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Luxury Goods Awards 2017

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Retailers Advantage Inc

Best Retail Theft Prevention Specialists 2017 - North America

The Diamond Bouquet Sarah Ho London Polly Griffin Designs

RETAILERS

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Reduce theft and Provide Reusable Data for Fashion.


Welcome to the 2017 Luxury Goods Awards From food and drink, to art and culture, home and garden and technology and software; over the past 12-months companies from across the globe have been producing and providing an exceptionally high-level of luxury goods to consumers. From all corners of the industry; companies strive every day to ensure that they are providing an impeccable standard of quality that lives up to the title of ‘Luxury Goods’.

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The 2017 Luxury Goods Awards have been established to recognise and celebrate the elite companies and individuals that this industry has to offer. All those who work tirelessly, using their expertise knowledge and innovative thinking to help them achieve within this sector.

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Contents...

K 4. Retailers Advantage Inc Best Retail Theft Prevention Specialists 2017 - North America

6. Eternity Crystal LL Most Innovative Jeweller 2017

7. The Diamond Bouquet Best Wedding Floristry Specialist - Scotland

8. Mari Ianiq Ltd. Best Jewelled Furniture Designer - London & Award for Excellence in Upholstery Services - London

9. Polly Griffin Designs Best Bridal Accessories Company - East Midlands

10. Sarah Ho London Best High-End Jewellery Company - UK

10. Sheila Kerr Independent Jewellery Designer of the Year 2017 - UK

11. Lucia Victoria Interiors Ltd Best for Luxury Home Interior Design - Kent

12. Gilmerton House Most Exclusive Private Venue 2017 - Scotland

14. Inchyra Arts Club at The Byre at Inchyra Best Upscale Arts Venue 2017 - Scotland

15. Loveweds Jewellers Limited Luxury Jewellers of the Year 2017 - Hertfordshire

Luxury Goods Awards 2017 Page 5


RETAILERS

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Best Retail Theft Prevention Specialists 2017 - North America

Company: Retailers Advantage Inc Contact: Glen Garner Contact Email: glen@retailersadvantage.com Address: Unit 150, 2255b Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4E 1G3, Canada Warehouse and distribution: Retailers Advantage Unit 14, 442 Brimley Road Toronto, Ontario, M1J 1A1 Fax: 416 694 3202 Phone: 416 699 2566 Website: www.retailersadvantage.com

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Image: as found on Amazon, eBay and the internet


INDUSTRY INSIGHT MONTHLY

K Retailers Advantage Inc are a global provider of innovative security solutions for the retail industry. We caught up with Glen Garner to find out more about the firm and how its product range offers the ultimate protection for its clients. Established in 1997, Retailers Advantage has primarily been involved in pioneering the traditional EAS security tag and systems to help prevent theft for libraries and retailers. During the early years every security tag supplier were offering very much the same or similar product. The typical tags seen in retail on fashion items simply make an alarm should the item be taken out of the store. Almost all the security tags could be easily be defeated by a simple hook or magnet. With the growth of the internet, thieves could simply type in on google ‘security tag removal” and there can be see hundreds of sites offering methods to defeat a tag, including the sale of a hook for $3.50 or a magnet for $10.00. As such, Glen and his team worked hard to develop an ingenious anti-theft device, the history of which he is eager to outline. “Here at Retailers Advantage, we invented and re-engineered a new locking mechanism where two different locks need to be opened at the very same time. Our first version called the a3tag required both a mechanical release as well as a magnetic release at the very same time to remove the pin. This a3tag was tested at Macys in three department stores, two in Florida and one in Texas. A whitepaper proved an outstanding result of 83% theft reduction. More importantly as the items were not stolen, and instead sales increased. In two top different department stores chains in Canada we saw equally strong results, with one retailer seeing a 40% theft reduction and the other 60% theft reduction.” The white paper made a number

of fascinating discoveries which were highly beneficial for Retailers Advantage. It highlighted a study conducted by LPRC at the University of Florida, in collaboration with Macys in the US, which identified how the optimised use of EAS can reduce shrink by as much as 83% compared to control stores fitted with popular EAS systems. The study was conducted over four months with six Macy’s stores. Three of them were used as a control, with industry standard EAS tagging enabled in all of them. The other three stores were used to test different EAS strategies. The most effective solution was the A3Tag by Retailers Advantage. The tag does not incorporate new technology per se, but instead combines two separate, time tested systems that have served retailers well over the years. Individually the efficacy of Tags employing just one technology, has been undermined and become prone to attack from thieves who are able to easily remove tags illicitly. Magnetic release tags can be released with a magnet, which is freely available on the internet. Hard tags can be released using a simple hook, however the Retailers Advantage A3 Tag is the first double locking tag that requires two locks to open at the very same time. By combining mechanical release with magnetic release it cannot be defeated so simply as other EAS tags. The tag also has RFID and EAS making it EAS compatible for retailers’ legacy systems and RFID ready for new inventory control regimes. By utilising a combination of technologies, including RFID it appears that the industry could now

