Jewellery March 2011
Making first impressions count with eye-catching and innovative shop window displays XX The latest silver collections to tempt your customers during the spring season XX Also inside: ideas and inspiration for joining the ethical jewellery revolution
FEATURES Moving with the times
A sneak peek at what’s in store for visitors at this year’s BASELWORLD international watch and jewellery show
Tim Ingle of ethical jeweller Ingle & Rhode speaks to Louise Hoffman about the development of fair trading in the jewellery sector
Looking to join the fair trade revolution? Why not take a look at this showcase of new jewellery designs for inspiration
With highstreet shops now competing with an ever-growing ecommerce offering, an eyecatching window display can make all the difference, as Rebecca Hoh-Hale discovers
22 34 34
Nick Wraith, managing director of Lumenal, explains why jewellery retailers should be looking to LED lighting to maximise their ‘shelf-appeal’
Focus on silver
Silver mania shows no signs of abating as precious metal prices continue to soar. Jon Chapple takes a look at a selection of new spring collections
Louise Hoffman discusses some of the facts and figures that will prove essential to sector strategy for the year ahead
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Previewing some of the jewellery design highlights of the forthcoming British Craft Trade Fair
Through the viewfinder
Michael Keating of Hangar Seven discusses emerging trends in retail photography, and their relevance to jewellery businesses
Editor’s letter Roundup
The latest news from the industry
It’s shaping up to be a busy year for the jewellery sector, and Janet takes a look at a few of the design and event highlights for the months ahead
Trends in timepieces
unique characteristics of British jewellery that are appealing to buyers all over the world
Designer of the month
Following a conversation with a friend, Keith embarks on a journey of discovery when researching the familiar Tissot brand name
Ones to watch
8 Sam Willoughby 24 How do they do that? This month Sam celebrates homeIn the first of a new series 10 grown design talent, and the of technical articles, the
Though delivered with the best of intentions, mundane chat is unnecessary and distracting for customers in a mood to buy, says Leonard
Birmingham Assay Office explains how the new optional jubilee hallmark was developed, and how retailers can use it
50 Events Trade show, exhibition
Louise Hoffman finds out more about Nick Hubbard’s intricate and quirky designs, which have been responsible for warming the heart of many a jewellery buyer
New offerings from the industry Prices, figures and outook
and auction dates
Voice on the highstreet Emma Tinsley of POINT 925, Sheffield
Editor’s letter I returned from Spring Fair last month with mixed feelings. On one hand many exhibitors reported a general fall in attendance and order placing at their stands, suggesting that the industry remains on red alert despite the economy having now struggled out of recession. However on the other hand I felt energised by the positive conversations held with designers making their first or second trade show appearance. Bubbling over with excitement, enthusiasm and appreciation, the stories they imparted were equally as inspiring as their jewellery, and their names are sure to be gracing the pages of Jewellery Focus over the coming months. When operating in a challenging environment, there’s definitely something to be said for appreciating the smaller achievements in business, but perhaps that luxury is only truly available to those with no preconceptions. Either way, a positive attitude does go a long way, and it is most certainly infectious – our very own Leonard Zell maintains that the smile is the most powerful selling tool there is. And so it is with focus, strategy and determination that we enter March, presenting you with a plethora of ideas to help you separate your business from its competitors and plan for the year ahead. Across the following pages you will find advice for constructing innovative window displays; capturing stunning visual imagery; and using product-enhancing lighting to create a point of difference on the high street. Strategy is not only about pushing change, however; it is also about following trend. With precious metal prices likely to rise for some time yet, we also turn our attention to the latest silver jewellery collections ready to stock for the spring season, and take a closer look at market movements following the recent Birmingham Assay Office Trade Review.
Editor Louise Hoffman
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Fiorelli, one of the UK’s leading accessory brands, is continuing to expand its successful silver jewellery collection, which is created and distributed by Gecko. Stylish silhouettes with intricate patterns, shimmering crystals and pave detailing are used to elegant effect in this eclectic collection of commercial jewellery. The brand new range encapsulates this season’s favourite styles with vibrant azure colours, fantasy florals and natural motifs. Information: 01376 532 000, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.geckojewellery.com
The editor and publishers do not guarantee the accuracy of statements made by contributors or advertisers, or accept responsibility for any statement that they express in this publication. The opinion of the contributors may not necessarily be the opinion of the publishers. Articles are considered for publication on the basis that they are the author’s original work. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the permission of the publishers.
And briefly New retail figures reveal superficial rise The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has claimed there is more to the strong official retail sales figures than first meets the eye. Reacting to the figures published by the Office for National Statistics, the BRC said the 6.4 per cent annual increase in the total value of sales is strong but distorted by factors unique to January. BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Growth this January was driven by a relatively short but strong burst of non-food buying early in the month. Some of that was spending held over from December when severe weather stopped people getting out. Shoppers also took their final opportunity to beat the VAT rise in the first few days of January.” The BRC is now looking ahead to the following months to get a more reliable indicator of retail sales trends.
RJC certifies Metalor and Rubel & Ménasché The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced that Swiss gold refiner Metalor Technologies SA and French diamond trader Rubel & Ménasché have been certified against the ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards established by the RJC’s Certification System. On Metalor’s certification, CEO Scott Morrison commented: “As an active member of the Council, we are proud to have now become certified on the RJC System. We encourage all RJC members to follow the path to certification.”
Kleshna designs daffodil collection for Marie Curie Anglo-Russian designer Kleshna has created a limited edition collection – Daffodil – to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Great Daffodil Appeal this March. The collection is made with English pewter and Swarovski crystals. “I am thrilled to be working with Marie Curie Cancer Care, and to once again turn my creative hand to help raise funds for the excellent work the Marie Curie nurses do with terminally ill people in their own homes and the charity’s hospices,” said Kleshna.
