When did you start up and why? 1978. Rodney was selling products for other companies and decided to set up his own business, selling products of his choice. His son, Jonathan joined the business 17 years ago.
What prompted you to launch the business? Rodney felt there was a good opportunity to sell high quality fashion jewellery to a diverse range of retail outlets, backed up by first class customer service.
What challenges have you overcome since the company's launch? There have been various challenges over 45 years – recessions, important factories closing, good customers retiring, and all that comes with running any business! More recently of course, the added challenges of the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis.
Tell us about your product offering. We have an incredibly wide range of high quality fashion jewellery, which is always evolving. We listen to what our customers are wanting and are constantly looking to be on-trend, whilst also offering timeless choices in necklaces, pendants, bracelets, bangles, earrings (both pierced and clip) and brooches too.
What are your most popular products? It's not easy to say with such a diverse range of styles and tastes available, but we've seen a real increase in the popularity of gold-plated items, with silver plated offerings still very steady. Colour is important, which is catered for with a large collection of enamel styles, together with semi-precious pieces too. Our large range of earrings off ers great opportunities for our retailers to off er attractive price points to their customers, especially during the challenging times lots of consumers are currently facing.
Have any styles taken you by surprise with their popularity? A few years ago, we designed two collections of enamel flower jewellery (pendants, earrings, brooches, in a choice of sizes) and we were overwhelmed with their popularity – we expanded the choices available and they continue to sell to this day.
How do you keep your designs fresh and current? Do you follow trends? We are always looking at trends coming down the catwalk, whilst not neglecting various classic designs that sell year in, year out. We work closely with select factories to off er a wide range of styles that appeal to multiple tastes and demographics, in a diverse mix of retail settings – gift shops, boutiques, traditional jewellery shops, garden centres, museums, galleries, hotels, mail order, online sales, and so on.
What sets you apart from your competitors? Since we began 45 years ago, we have never had a minimum order, which has always created a lot of repeat business whilst giving our customers time for their confidence with their buying to grow, if they choose to 'start small' initially. We also off er free delivery across the UK mainland. Combine these attractive policies with an ever-evolving range of fantastic, high quality fashion jewellery and first-class customer service, on which we have always prided ourselves, and we feel we off er a comprehensive package for retailers.
How are you finding the current climate in the UK? Is it affecting business? I think 'challenging' would be a fair description. Whilst consumers are understandably prioritising the things, they really need to spend money on, there has always been, and continues to be a demand for well-designed products of excellent quality, with the support of first class service. Fashion jewellery always has a place at celebrations such as weddings, parties, birthdays, holidays and for gifts and 'pick-me-ups', and whilst trade is currently more challenging, we have already seen reason to be far more
optimistic for the future.
How do you view the future of independent retail? If an independent retailer offers a fantastic, wide-ranging selection of products at competitive prices, we see no reason that it can't remain strong for years to come. Most of us buy various products online which can be very convenient, but it can never replace the pleasure of wandering around a town enjoying a good mix of independent retailers, whilst meeting a friend for coffee or lunch.
Are you active on social media? How is this important for the business? We do use social media, but feel sure there is always room for future growth. Most of us use it in some form and it's clearly helpful in raising initial awareness of a company or product, but we have always found that fashion jewellery is one of those rare products that a lot of our customers (and theirs!) still like to see in the flesh rather than on a screen – to pick it up and feel the quality, to try it on for size - and even in this technology-centric world, that shouldn't be overlooked.
Do you have any advice for new businesses starting out in the world of gifts? In the current landscape we find ourselves in, it's more important than ever to be confident of your product offering, in style, quality, cost and value for money – factors that have always been important, but perhaps even more so at the moment.
What can we expect in the future from the company? Our aim is to continue to introduce fresh and fashionable jewellery, made to an excellent level of quality, and backed up by first class customer service that we have offered for 45 years, with the added attraction of no minimum order and free delivery.