benefit from a game changing Tag that utilises existing technologies within stores as well as supporting RFID stock control as retailers increasingly turn to this additional, valuable way of protecting their businesses. The report shows a staggering 83% difference in shrink levels between the stores using A3 Tag and the control stores, which is considerably greater than any other system. Overall, sales increased for the A3Tag stores from pre-test to posttest. In contrast, sales decreased from the pre-test to the post-test for the control stores. This could be explained by the better availability of stock for customers to purchase and is certainly a phenomenon supported by similar research and retailer experiences around RFID. Better stock availability means better customer experiences and more sales. This whitepaper forms the basis of the firm’s success and bought this innovative and unique solution to the fore. Over a year later, the retail industry is now surging ahead with RFID (radio frequency identification), data and information on what is available within each store. In order to support clients and ensure that they are able to offer more accurate stock counts, Retailers Advantage is now creating a new innovation designed to offer a range of new features, as Glen describes. “Currently, Retailers Advantage is piloting another unique tag invented by us for a retail chain located in more than 50 different countries. Our new detacher method will open existing tags they are using as well as our unique double locking tag. This pilot is very important as our aim or promise

to the customer is to reduce theft by more than 20%. Based on our results this should be an easy target. Other innovations include our smart detacher technology where we record when an item is sold and automatically uploads the sale to the point of sale the same as a barcode reader. This technology combines with our patented tag technology where we have two locks unlike all other companies that have made single lock tags in the last 50 years.” Looking to the future, Glen is excited as he recounts the upcoming developments set to help his firm to grow and build upon its current success. “Moving forward, we are very excited working with a retailer here in Canada called Toni Plus that have locations throughout Canada as well as Concessions in another major department store. Toni Plus want to have a full spectrum of services, including identifying inventory movement from distribution to the store: as items are in transit from one location to another, our system provides theft reduction and reusable intelligence. They understand that online orders can easily be managed with better stock or inventory awareness, and over the months and years ahead we would like to bring more clients to this understanding and provide them with our expert services. “In order to facilitate this predicted growth, we are working with our global partners to create new offices both in the USA and Europe. This will provide us with many great opportunities which we are looking forward to taking advantage of.”

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Most Innovative Jeweller 2017 K Eternity Crystal is a specialist jewellery and crystal glass memorial manufacturer based in rural Somerset. We caught up with Helen Jones to find out more. Eternity Crystal are the UK pioneers of a unique technique designed to create an innovative and affordable range of memorials and a dignified service to the bereaved, by encapsulating their lost loved-ones’ or beloved pets’ ashes within stunning bespoke keepsakes. The firm own a patent for this innovative process which was granted in September 2008. Even before that time the firm’s unique memorials were of great interest, and had been featured on national television programmes including Richard and Judy, This Morning and Loose Women, as well as national and international press publications and national radio. Helen discusses how the firm creates these innovative keepsakes.

have such a unique, dedicated and respectful on-site multi-skilled team, which works with only the best materials available. We not only have the artistry of professional glassblowers but unlike any other company, also have the expertise of a professional jeweller and a gem-cutter, making our jewellery in particular, unrivalled in quality and diversity.” The firm support a wide range of clients, and Helen is keen to emphasise how seriously her firm takes customer service, as many people seeking a keepsake from Eternity Crystal are often bereaved and require the very greatest of care.

“Eternity Crystal work with clients from the general public both nationally and internationally and serve funeral and veterinary professionals throughout the UK. We supply a number of on-line “Here at Eternity Crystal, we use bereavement support sites and in 2010 traditional on-site glassblowing, were selected to create all personal gem-cutting and jewellery crafting memorials for the largest private techniques to create affordable and contemporary memorials. The concept crematoria chain in Britain, which we has revolutionised the funeral industry have been successfully doing since then. in which cremation comprises 70% of all funerals in the UK and created “Our vulnerable customers from the a brand new market and respect general public can present themselves within the traditional funeral and pet at any point along the grief pathway; industries by solving the problem of what to do with cremated ashes when each with his/her own complex scattering is such a final farewell. The emotions and their care and respect is at the forefront of our business product provides the customer with a tasteful, portable, comforting, physical model. Each day is unpredictable but our proactive support strategy has memory of their loved-one using only streamlined customer expectation, a small portion of ashes, allowing limited negativity and significantly multiple memorials to be made for a increased turnover and profit even family, whilst enabling the bereaved though (apart from our B2B customers) to lay the deceased to rest in their we cannot rely on repeat custom due chosen place and minimising the impact on the environment caused by to the nature of the business. “However, we strive to ensure that scattering large quantities of ashes. every client, no matter how much they “The wide range and quality of our work with us, receives the very highest products far surpasses that offered level of support and service. The key by any of our competitors, as we

