that catch the eye and imagination, and will be treasured for years to come. Our main price bracket for retail is between £40 and £80, which we feel is the right place to sit in regard to quality jewellery at an affordable price.
Over the last 12 months we have also been moving towards a more sustainable product. The majority of our jewellery is now made from 100 percent recycled silver which is a great selling point AND we have reduced our carbon footprint by moving packaging production to the UK. Due to stringent quality control measures we have very few returns but if and when we do have any concerns we aim to listen to our customers and address any manufacturing issues. This helps our customers to share our faith in the product, increasing sales and trust in our brand.
We try to excel at everything we do, from design, to quality to service. We are passionate about our jewellery and want that to be seen in the end product and shared by our retailers. We believe we deliver a high-quality product, with an strong, ethical element at a very competitive price. We have fun designing our jewellery and hope this also comes across in the collections, something just a little different from the normal!
What sets you apart from your competitors? It has to be the combination of our passion for design, quality and affordability. Alongside our years of retail experience, not just in the jewellery industry, gives us a huge commercial edge. Reeves & Reeves create and produce collections of sterling silver jewellery with touches of gold vermeil and the addition of sparkling stones. We take our inspiration from the British countryside, particularly the Dorset countryside and coast close to us. We are mad animal lovers, and this reflects in our collections of dogs, cats, horses and wildlife. We work extremely closely with our manufacturers creating ranges that are both appealing aesthetically and fit with the average budget, creating very commercial collections that appeal to a wide audience. We are also promoting our "white label" service more, creating bespoke ranges for customers to give them something unique, creating more commercial opportunities for them.
We work with many diff erent companies, such as The Royal Ballet, Astrid & Miyu, British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Edinburgh Zoo, TK Maxx to create lines and ranges for them to their specifics. We also work with schools creating branded bracelets that are loved by students old and new. We believe we are at the forefront of nature designs and really believe we have the best selection of nature themed jewellery available to UK retailers. We are always adding to our collections, and creating new ones two, at least two new collections per year, with new designs being created every month. We create real conversation pieces too, pieces that really catch your attention, through both quality and design. We also believe our collections have a wide age range appeal, adding to their commerciality, with many of our designs being suitable for everyone from 18th birthday presents to 50 anniversaries'.
How are you finding the current climate in the UK? Is it affecting business? Yes – it's tough but quality does tend to shine through, and we remain positive that the climate will improve by the end of this year. We still have a lot of room to grow!
Are you active on social media? How is this important for the business? Yes – and more so than ever, I never thought it would be a full-time job, but it is. It is fun though, connecting directly with customers, both wholesale and retail – and we are still learning! Do you have any advice for new businesses starting out in the world of gifts? Research, experiment, research, ask your friends – be careful but be brave!
What can we expect in the future from the company? Lots more quality and detailed beautiful silver jewellery that will make you smile, and you will treasure forever!
REEVES & REEVES
T: +44 (0)1460 221 630 www.reevesandreeves.com