Ari Epstein becomes new AWDC CEO The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has appointed Ari Epstein as its new chief executive officer. Mr Epstein, who joined the AWDC in 2005, previously served as the organisation’s deputy CEO. Discussing the role of the AWDC, he stated: “Antwerp has led the world diamond industry for generations, and I see AWDC’s role as maintaining and enhancing our leadership status in the next decade and beyond. The AWDC must represent the diamond industry in its position as a major contributor to the Belgian economy and a key to growth and employment in many regions around the world.”
Graham London to provide 6 Nations chronographs For the third consecutive year, historic London watchmaker Graham London will be the official timekeeper of the 2011 RBS 6 Nations Championship rugby tournament. The company will provide all competing referees with dedicated chronographs to assist them in performing their match duties.
Supergran foils jewellery robbery A pensioner being dubbed ‘Supergran’ has made headlines nationwide after foiling a smash and grab raid at a Northampton jewellers. Seventy-one-year-old grandmother Ann Timson was captured by a freelance filmmaker attacking the perpetrators – who arrived on three scooters, wearing helmets and armed with hammers – with her handbag as they tried to smash their way into Michael Jones the Jeweller. The film also shows members of the public pinning down one of the robbers after he fell off his scooter trying to flee from the heroic OAP. Ann told local paper the Northampton Chronicle & Echo: “I was standing talking with a woman when I heard a commotion and I looked across and saw six young men on scooters. “At first I thought one of them was being set upon by three others. I was not going to stand by and watch somebody take a beating, or worse, so I tried to intervene. What concerned me was that too many people just stood around watching as if they were in shock, and nobody was doing anything. “When I got closer to them I realised it was a robbery and then I was even more angry that they felt they could get away with what they were doing in broad daylight. One of the gang shot off down Gold Street on a scooter and nearly hit a woman and baby in her buggy. I clobbered him with my shopping but he got away. “The rest of them were still trying to smash and grab at the jewellery. I don’t know what happened next, but I just kept swinging my bag. They then tried to escape. I landed several blows against one lad on the back of a bike and brought him to the ground. He raised a hammer to me so I just kept hitting out and shouting and shouting for others to help and bring them down. Several people then came to help. It was over in what seemed like seconds.” Police have arrested four men in connection with the incident. Full video footage of the attempted robbery can be viewed on YouTube.
Spring Fair Jewellery Show reports 10 per cent rise in footfall The organisers of the Jewellery Show at Spring Fair have reported that the February show further sealed its reputation as the UK’s best-attended jewellery event, as visitor numbers rose by 10 per cent compared with last year’s exhibition. Collaborations with pre-eminent jewellery buying groups, such as the Houlden Group and CMJ, which both launched awards during the show, and exclusive sponsorship arrangements with Ti Sento and Pandora put this year’s exhibition “into a class of its own,” event director Julie Driscoll said. Well over 20,000 visitors attended the Jewellery Show this year, while some 74,000 buyers (subject to audit) were at parent event Spring Fair International. “The phenomenal success of the Jewellery Show 2011 is the result of collaboration,” Julie added. “Our dedicated team has consulted with exhibitors, buyers, buying groups and trade associations over the last year to deliver an event which the UK jewellery industry can be truly proud of. “The extremely positive comments that we have received have been truly overwhelming and I would like to thank the team and the jewellery industry for creating such a great event. Going forward into 2012, as we continue to grow the exhibition, we will continue to focus on the wants and needs of the industry.”
Gold-buying companies reprimanded by the Office of Fair Trading Three prominent gold-buying companies have been ordered by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to improve their treatment of customers. The OFT found that a handful of companies, such as Cash4Gold, CashMyGold and Postal Gold, were locking customers into accepting the offer made for their gold items, sometimes melting jewellery down on the assumption that they had accepted a quote. Two other companies were also investigated, but have since ceased trading. The three firms agreed to make changes to the way they worked, including providing people with the option of a quotation for their gold; clear information on the prices offered, including the weight and carat of the gold; details on whether gemstones can be accepted; explaining the risks associated with mailing the gold; and making sure that, when referring to a ‘high price’ on offer, they are referring to the scrap price of the gold. A Cash4Gold spokesman told the BBC that it was “pleased to work closely with the OFT to fully resolve all concerns.”
Increased attendance for Scotland’s Trade Fair Spring 2011
January’s Scotland’s Trade Fair Spring has reported a 13 per cent increase in visitor attendance, finding buyers in a cautious but upbeat mood, organiser Springboard Events has said. Mark Saunders, director of the giftware event, which closed on the 24 January at Glasgow’s SECC, stated: “Despite the hangover from December’s weather, buyers were much more positive than expected. Many gift and jewellery shops are clearly carrying more stock than they would like, but buyers are well aware that new stock and fresh products are vital to keep customers interested. “Those shops targeting the tourist market and less affected by the inclement weather were placing strong orders after a successful 2010 season. The market is not easy at the moment, but, judging by the overall mood over the three days, once unsold stock has been cleared through, buyers will want new stock, fast. “In addition to the increase in attendance, exhibitors reported an increased turnout of high quality buyers, attracted back to the show by the increase in and improved quality of suppliers participating at the fair.” The Autumn Fair will be held on the 18 and 19 September, again at the SECC.
Sarah Ho scoops Houlden Group Designer of Excellence award SHO Fine Jewellery owner Sarah Ho has been announced as the Houlden Group’s first Designer of Excellence at the recent Spring Fair event. Stuart Laing, chief executive of the Houlden Group and one of the judges of the award, said: “We were very impressed with Sarah’s design skills and her ability to create pieces that marry traditional symbolism with contemporary trends. It was a hard decision to make as all of the designers were very special; however Sarah definitely had the edge.” As part of the jewellery and watch buying organisation’s programme of activity for 2011, the Houlden Group has picked 17 pieces of jewellery from collections at the Spring Fair show for a travelling exhibition called Designs of Excellence, which will tour its members’ boutiques. The collection will spend one week in each participating store, creating a huge brand-awareness boost for the designers involved. “The Designs of Excellence tour is not only a great opportunity for the designers involved to showcase their work, but also for our members to create a buzz and attract footfall to their stores. We will be supporting our members to ensure they take full advantage of this not-tobe-missed opportunity,” Stuart added.