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company brand values of our business are empathy, quality, and respect to which all of the team passionately adhere to. We offer a compassionate ear and are always available be it in person, telephone, or online; via email, Facebook or Twitter. We welcome visitors who travel from all over the country and beyond to deliver their loved-one in person & invite them to watch their precious piece being made; disabled access, refreshments & free parking available. This service has significantly increased customer loyalty. Single item orders upselling to multiple ones and friends and family recommendations flourishing throughout the years; these clients becoming advocates for our service and brand. Overall, the cremation memorial jewellery industry has grown significantly over the past five years as more and more people are becoming aware of the concept. This has inevitably introduced some competition within the sector but none that can compete with Eternity Crystal’s level of product diversity or quality. Helen believes that this will help her firm to grow and prosper as it looks towards an invigorating future. “Altogether, the future looks very bright for us at Eternity Crystal and we are excited to take advantage of the opportunities that the growth in the industry will provide us.”

Company: Eternity Crystal LLP Contact: Helen Jones Contact Email: info@eternitycrystal.com Address: The Old Stables, Spring Farm, Moorlinch, Somerset, TA7 9DD, UK Phone: (0)1458 210830 Website: www.eternitycrystal.com


INDUSTRY INSIGHT MONTHLY

Best Wedding Floristry Specialist Scotland The Diamond Bouquet are a prestige wedding and corporate florist business offering a unique and personal experience to discerning clients. We caught up with Founder Tracey Jaeckisch to learn more.

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The Diamond Bouquet strive to provide excellence to all their clients, who include couples arranging to get married, as well as corporate clients and some of Scotland’s most prestigious hotels and castles. Tracey outlines the need for quality and how her firm works to attain this for everyone it works with. “At the Diamond Bouquet, we operate in the very competitive Florist Industry. Large chain supermarkets have destroyed our occasion market and only those customers who wish to support their local florists and who appreciate our skill and presentation remain loyal to us. We have dedicated all our efforts into providing the best possible professional service to our clients, who are looking for that something different and special. “As such, we constantly strive to supply the best quality products sourced from our international partners and provide service excellence, focussing on our client’s needs and individual personalities. We always aim to go the extra mile for all our clients and it is this that helps ensure that they remain loyal to our firm.” Moving forward, Tracey and her team are focused on success as they seek to build up a reputation for quality and service, as she proudly concludes. “Our future begins with our wedding clients, as we build our business from the unique and personal service we provide. We have recently been nominated and were finalists in two of Scotland’s prestigious wedding awards and we are looking to build on this to continue to be award winners in our field.”

Company: The Diamond Bouquet Contact: Tracey Jaeckisch Contact Email: tracey@thediamondbouquet.com & sales@thediamondbouquet.com Address: 2 Tower View Court, Auchtermuchty, Cupar, Fife, KY14 7AN, Scotland Phone: (0)7888734159 Website: www.thediamondbouquet.com

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Best Jewelled Furniture Designer - London & Award for Excellence in Upholstery Services - London MARI IANIQ is a high-end brand of furniture, lighting and accessories providing bespoke pieces and solutions for luxury interiors. We invited Founder Ms. Mari Paulina C. Janiq to tell us more about the brand and how it creates such decedent and luxurious collections. MARI IANIQ’s collections comprise highly covetable and exceptionally elegant pieces of furniture, inspired by elements of Haute Couture and collectable jewellery, which are the “must have” design trophies for those who pride themselves on their taste for superior, collectable furniture. Each piece adorns its space like a jewel in its own right.

shops. Keen to improve the quality of her services and the items we produced, I successfully completed a Full Professional Diploma in Interior Architecture and Design at the prestigious London KLC School of Design.”

Mari Janiq’s inspiration comes from the surrounding world: nature, colour, fine art and architecture, and most importantly from Haute Couture and collectable jewellery, subtly incorporating elements of Classical Mari Paulina C. Janiq is the name Art and Art Deco shapes. This results behind this eponymous British brand. Award-winning designer and journalist, in rich, but not overstated, timeless designs and unique pieces which have she lives and designs in central already become status symbols, but London. Mari Paulina works with her team of experienced masters to create also and more importantly, symbols of exceptional taste and discernment. bespoke furniture that is exquisitely designed, of the highest quality, but is Mari outlines how this inspiration is also comfortable and ultimately easy to transformed into these beautiful pieces live with. MARI IANIQ’s design process through the firm’s extensive design for every new collection starts with her process. personal inspiration. “Here at MARI IANIQ, our design She talks us through process starts with detailed the history: research, studies, and intricate sketches, involving the entire “The story of our MARI IANIQ design team. luxurious, superior After this the construction furniture begins in begins, where 2002, when I ergonomics established a gallery and comfort of high-end products are the main for interiors. Due to the goals. All MARI high volume of requests IANIQ items are from customers, I soon hand-made from transformed this gallery the finest into a design studio, materials by offering specialised the most services at each stage experienced of the design process craftsmen, using for high class traditional residential buildings techniques. We as well as banks, luxury think carefully about the best materials offices, restaurants and

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for the specific purpose and shape of the object we are designing. When all the technical drawings are prepared and everything is thought through the prototype is built from the materials best suited to its function.

digital or fingerprint access.”

Overall, MARI IANIQ’s focus is quality not quantity. While the collection is extensive, it is not mass produced and each piece is lovingly tailormade to the client’s needs. MARI “At MARI IANIQ we know that furniture IANIQ is about perfection, attention is not just there to look drop-dead to detail and commitment to the gorgeous - it is made to be lived with. highest degree of quality. Concepts As such, comfort and functionality are become reality when transformed among our top design goals. Every into precise, handmade pieces with single part of each creation is carefully minutely applied finishes. All of the thought through and perfectly fitted. firm’s items are produced from the Upholstered pieces are made to the finest materials and hand-crafted requested level of softness, with by the most experienced artisans, handmade wooden frames supported following traditional techniques, and by belts, made using padding, feathers moving forward it will remain focused and even down if requested for extra on this exclusive approach in order to luxurious softness. The profiled backs provide the most tasteful and exquisite of our chairs can hold you through the collections possible. longest of dinners, and armrests are placed at the perfect height, positioned and shaped for maximum comfort. We design everything for intuitive Contact: Mari Paulina C. Janiq use: drawers open and close at the Contact Email: mjc@mariianiq.com touch of a finger or can be electrically Phone: (0)7951228666 operated. Some sections may have Website: WWW.MARIIANIQ.COM


INDUSTRY INSIGHT MONTHLY

Best Bridal Accessories Company - East Midlands Polly Griffin Designs are an innovative accessories firm dedicated to creating exquisite vintage and modern style bespoke Swarovski Xillion crystal tiaras and headdresses. Founder Polly Griffin talks us through the firm and the superb range of products it designs. Polly Griffin Designs are a small yet ambitious and innovative artisan business. Testimony to the quality and excellence the firm strive to, with every piece is the fact that many of its clients are either repeat customers or referrals. Polly discusses how the firm is committed to providing the very best accessories to ensure every client is completely satisfied when they work with her firm. “Here at Polly Griffin Designs, we make beautiful accessories for unique people. We take pride in every piece of jewellery, accessory and card we make. Each piece is lovingly handcrafted to the highest standard to ensure client satisfaction. Each client and every accessory made for each occasion is unique and special, jewellery is often an expression of an individual’s personality. “Each of our products is made using Swarovski Crystal, sourced through our wholesaler company Crystal Parade. We expect only the best and most perfect crystal and they source this for us. Unlike some companies we have not stopped using precious metals and we have continued to use gold and sterling silver (925), unless a client specifically directs otherwise. “Our bespoke veils are made be a team of ladies who are passionate about their work. Each veil is hand finished; some veils may take up to seven days to embellish with Swarovski crystals. We have a comprehensive range of veil designs. Our collection has, for the past few years, been heavily influenced by

vintage Victorian and Celtic eras. I also visit the Victoria and Albert museum website for inspiration. Music features largely in design too. I see colours through music and will often ask a client to select a piece of music for me to design to in order to incorporate this into the work. “Fundamentally, when you choose our products you are not only investing in high quality bespoke jewellery and accessories but attention to detail and a realisation of your dreams with superb customer service.”

collection using English semi-precious stones in gold or 925 sterling silver, which will be named Quintessentially English Rose. This comes after we were selected as finalists in The EEF awards 2013 and attended the House of Commons London, only to be beaten by an industry veteran. We were told ideally, we needed to use only British materials, and our crystal was Austrian, and as such we are creating an entirely English collection which we feel will win us much praise from across the industry.”