In memory of B&N’s Chris Sanders Chris Sanders, managing director of Brown & Newirth Ltd, has passed away after contracting swine flu. He developed associated respiratory complications over the Christmas break, and passed away on the 20 January. Widely regarded as a generous, sincere, ‘old school’ gentleman, he was well respected by all who knew him, and known for always seeing the good in people and managing to look at every situation from both sides. Chris firmly believed that if his company dealt fairly and honestly with customers, employees and suppliers, the business would flourish. He was proven right, as he steered Brown & Newirth to become one of the most successful jewellery manufacturers in the UK. Chris leaves behind his loving wife, Sue, his two children, Scott and Nina, their spouses and his first grandchild. The funeral, in his home village of Chigwell in Essex, was attended by over 300 people,
Katy Perry, Thomas Sabo Katy Perry has joined forces with international lifestyle jewellery company Thomas Sabo as the new face of the brand from January onwards. The international chart-topper will be the first global endorsee in Thomas Sabo’s 27-year company history, and will feature prominently in an advertising campaign incorporating press, print, the brand’s website and at the point of sale. As part of the deal, Thomas Sabo will sponsor Perry’s concerts, and the singer will wear only Thomas Sabo jewellery and make an appearance at Inhorgenta on the company’s behalf. Commenting on the new appointment, founder Thomas Sabo stated: “Katy is a match made in heaven for us. In terms of her personality and charisma, she is an absolutely perfect complement to our brand – so much so, that we just couldn’t imagine a better partner.”
Harriet Kelsall Jewellery transforms Cambridge store Shop designer Callum Lumsden, currently working with consumer guru Mary Portas in her Channel 4 series Secret Shopper, has turned his attention to bespoke jewellery designer Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design, transforming its Cambridge high street shop into a brand new design studio. The contemporary, new-look premises now serve as a venue for customers to sit with inhouse designers to discuss their commissions, as well as continuing to function as a retail store. To mark the occasion, cabinet minister and Member of Parliament for south Cambridgeshire Andrew Lansley joined Callum and over 100 other guests for a celebratory launch event and charity raffle. Talking at the event, director Harriet Kelsall commented: “Despite the recession we have continued, over the last few years, to grow as a company and we have timed our Cambridge refit to stay ahead of the game and bring a new jewellery high street concept to the city. This is one that puts bespoke first and explains it in a friendly and immediate way to browsers. “For years now we’ve been hearing plenty about how our high streets are suffering at the hands of the chain stores and how their ‘evil plan’ to take over Britain’s streets is forcing local businesses to shut up shop. Our feeling is that businesses need to improve in order to compete with the chains – so that is exactly what we are doing.”
WB announces design prize winner Owen Condon, a student in jewellery and silversmithing at Birmingham City University (BCU), has won a prize of £500 and a week of work experience in an annual competition organised by Weston Beamor. The competition, which forms a compulsory element in the second year of BCU’s HND course, asked each student to create a range of jewellery for men using Gemvision’s Matrix CAD software. They were also asked to produce a computer-generated advertisement to support their idea. The judges felt that Owen’s winning designs, which were based on car tyre tracks, demonstrated not only a particularly clever use of CAD, but also great market awareness as the design cuts down on the overall metal required to make the product. The winning design, along with two runners up, was brought to reality by the casting company and displayed at February’s Jewellery Show in Birmingham. “Ensuring a stream of new talent is essential for the health of the jewellery industry,” said Weston Beamor chairman Patrick Fuller. “This competition undoubtedly assists the students at BCU in gaining a far clearer understanding of the commercial realities of jewellery production.”
New appointment for CMJ Jewellery buying group the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) has announced the appointment of Lucy Hill in a new role created by its recent expansion. As operations and branding manager, Lucy will be managing the twice-yearly CMJ buying meetings; the group’s annual general meeting; retail tours and trade exhibitions; and internal and external forums on industry issues such as internet sales, ethics in the jewellery industry and supply chain challenges. She will also be negotiating new CMJ group supply rates for members, such as car leasing and insurance, and serving as branding manager of the CMJ’s own diamond brand, Mastercut. The CMJ had an extremely successful 2010, with new brands and designers such as Baccarat, Technomarine and Babette Wasserman joining up, and sales figures that broke all previous records in the group’s 30-year history. Lucy, who has been working in the jewellery and watch industry since 1988, commented: “I think I have an unusual perspective of this industry, having run my own business within it. I have a good understanding of the realities of the jewellery and market, as well as an intuitive perception of where the market is going in the future. I met Willie [Hamilton, CEO] a couple of years ago and listened to the ideas he had for developing the Company. I was inspired and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
World Gold Council predicts six key trends for 2011 The World Gold Council (WGC), having viewed the collections on display at January’s Vicenza Fair gold show, has announced its predictions for six new trends it believes will be seen in the worldwide gold jewellery industry this year. The first is the use of gold as “the ‘jewel’ that elevates a piece to iconic status.” The Council said that “the incorporation of gold into primarily wood or ceramic pieces, by designers including Micheletto and Vendorafa, was both eye-catching and utterly modern.” As a second trend, it also commented on the “preciousness of gold… in beautiful pieces, as delicate as they are desirable.” The third relates to “how gold electroforming has been taken to a new level.” It praised the “delicate, spidery, skeletal” collections of Tre Spighe and Graziella – “pieces that expressed the beauty of the gold via the most intricate of execution.” The fourth emphasises texture and colour, making special mention of the hammered yellow, white and rose gold collections of Damiani. The fifth, ‘shapes of the season’, highlighted “gold hearts, pebbles, stars, seashells and flowers peppered pieces by Il Giglio, Sade and others” and the Gold Expressions 2011 Opulent Organics theme, which it said “found further expression throughout the industry” at the Fair. Finally, the Council’s sixth trend is for personal expression, such as reversible designs and customisable pieces that work with or without attachments, to add interest to length or width. “Vicenza Fair showcases jewels which simply could not be created anywhere else,” said David Lamb, managing director for jewellery at the WGC. “It was fascinating to present our Gold Expressions 2011 collection to such an expert audience, and to be inspired by their collections in return. We look forward to seeing the continuing innovation of gold jewellery around the world in 2011.” The list can be viewed in full at the WGC website, www.gold.org
and briefly WFDB president calls for special meetings on conflict diamonds World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) president Avi Paz is calling on each bourse member to hold a general assembly to discuss how to protect the reputation of the WFDB-affiliated diamond bourses and their members. Paz said the management of individual bourses should prepare presentations in their native language on the Kimberley Process Certification Process (KPCS), and the absolute ban on conflict diamonds as expressed in the WFDB’s rules and regulations. “I would ask you not to put this off too long,” Paz said in a letter to members. “We have to uphold our commitment to ensure that no diamonds originating in conflict regions enter the trade, and the members of our 29 member bourses are those who need to stand guard over this.”