Client service is the firm’s core focus, and Polly and her team are committed to diversity and collaboration for everyone they work with. “In order to ensure that they receive the service they require, each client is made to feel as though they are the only one. We are committed to them and will guide then honestly through both the design and creation periods. We advise clients before we start the commission on costs and have a ‘cooling off’ period before the commission is started. “Alongside this client focused approach, we operate a diversity policy, which promotes the idea that disability does not mean inability. We are committed to creating a community that encourages self- expression and mirrors our values, including the rights, dignity and respect of others.” Looking to the future, the firm is keen to expand its collection to involve new themes and styles, as Polly concludes. “Currently we are working on a new

Company: Polly Griffin Designs Contact: Polly Griffin Contact Email: info@pollygriffindesigns.co.uk Address: 86 East Street, Doelea, Chesterfield, S44 5NP, UK Phone: (0)1246 852 097 Website: www.pollygriffindesigns.co.uk

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Best HighEnd Jewellery Company - UK Sarah Ho is a London-based international award-winning jewellery designer renowned for her glorious designs which are personal reflection of the different chapters in her life and her family heritage, creating an autobiography through her jewellery collections. We spoke to Sarah to find out more. Since founding her company in 2006, Sarah has amassed an international client base with her jewellery distributed through international jewellery stores and private clients. She outlines how these collaborations have allowed her firm to grow and provide the very highest level of service to their clients. “At Sarah Ho London, we have built an excellent relationship with our production companies in order to achieve excellence in creating the finest jewels working with master craftsmen in Italy, renowned for their skills to create luxury jewellery for the world’s most prestigious international jewellery houses. The jewellery industry is forward thinking in its approach to embrace new technology but this is still combined with the traditional highly trained craft skills, and we perfectly combine the two to create beautiful collections that stand the test of time. “Fundamentally, we pride ourselves on customer service from the first meeting to building personal relationships and growing the business. The ‘luxury’ experience is from personal consultations with customers, which have allowed me to design bespoke commissions to creating personalised packages for our retail customers, including marketing materials, POS and training. We maintain high

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standards of customer service at all levels in order to ensure that buying jewellery from Sarah Ho London is more than just shopping- it is an experience.” Overall, the jewellery market is a quality driven business from the sourcing of the raw materials of metals and stones, through the design and manufacturing process to the final finish jewel. Universally, jewellery is highly desirable and coveted to mark important milestones in life, as a gift of love and as an important self-purchase sector too. As such, this ever evolving, increasingly growing market offers a number of exciting opportunities which Sarah and her team are keen to capitalise on, as she proudly concludes. “Moving forward, we will continue to expand our brand within the luxury global jewellery market. Following the success in the UK and European markets, we launched in Asia two years ago, where I was able to take my brand back to my Asian roots. With new high jewellery collection launches and one-off masterpieces, the brand will focus on the Middle East during 2017, thus extending our global reach and allowing even more clients to benefit from our timeless jewellery.” Company: Sarah Ho London Contact: Anne-Marie Reeves Email: annemarie@shojewellery.com Phone: 020 7404 4233

Independent Jewellery Designer of the Year 2017 - UK Sheila Kerr Jewellery specialises in the design and manufacture of handmade bespoke designer jewellery for her national and international clientele. We invited Sheila to tell us more. Established in 2011, Sheila Kerr Jewellery was formed when Founder Sheila left her former post as a Lecturer to pursue her passion for fine, handmade jewellery. Sheila discusses the pieces the firm offers and how it works to provide the very best luxury, bespoke jewellery. “At Sheila Kerr Jewellery we offer a fully bespoke design service for our customers across various platforms - at the studio, online and also through third party websites. We also sell through a number of shops and galleries including the National Galleries Scotland, Trump Turnberry Resort Professionals Shop, Blue Owl Art Gallery and the Herbary, Troon. Our clients are our personal customers as well as our trade customers. Both seek a unique quality item whether it be a bespoke one off piece or an order from our collections. “Collections are inspired by the flora and landscapes of Scotland as well literature - for example our Ae Fond Kiss collection inspired by Robert Burns. All pieces are carefully handcrafted in our workshop. Every piece receives the SK maker’s mark from the Edinburgh Assay Office which guarantees quality and fineness of the metal. The customer experience is considered from the initial contact through to the completion of the commission or order. At every stage the customer is kept informed of the progress of their commission or order. Email contact with work in progress images guarantees a premium quality service with the finished piece produced to a quality finish.” Overall, the jewellery industry is still buoyant due to the demand for jewellery. Wedding and engagement rings continue to be in demand, and there is a move towards online purchasing where those companies with only bricks and mortar stores are having to respond to these changes. Social Media use continues to grow with a majority of users accessing online via their mobile phones. Sheila Kerr Jewellery is aware of these changes and has active social media platforms as well as an online shop, and moving forward the firm remains committed to developing and growing in order to remain at the forefront of the latest market developments and build upon its current achievements, as Sheila concludes. “Sheila Kerr Jewellery is always looking to take advantage of new opportunities. We are currently reviewing our website with a view to upgrading the online shopping experience. New product lines will be introduced with new collections in both silver, gold and rose gold going online.” Company: Sheila Kerr Jewellery Contact: Sheila Kerr Contact Email: sheila_kerr@outlook.com Address: Courtyard Studios, 128 Harbour St, Irvine, KA12 8PZ, UK Phone: (0)7858257455 Website: www.sheilakerrjewellery.com


INDUSTRY INSIGHT MONTHLY

Best for Luxury Home Interior Design - Kent Lucia Victoria Interiors Ltd specialise in selecting outstanding pieces of furniture, displaying luxury British, European, Boutique and contemporary styles as well as offering innovation bespoke design services. We invited Owner, Director and Interior Designer Tracey Cooper to tell us more about the firm and how it works to achieve excellence for its clients.

Lucia Victoria Interiors is a stylish flamboyant furniture retailer offering luxurious furniture and furnishings with a proven history of providing the most luxurious furniture and designs possible. Tracey outlines how this dynamic and innovative company meet the needs of its clients. “Here at Lucia Victoria Interiors, we specialise in selecting outstanding pieces of furniture from beds, chairs, chandeliers, wallpaper, fabric and much more. Professionalism is central to our success, and this only comes through understanding performance and product. Our focus on providing this proves that this company has what it takes to manifest what a client desires. “In addition to a strong approach, a driven, ambitious and loyal team is vital to our success. In this very competitive field, I know I can design homes to a high standard, whilst supplying luxury furniture items and ideas. Results happen because you make them happen, and as such our attitude and hard work ethics create results. We work with clients all around the world. We are learning every day to gain better customer satisfaction by providing high quality furniture, using our connections worldwide, nationally and internationally. Lucia Victoria Interiors has great expectations and we believe we work in a truly unique style. We provide sustainability through clear goals of strategy planning and innovation, whilst keeping up with the latest information keeping ideas fresh and inspiring.” Keeping up with the market and fashions is crucial as they are constantly evolving, and furniture designs need to reach all audiences. Travelling across Europe has become a huge benefit experiencing different cultures and furniture styles, and as such Tracey is always visiting new places and gaining new inspiration for her designs. She is keen to highlight her approach to design and how this has driven her firm to the success it enjoys today. “Personally, I have a compulsive passion for Interior Design or anything unique in style. Energy is a transformative thing which I have a lot of, this motivates me to achieve and complete ideas. Designing is an amazing way to express who you are through your environment. I am a people’s person and enjoy making them happy with what I can do for them. I have a fantastic team of professionals that I have great trust and knowledge in. This supports my determination to be good in business and performance. This is how reputation drives us forward. Working to deadlines and fulfilling dreams provides a wonderful feeling, not only to the designer but all involved and of course our clients.” Looking ahead, continued growth is the firm’s ongoing focus, as Tracey discusses in her concluding comments. “Moving forward, our company is committed to expanding and branching out to as far as we can whilst at the same time providing the same high quality products and services that we have come to pride ourselves on.”

Company: Lucia Victoria Interiors Ltd Contact: Tracey Cooper Contact Email: tracey@luciavictoriainteriors.co.uk Address: 3 The Colonnade, 6 West St, West Malling, ME19 6QX, UK Phone: (0)1732 844967 Website: http://luciavictoriainteriors.co.uk

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Most Exclusive Private Venue 2017 - Scotland

Company: Gilmerton House Contact: Fay Angus-Knowles Contact Email: fay@gilmertonhouse.com Address: Athelstaneford, North Berwick, Scotland, EH39 5LQ, UK Phone: (0)1620 880342 Web Address: www.gilmertonhouse.com

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT MONTHLY

K Gilmerton House is a handsome Grade A listed Georgian mansion, situated in the heart of East Lothian, one of Scotland’s most picturesque counties. We invited the General Manager, Fay Angus-Knowles to tell us more about this stunning establishment. Offering a stunning location which is ideal for a truly spectacular event, Gilmerton House is conveniently located 30 minutes from Edinburgh city centre and 40 minutes from Edinburgh airport, and has been home to the Kinloch family for thirteen generations. A member of Unique Venues of Edinburgh and Historic Houses Association, the house operates as a 5-star exclusive use private venue for all forms of special occasions including corporate hospitality, company away days, team building activities, private meetings, golf parties, dinner parties, product launches, film shoots, family celebrations, luxury afternoon teas and weddings. The estate comprises 1000 acres of which 100 acres are woodlands and walks. The gardens and woodlands can accommodate a variety of outdoor activities, including team building, highland games, croquet, quad biking, clay pigeon shooting, and archery and falconry experiences. Along with a courtyard ideal for barbeques, a terrace and stunning gardens, the house has a variety of reception rooms, comfortable drawing rooms and break out spaces. The four public rooms can be easily adapted to accommodate conferences and meetings and complimentary WIFI is available throughout the house. The Drawing Rooms have patios and balconies overlooking the gardens and parkland. The Music Room, accommodating up to 60 dinner guests, is steeped in Scottish history. It was designed as a library and is one of the finest rooms of its age in Scotland, being surrounded with original, unpainted wood