Follow the BRC on Twitter and Facebook The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has announced that it has recently set up home on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook. Retailers wishing to keep up-to-date with new developments at the organisation can follow the BRC on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_brc, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/ BRC/197379206942371
Guild of Jewellery Designers opens doors The Guild of Jewellery Designers (www.gojd.co.uk), an online collaboration of British jewellery designer artisans, and sister site Gilded Gems (www.gildedgems.co.uk) opened their virtual doors on the 15 February, drawing over 1,000 unique visitors on the day. The organisation’s aim is to help promote UK jewellery designers and offer its members substantial discounts on related products and services, such as tools and insurance.
A quarter of shoppers “have no spare cash” As pressures on personal budgets continue to mount, the proportion of retail shoppers saying they “have no spare cash” has risen to 27 per cent, according to the Nielsen Company and British Retail Consortium’s latest Consumer Confidence Survey. In a further blow for retailers, the poll also revealed that consumer confidence overall was lower at the end of 2010 than the beginning, though there was a marginal increase in sentiment in the final quarter, and that 82 per cent of consumers still believe Britain is in recession. BRC director general Stephen Robertson said the survey indicates that a “significant and permanent strengthening of consumer confidence is clearly some way off.”
Birmingham caster becomes first for Fairmined gold Birmingham-based rapid-prototyping and casting company Weston Beamor has become the UK’s first company to gain permission to operate as certified caster of Fairtrade Fairmined gold. The gold Weston Beamor will be using for casting is a world first, insofar as it has been mined using an independent, ethical certification system for monitoring small-scale miners working mainly in Bolivia and Peru, offering a fair deal for all those involved in the production process. Other jewellery-makers interested in gaining certification to work with Fairtrade Fairmined gold should speak with Victoria Waugh at the Fairtrade Foundation in London, on 0207 440 7674.
OMEGA designs charity watch OMEGA has announced that it will work in co-operation with actor and brand ambassador Daniel Craig to support ORBIS International and its Flying Eye Hospital in the fight against preventable blindness. The brand has created a special watch – the Hour Vision Blue – to celebrate the partnership, with the company guaranteeing that at least US$1 million from its sale will be donated to ORBIS, an organisation that delivers eye care to some of the world’s most remote and developing regions. OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart spoke of his brand’s commitment, saying: “OMEGA is pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to ORBIS’s remarkable mission. It’s particularly gratifying to be working with Daniel in support of an organisation whose work we all believe in.”
Retail Trust Ball raises £1 million Key figureheads of the retail sector demonstrated their dedication to industry charity Retail Trust by donating over £1 million at the recent Retail Trust London Ball, one of the annual centrepieces of the retail industry’s events calendar. The last year has been a turbulent time for retail staff and their employers, triggering a 50 per cent increase in calls to the Retail Trust Helpline. The sum raised at the Grosvenor House ball came from personal pledges – Sir Philip Green, for example, donated £125,000 – and corporate contributions from some of the country’s best known retailers, including House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Primark, John Lewis and ASOS. Nigel J L Rothband, Retail Trust CEO, said: “Threats to the retail sector, and therefore retail staff, have never been higher. We need to ensure we act as a safety net for all people in retail who need us and that we have funds and services in place to help when needed. In the past year we have helped people who have suffered redundancy, been victims of in-store crime, families that have been the victim of tragedies and many more issues. “One of the ways we can continue to look after all those working in retail is through fundraising at events like this… The incredible generosity and support we have seen confirms that the retail industry itself recognises the need to look after retail staff that are going through tough times. By continuing to work in partnership with retailers we can help even more of the three million people in retail who need us the most.” Among the 1,200-strong audience who gave their support to Retail Trust on the night, were Sir Philip Green, Harold Tillman, Robert Swannell, Marc Bolland, Rob Templeman, John King and Michelle Mone.
Merseyside jeweller to cycle the Nile for cancer research charity Quick-off-the-mark jeweller Pete Seeger is one of the first cyclists to sign up for a 250-mile bike ride along the banks of the Nile to help beat cancer. Pete, of Liverpool’s Milton’s Jewellers, plans to use pedal power to boost the funds of Clatterbridge Cancer Research (CCR), an organisation that funds world class research into a disease that affects the Merseyside area more than anywhere else in the UK. “I’ve set myself a target of raising £5,000, but I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to get fit for the challenge,” said Pete, who hasn’t cycled for around 10 years. “I was a keen cyclist in the past and did the Lands End to John o’ Groats ride for charity, so I’m hoping it won’t take me that long to get up to the mark again.” “We’re delighted Pete has been so quick to register,” added Sarah Klaveness, marketing manager at CCR. “This is a really important event in our fundraising calendar so we want to attract lots of interest. We’ll help participants all we can with training advice, and they can look forward to an amazing trip with a great deal of camaraderie and fun and knowing they’re helping to beat cancer at the same time.” Anybody wanting to sponsor Pete can do so via: www.justgiving.com/pete-seeger
Image: Chester Chronicle newspapers
It’s shaping up to be a busy year for the jewellery sector, says Janet Fitch, who looks at a few of the design and event highlights for the months ahead
he Chinese Year of the Rabbit, I am told, is meant to usher in a calmer period after the tempestuous Year of the Tiger. Maybe the tiger is still hanging around here, as life has been a non-stop round of events, shows and launches, and an avalanche of information about new trends, products and designs. Far from calm, the jewellery world seems to be gearing up for an energetic year. Getting Started, the annual week-long introduction to business for jewellers and silversmiths, celebrated its 30th year with a reception at Goldsmiths’ Hall, exhibiting the work of this year’s 35 graduates. I picked out two graduates’ work. Firstly Kevin Brook, who changed career from the print industry to a degree in Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery Design. His passion for CAD programmes like Rhino, allowing the designer to visualise and adapt work in a virtual environment, led to him being able to experiment before finally engineering his cog suite of jewellery, in a combination of sterling silver and titanium. (www.kevin-brook.co.uk) Imogen Belfield, who graduated from London Metropolitan University in 2008, has already established herself as an up-and-coming designer and businesswoman, and her textured pieces created with porcelain fragments fused into metals, with gemstones, dyes and glaze, have been snapped up by stockists like Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Asos and Kabiri. She is one of a clutch of talented jewellery designers based at Flux Studios in Camberwell, London. (www.imogenbelfield.com; www.fluxstudios.org)
London Jewellery Week, which will take place this year from 6 to 12 June, was launched with plenty of fizz in the New Exchange, the upmarket shopping area in the heart of London where jewellery retailers include Tiffany and Co, Cartier, Bulgari and Boodles. This year promises to be bigger and better, and although it is a consumer event, Treasure, the contemporary jewellery show, will have a dedicated trade day on Thursday 9 June with a VIP party that evening. (www.londonjewelleryweek.co.uk) Swarovski, a significant sponsor of the Week, displayed a new collection by five international jewellery designers for Atelier Swarovski, which is available from the middle of this month, including Joseph Altuzarra, who worked for Givenchy and Marc Jacobs, before setting up his own label in 2007. He produces stackable bangles, cuffs, rings and necklaces in resin and crystals and in all hues from pale silver to the darker shades of crystal vitrail medium, montana blue and jet. Meanwhile, grooved metallic discs embellished with pear-shaped crystals in opalescent and burnished colours of silver, jet hematite and metallic gold make up the spectacular necklaces, cuffs, earrings and cocktail rings designed by Jenny Manik Mercian, who showed her first collection in Australia in 2005. (www.atelierswarovski.com) Greg Valerio wrote about Fairtrade gold in the January issue of Jewellery Focus. The launch event, held just before the first sales of the gold on Valentine’s Day, was packed, proving its popular interest. Juana Pena Andara of Catapata Mining Co-operative in Bolivia – a miner and single mother of four children – gave a moving account of her life and work experience. Stephen Webster recounted his trip to a mining area, and with a film crew has made a short film there. His introductory collection of wedding jewellery will be made of Fairtrade gold, and will be launched at London Jewellery Week. Livia, wife of Bafta winning and Oscar nominated actor Colin Firth, has developed the Green Carpet Challenge, and aims to wear only ethically sourced items on the red carpets she treads with Colin. At the Fairtrade gold launch I met Anna Loucah, a bespoke goldsmith in Brighton, who was commissioned by Livia to make the jewellery she wore earlier this year to the Golden Globes in Los Angeles. The pieces are made from recycled white gold, ethically sourced rubies and purple spinel, carbon neutral South Sea pearls, and conflict-free diamonds. (www.annaloucah.com)
Watch this space
Renewing friendships A conversation with a friend leads Keith Fisher to a familiar brand name, but a new path of watch design discovery…
t takes a real mate to tell you the truth and bring you down to earth. Such a chap is Tommy Smith (Smudger), who I have known for years. Over a drink recently he barked at me: “All you do is concentrate on the so-called big names of watches.” Fair enough. He went on (and on!): “There’s more to life than a Rolex, Fish,” (that’s what he calls me) he said, and then to prove the point he thrust his wrist towards my face to reveal the name Tissot on what was a superb looking watch. It was called the Tissot Sea-Touch, which I will mention later. “I am delighted with this brand,” he continued. “Tissot may not be so designer-conscious in today’s world, but I don’t give a damn. I think it is a brilliant watch manufacturer. So let’s have a decent write-up.”
His wish is my command. Plus he is quite a big chap and I don’t want to upset him. Only joking! Of course I know the name Tissot, but yes it is about time I took notice of a middle-of-the-road brand, especially one which has a fabulous history. Tissot is a Swiss watch making company founded as far back as 1853 by Charles-Felicien Tissot and his son Charles-Emile in the Swiss City of Le Locle in the Neuchatel area of the Jura Mountains. The company introduced the first mass-produced pocket watch in 1858. It was also the first company to make watches out of plastic (1971); stone (the Alpine granite rock watch in 1985); mother of pearl (the Pearl watch in 1987) and wood (the Wood watch in 1988).