panelling and an impressive ceiling decorated with Rococo swirls. Additionally, the Dining Room is ideal for more intimate dinners for up to 20 guests. Larger events can be accommodated in a Marquee situated in the charming and picturesque Rose Garden. Location is not the only factor which marks Gilmerton House out as the best option for any event; as Fay is eager to emphasise, the events team at the house work hard to ensure that guests receive the very highest level of service when they host or attend an event there. “Here at Gilmerton House, it is our aim to offer a consistent, 5-star level of service to our guests. From initial contact, through to their stay with us, we ensure that all their needs and requests are met in a timely and courteous manner. Our staff, including the butlers, provide an extremely professional and discrete service during each event. “The company operates in a sector where luxury, privacy and exclusivity are paramount. It is essential that all our staff members are fully committed to this ideal in order to provide a service that sets us apart from our competitors. We have a very small number of in house staff, with negligible turnover, who share an enormous sense of pride in their working environment and work closely together with the Kinloch family to ensure that the values of the house are scrupulously upheld. Our external partners, including our panel of caterers and bespoke butler service, have been carefully selected to offer the highest quality experience to our clients.” In order to ensure that it continues

to offer the very best venue for any event, whether it be a murder mystery night for a corporate client or providing luxury accommodation for a group of Americans on a golfing break to East Lothian’s world renowned links golf courses, the facilities are constantly being upgraded and the house’s dedicated team are continuously looking for new ways to improve their service, as Fay concludes. “Looking ahead, Gilmerton House has a variety of ongoing projects. The restoration of the historic kitchen garden is presently underway through a separate charitable organisation, Gilmerton House Kitchen Garden. When operational, in addition to providing herbs, fruit and flowers for the house, the garden will offer corporate team building days for small groups involving horticultural activities and talks in the garden with optional dining at the house. Gilmerton Lodge, a three-bedroomed detached

period property by the gates of Gilmerton House, is currently under renovation and will, shortly, offer further luxury accommodation in addition to the bedrooms in the main house. As an augmentation to our very successful wedding business, we have recently developed luxury, bespoke wedding packages for intimate gatherings for up to 20 guests. “Testimony to the level of excellence we offer is the fact that we have received many extremely favourable reviews from very satisfied clients. This has also been evidenced by Gilmerton House being recently voted as one of the finalists in the best venue category in the Scottish Wedding Awards 2017. We are constantly evaluating innovative ways to provide a contemporary 5-star luxury service while maintaining our historical integrity, and this will remain our ongoing focus over the months and years ahead.”

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Best Upscale Arts Venue 2017 - Scotland K Inchyra Arts Club is a small independent music and arts venue housed in a beautiful refurbished Victorian cattle byre in the middle of the private Inchyra Estate near Perth, Scotland. We profile this innovative venue to learn more. Launched in 2014 by Caroline and James, Lord and Lady Inchyra, Inchyra Arts Club has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most exciting new venues in Scotland, both from the point of view of audience members and artists. Coming to a gig at Inchyra is definitely not like anywhere else – from the moment visitors arrive, wending up the drive way past Highland cattle, ponies and chickens, it’s obvious this is not your run of the mill venue. In the relatively short time since it opened the venue has seen artists from all over the world, in music, comedy and theatre, take to the stage. From Dr John Cooper Clarke to KT Tunstall, Gretchen Peters to Steve Forbert, the BBC to Bristol Old Vic, the programmes have been varied and studded with star quality, while at the same time including up and coming and established artists from nearer to home. The Arts Club already has a membership of nearly 3,000 people, with many visitors happy to travel for several hours to experience an Inchyra show. Members of the club receive regular pre-sale offers and discounts on tickets – something that is becoming increasingly worthwhile as more and more shows sell out. The Byre at Inchyra in which the Arts Club operates is one of the UKs top wedding and events venues. The building was fully refurbished in 2014, introducing luxury facilities while retaining the original character and feel of the barn. The Byre was voted UK & Ireland Wedding Venue of the Year 2016 in the prestigious DWHA Awards and is already fully booked for the next two years and is regularly featured on luxury event websites and wedding blogs around the world. The Arts Club shows are scheduled throughout the year in between the busy diary of weddings and events in the Byre. At a time when smaller grassroots venues are finding it harder and harder to survive the Inchyra Arts Club has thrived, which can probably be put down to several things. Importantly, it benefits from the success of weddings at Inchyra, which has given it quicker recognition and firmer financial footing than might have been the case. At the same time, music audiences are