Watch this space
I still get such sublime joy looking at and finding a timepiece which makes me feel warm inside
Tissot merged with the Omega watch making family in 1930 and Tissot-Omega watches from this era are highly sought after by collectors. Still based in Le Locle and distributed to over 150 countries worldwide, the company has been a member of the Swatch Watch Group Ltd since 1983. But, most significantly, Tissot’s name is synonymous with innovation, and its reputation in recent years has rocketed because of its tactile or T-Touch technology in a whole range of testosterone-charged sporty timepieces, which have touch sensitive sapphire glasses and include all sorts of complications such as atomic time, vibrating alarm, dual time, stopwatch, countdown timer, weather forecast, lottery results, movie listings, headline news and the ability to receive short messages via Windows Live Messenger. Now I am nothing if not honest: I am not one for all this technological genius, although I respect those who are fascinated and captivated by gadgetry and complications (showing my age!). I like a watch that looks good, but most importantly tells me the time whenever I need it without requiring me to look at a face with six dials on it. So I was a bit wary when I visited my local Tissot stockist, thinking that there wouldn’t be a watch for me to fall in love with. How wrong could I be? Simon, the charming manager, showed me a plethora of magnificent watches – mostly from the signature range of T-Touch including T-Touch Expert, T-Touch Pilot, T-Touch Diamonds, Sea-Touch, Sailing-Touch, Touch Navigator and Silen-T, all with a multitude of functions which completely baffled me. But I can understand why young men love them. He gave me the official brochure to peruse while he dealt with a customer. Flicking though, it hit me right between the eyes. I came across what is called the Tissot Heritage Prince. Oblong with either gold Arabic numerals on a white face, gold Arabic numerals on a black face or black Arabic numerals on a white face – I fell in love with all three! I still get such sublime joy looking at and finding a timepiece which makes me feel warm inside. I suppose that is why I love the world of watches. I also loved the message from Francois Thiebaud, president of Tissot, who said: “Tissot claim to be in touch with your time – and no matter your age. The entire Tissot team is committed to keeping in tune with your lifestyles. Tissot has a tradition of innovation and we are determined to take that pioneering spirit into the future.” I was also very pleasantly surprised by the list of famous people who have worn Tissot watches. They include the actress Sarah Bernhardt, singer Carmen Miranda, Angelina Jolie, Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Nelson Mandela and even Elvis Presley! I am definitely All Shook Up by Tissot.
The Active, Futuristic and Style ranges from Elle Time are a collection of timepieces designed and crafted to reflect the spirit of Elle magazine. Using Swiss or Japanese movements, stainless steel, leather and other high-quality materials, as well as state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, the Elle Time collection combines trends, lifestyle, fashion, craftsmanship and elegance. Information: 07515 664 320 or email@example.com RRP: POA
to watch Unique Jewelry had a fantastic Spring Fair show, launching new watch brand Festina, which will also be exhibited in Basel. New from the company is the Chrono Bike timepiece – a combination of cutting-edge technology and sporty design, precisely developed to evoke the spirit of cycling. Several details are inspired by bike parts, such as the three sub-dials that resemble cycle chain wheels and spring buttons that bring to mind bike suspension. Information: 0207 405 5523 or www.uniquejewelry.co.uk RRP: £219 (PU strap) or £235 (steel bracelet)
If the level of interest shown in Rolex specialist BQ Watches’ stand at the Jewellery Show is any indicator, preowned watches are going through a boom time. “We have never known such intense interest,” said Ian Shaffer, director of sales. “Luxury pre-owned or vintage watches from the 60s and 70s are seen as sure-fire investments. They look new, depreciate very slowly and, with the recent VAT price hike, cost a lot less than new models.” Those watches most demanded by Jewellery Show visitors included the Rolex Datejust and sports models. Information: 0208 953 4575 or www.bqwatches.com
Part of the inaugural range from new Californian watch brand MODUS, the Optimus is a 54mm by 42mm sapphire crystal chronograph with intricate stainless steel fivepiece case design, rose gold plated attachments and pushers and carbon fibre side plates. The microfibre strap also features a rose gold plated deployant buckle. Information: +1 626 820 1332 or www.moduswatch.com RRP: £308 (prices may vary from time-to-time based on the rate of exchange)
BASELWORLD 2011 PREVIEW
with the times
Following a successful 2010 and with big plans for the future, international watch and jewellery show BASELWORLD returns this month
ast year, BASELWORLD attracted 100,700 industry professionals from all over the world, with the show receiving extremely high attendance (seven per cent up compared to 2009). Consequently, the BASELWORLD 2011 World Watch and Jewellery Show is in the best possible position as it prepares to open its doors this month. The event is also still celebrating its success at World Day Against Counterfeiting, where management was presented with the GACG Award 2010 in Paris from the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG) for its endeavours in the fight against product piracy and for the protection of intellectual property. The award was made especially in recognition of the endeavours of the BASELWORLD Panel, which, as an internal arbitration tribunal for the show, has been engaged in the protection of intellectual property for more than 25 years and has thus been supporting the worldwide fight against counterfeit products. Turning our attention back to the 2011 event now, though, and the industry’s key brands are gearing up to present their innovations in Basel from 24 to 31 March 2011. Exhibitors will include eminent watch brands such as a.b.art, Bulova and TechnoMarine, as well as key diamond, precious stone, pearl and jewellery suppliers such as Chamilia and 5C Group. Packaging specialists such as Ch Dahlinger will also be present. The show management is expecting more than 1,800 exhibitors and in excess of 100,000 professional visitors from all over the world at BASELWORLD 2011. The successful concept of the past few years is being maintained and refined: the exhibiting companies will be provided with sufficient space to present their collections and brand worlds within clearly delimited sectors at the show. The organisers also says that they have noticed brands which have altered their marketing plans over the past few years due to the economic crisis are now coming back to BASELWORLD. A sign of change for 2011? We shall see! Another sign of things to come is the building work currently being carried out on the exhibition site in Basel. The major revamp, which has seen some 430 million Swiss francs of investment, is due to be revealed in its entirety at BASELWORLD 2013. Hall 1 is being extended towards
Exhibition Square, Building 3 next to the car park is being rebuilt, and the two new hall complexes are being linked via a two-storey building above Exhibition Square. Disruption will be kept to a minimum at the forthcoming show, however, as the preparatory work required for the construction of the new halls was completed in mid-October and the actual building work for the new exhibition halls will only start after the 2011 event. So, exciting times ahead for BASELWORLD – why not get involved?