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increasingly looking for experiences that bring comfort, convenience and ambience to the live music – and Inchyra provides these in spades with easy parking, fabulous loos, a hugely atmospheric auditorium, and delicious street food at all of the shows. Equally importantly, artists playing at Inchyra are looked after well too – an important box to tick if you want a great reputation as a venue – and the sound created in the barn, because of the natural stone and wood, is good enough for recordings. The business leverages a great team whose watchword is ‘attention to detail’, with every member of staff acutely aware of this in how they present themselves, how they interact with audience members and how they present the venue itself. The stunning interior of the building is an important part of the atmosphere of the shows, with candles, masses of fairy lights, vintage whisky barrels and more all adding to this – and staff are all past masters at presenting the Byre perfectly at each show. The culture at Inchyra is fastidious but fun, with staff never forgetting that everything that they do is about giving people a memorably good time whether it is at a wedding or a gig. Every member of the team goes the extra

mile. Their approach wherever possible is that the answer is ‘yes’ and everyone will put in as much as it takes to make sure things run smoothly. It helps that Inchyra is also a home, so the atmosphere is automatically more relaxed than some venues. Ultimately, Inchyra Arts Club are absolutely delighted that all the hard work and dedication that has gone into setting up and running the venue has been recognised so soon after its launch. It is a real credit to the fantastic staff and wonderful for this small rural operation to have won, and moving forward the team will continue to search out a wide range of first class entertainment for their audiences, bringing more amazing artists into the local community in order to build on its current success.

Company: Inchyra Arts Club at The Byre at Inchyra Contact: Caroline Inchyra Contact Email: enquiries@inchyraartsclub.co.uk Address: Inchyra Estate, Glencarse, Perth, PH2 7LU, UK Phone: (0)1783860066 Web Address: www.inchyraartsclub.co.uk


INDUSTRY INSIGHT MONTHLY

Luxury Jewellers of the Year 2017 Hertfordshire K Loveweds Jewellers Limited offer a wide range of stunning custom-made-to-order engagement, wedding, eternity and dress rings, as well as pendants, earrings and bracelets. We invited Store Manager and Owner Mitchel Barres to share the secrets behind the firm’s success. Established in the 1960’s, Loveweds concentrate in the manufacture and supply of custom-made Wedding Rings to the trade from a Hatton Garden workshop. Opening a retail boutique showroom in 2011 in the quaint Hertfordshire town of Harpenden, the firm have been able to provide custom-made engagement, wedding and eternity rings, certified diamonds and precious gem-stones, bracelets, earrings, pendants and luxury designer watches direct to the discerning customer. Mitchel outlines how the firm works to ensure that every client receives the very highest standards of service and receives the jewellery they want. “Here at Loveweds we believe in creating a warm welcome, and friendly hands-on approach. We provide our customers with a tool of knowledge to make them feel comfortable, when they discover the desired ring. We support them throughout their whole journey, building trust and catering to their needs. We believe that there is something for everyone at Loveweds, and it is all down to understanding our customers, and going above and beyond and exceeding client’s expectations. “Alongside our showroom, we also offer a great website which allows us to showcase our products, as well as illustrate our branding. It has enabled us to reach a larger market, and by frequently updating the website we have enabled great traffic online. We also built an online shop, therefore customers can now buy our rings online and communicate through technology in comparison to visiting our boutique. New and existing customers can contact us through our website. We also use social media to showcase our products, as well as produce live content to keep our customers updated of what’s happening in store, we also use social media to interact with them too. Technology has allowed new customers

to trust our brand, and know that we are who we say we are, and this is vital as trust is important when providing something as important as wedding jewellery.” Looking to the future, Mitchel is keen to express his excitement as he discusses the developments which will help drive Loveweds to even greater success and help support its valued clients, both existing and new. “Moving forward, our aim is to maintain our strong customer relationships, quality custom-made jewellery and grow our customer base even further. To achieve this, we will be growing our marketing strategy and online presence by using new platforms and embedding new apps to our website making it more interactive and user-friendly. We will also be more creative in our approach, and ensure our customers get everything they deserve and more; such as birthday emails, seasonal greetings offers

and even consider an event in our boutique as well as interacting with our customers and hearing their feedback and ideas. “Overall, we will look forward to a bright and exciting future at Loveweds, and will continue to keep our business up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies and advancements in order to provide the very highest standard of service to our deserving clients, who, ultimately, are at the heart of our success.”

Company: Loveweds Jewellers Limited Contact: Mitchel Barres Contact Email: mitchel@lovewedsjewellers.co.uk Address: 69c High Street, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2SL, UK Phone: (0)1582 761866 Website: www.lovewedsjewellers.co.uk

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