BASELWORLD 2011 – The World Watch and Jewellery Show
Date: Thursday 24 March to Thursday 31 March 2011 Venue: Exhibition Center Basel (Messe Basel) Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm On the final day from 9am to 4pm Admission prices: One day pass CHF 60.00 Eight day pass CHF 150.00 Organiser: MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd Web: www.baselworld.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of British This month Sam Willoughby celebrates home-grown design talent, and the unique characteristics of British jewellery that are appealing to buyers all over the world
Sam Willoughby is event manager for International Jewellery London (IJL).
cross the fashion and jewellery industries, there are so many British designers doing us proud by launching stylish collections that are appreciated and stocked worldwide. With several international flagship shows ahead of IJL, I decided to look into what makes British design stand out, and how it is being marketed in the UK and internationally. Rachel Galley is a shining example of British design talent. Her jewellery is popular at home and abroad – she has received particular interest from the US, and her pieces are stocked in New York, California, Philadelphia and Virginia. I spoke to Rachel about the interest she has received from the US and elsewhere internationally, and she explained what she thinks makes British designers successful: “I think British designers are not afraid to be a little bit different and quirky. We have quite a unique sense of humour in Britain and I think this often shows through our work. We are also very hard working, and show a lot of attention to detail in all of our creations.” As for her next steps, Rachel is hoping to expand the US market and also branch out further across Europe – Italy and France in particular. In terms of British retailers supporting British designers, Rachel observed that there is quite a mix of British design and design from overseas in the stores at the moment. She continued to comment: “High-end British retailers will always strive to encourage British talent and design and promote this within their stores. I like to think so anyway! We are culturally diverse as a nation; we have so many people to appeal to, so therefore have to offer a broad range in the stores.” Newcastle-based Richard Sinton Jewellers is a good example of a retailer that is stocking some great British designers – both well known and relative newcomers – including Theo Fennell, Stephen Webster, Paul Spurgeon, Christopher Wharton and Links of London. I decided to get their view on what appeals about these designers: “British jewellery designers offer a unique style, completely different to their continental counterparts. The jewellery is often bolder and more innovative and contains a
strong fashion element,” said Sue Sinton, also noting: “Where silver jewellery is concerned, most is manufactured abroad – presumably this is more cost effective.” So retailers are clear on what makes British design different and what the unique selling points are. What about consumers? “We have always tried to promote British designers, but find that generally the British consumer is more influenced by trends shown in magazines and national advertising campaigns. There is no longer a loyalty from the consumer, especially the younger person, to British makes and brands,” commented Sue, pointing out that if consumers were surveyed they may not be able to identify where some popular brands are from. I think there is plenty of room in the UK retail market for both British and international jewellery. The important thing is to make sure the quality is there and that the work is designled and creative. As Sue Sinton and Rachel Galley have pointed out, there are certain styles of jewellery design which can be viewed as typical of British design talent, and I think it’s a good idea to market these characteristics and points of difference to consumers as much as possible. We have excellent jewellery design courses and opportunities in this country – just look at the work of the KickStarters and Bright Young Gems at IJL – and I really feel that our designers are thriving. This is being appreciated all over the world, as far afield as Japan, where there seems to be an appetite for UK design talent. A top buyer in Japan – Lima Ohno of Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores Inc – has summarised what she thinks the appeal is: “There are craftsman and designers who have skills to actually make jewellery (rather than just ‘design’ it). I have an impression that the UK has good schools and workshops where designers can learn and acquire such skills. The Japanese jewellery market is now matured; more customers appreciate technique, craftsmanship, materials, history and philosophy – the stories behind jewellery.”
Tim Ingle of ethical jeweller Ingle & Rhode speaks to Louise Hoffman about the development of fair trading in the jewellery sector
Firstly, can you outline the history of Ingle & Rhode, and its ethical status?
Ingle & Rhode was formed in 2007, with the aim of offering an ethical fine jewellery service. The idea was to work only with ethical materials, and a fully transparent supply chain. Our gold was to be fairly traded, and our diamonds guaranteed conflict-free. Every piece was to be entirely crafted in the UK. We set out to show that it’s possible to be ethical without compromising on quality.
Was the decision to operate under this ethical banner to some extent a leap of faith at that time? Or were you utterly confident in introducing the business model to the consumer? It was a leap of faith in the sense that nobody had written a handbook on how to establish an ethical jewellery business; there was no established path that we could follow. But we always had confidence that consumers would respond well to our offering; you just have to look at ethical consumerism across different markets – this is a phenomenon that is growing in spite of tough economic conditions. We always believed that this would translate well into the jewellery market – there is no reason that people should be less ethical than they would normally be when choosing their wedding and engagement rings.
How has the jewellery-buying public responded since then?
The response has been fantastic. We were lucky enough to get a bit of publicity when we launched, and things just snowballed from there. A lot of our business now is based on word of mouth referrals.
Have you also been well supported by designers and suppliers?
We’ve done several collaborations with other designers, and they’ve all been hugely enthusiastic. In the past, working within conventional supply chains, they’ve been keen to source their materials ethically but haven’t known how to do it. Working with us has given them that opportunity.
You have signed up to become one of the first stockists of Fairtrade gold. Can you tell us more about this decision, your opinions of the new certification, and your hopes for its success?
We believe that this will be a big step forward for the industry. The certification process will safeguard the interests of the producers, while the publicity around the launch will be a big boost for consumer awareness. It’s only through increased consumer demand for ethical products that the industry as a whole will be forced to improve the way it works. A huge amount of credit should go to the Association for Responsible Mining for making this happen; it’s a huge amount of work to get a product certified for Fairtrade.
Do you believe that awareness of ethical issues is growing among consumers? Is this an active awareness, or is it predominantly passive at present?
All the evidence is that consumer awareness is growing constantly. More than two thirds of all consumers now recognise the Fairtrade logo, and the percentage of purchases across different market sectors that can be defined as ‘ethical’ is rising year-on-year. Britain’s economic problems don’t seem to be putting any brake on this progress. This growing awareness isn’t just passive. Consumers are using the information they have about ethical issues to govern their buying decisions. This is where their real power lies – by voting with their wallets, they can make an impact on the way that retailers do business.
“A lot of industries have an in-built resistance to change, and the jewellery business is certainly one of them”
A lot of industries have an in-built resistance to change, and the jewellery business is certainly one of them. A lot of firms have been doing things the same way for generations, and would deny that there is anything wrong with the state of the industry. They will only clean up the way they act if they feel they have no choice. That stimulus will come when enough consumers start asking difficult questions of retailers, and walking away if they don’t get satisfactory answers.
How do you see this changing in the future?
We believe that consumer awareness is going to continue to grow, and to become progressively more active. Consumers have access to more and better information than ever before, and are using it to make more informed decisions. Ultimately, that will put pressure on the mainstream jewellery industry to clean up the way it does business. We are likely to see different responses to this. Some companies will make a genuine effort to change the way they work. At the other end of the spectrum, many companies will continue to bury their heads in the sand, and continue to pretend that there is nothing wrong with how they’ve always done business. Finally, some companies will pay lip service to ethical considerations, while continuing to act unethically. Hopefully this won’t pay dividends.
Finally, what steps do you think need to be taken next in order to improve ethical trading?
The fundamental problem with the jewellery business is a lack of transparency. Most retailers don’t know where their own materials come from, which makes it impossible for them to offer full disclosure to consumers. Everything else stems from this problem – it’s impossible to claim that a piece has been made ethically if you can’t even verify where the materials come from originally.
“In the long term, the best thing that could happen would be reform of mainstream supply chains to incorporate full traceability”
To get around this problem, at the moment it’s necessary to work outside the mainstream supply chains, which requires considerable effort – effort which most jewellers aren’t prepared to invest. In the medium term, it’s likely that consumer demand will force more jewellers to start making this effort. In the long term, the best thing that could happen would be reform of mainstream supply chains to incorporate full traceability. This isn’t likely to happen in the near future though.
April’s ‘5 Gold Rings’ are made from 18 carat Fairtrade Fairmined gold – Oro Verde, mined in the Choco Region in Colombia. Oro Verde was created for and by mining families, helping to comply with environmental and social criteria, and has now been certified Fairtrade. The designs incorporate rubies and sapphires from Tanzanian miners, sourced through Rubyfair.com, and the diamonds are conflict-free from the Ekati mine in Canada. Information: 01805 624 305, email@example.com or www.aprildoubleday.com
Showcasing a selection of new jewellery designs made using fair trading and ethical methods and materials…
Chaos is an exciting new jewellery innovation, coupled with an ethical approach. The brand is rethinking precious jewellery by creating unique designs in silver, adding a luxury touch with 18 carat gold, and completing the look using only ethically precious metals. Information: 01787 315 729 or www.chaosjewellery.com
Recoginised by the trade and consumers as the pioneering brand behind Fairtrade precious metals and ethical jewellery, CRED has created such attractive designs as the Wash engagement and wedding ring, which uses Fairtrade Fairmined gold or platinum, set with diamonds that are traceable from mine to shine. The rings are part of the company’s much-anticipated wholesale offer – the Eden collection of certified Fairtrade Fairmined engagement, wedding and eternity rings. Information: 0203 176 7837 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Vivien Johnston founded Fifi Bijoux in 2006, with the aim of creating jewellery with the ultimate luxury value: known ethical provenance of all the precious minerals used. The on-trend designs are created in gold, silver and platinum from small-scale mines, which do not use cyanide or mercury and uphold fair trade principles. The company has achieved international acclaim for its designs, ranging from understated elegance to quirky and contemporary. Information: 0208 133 2531, email@example.com or www.fifibijoux.com
When creating her jewellery, Hattie Rickards uses gold from a Colombian mine which is currently awaiting Fairtrade Fairmined certification; a British owned and located manufacturer with a clear environmental and social commitment; and gems and stones sourced from a supplier with strong ethical and environmental policies. These rings are two of her latest designs: Raw Crown is made out of 18 carat ethical gold and nine carats of Kimberley Process certified rough diamonds; and the Revolver, which uses 18 carat ethical gold and precious stones. Information: 01451 850 288, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.hattierickards.com
Leblas has created the Diamond and Ruby Heart Collection for spring 2011. The collection uses ethical 18 carat white gold sourced from Oro Verde (www.greengold-oroverde.org/ loved_gold). The gold has a 15 per cent premium paid to the miners. Meanwhile, the diamonds and rubies are all from known sources in Canada and Tanzania where miners’ welfare, the environment and the final price are all given careful consideration. Information: 0207 730 3418, email@example.com or www.leblas.com
Linnie Mclarty is a licensee of Fairtrade gold and Fairtrade Ecological gold, which has an additional five per cent premium to ensure environmental restoration is undertaken and mercury and cyanide are not used. Thus her 18 carat gold ‘Bizarrely Enough’ ring carries the Fairtrade Fairmined hallmark and is set with a fairly traded cabochon sapphire. Each piece is unique, as the ring is carved and modelled in wax and then cast as a one-off piece. The stone has a legal and traceable supply chain, ensuring fair labour conditions and safe working practice. Also available are the ‘Discretely Bizarre’ bangle and ring. Information: 07811 022 560, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.linniemclarty.com
Launched in 2007 by Tania Kowalski and Synnove Saelthun, Oria Jewellery is an ethical jewellery company which has become one of the world’s first Fairtrade gold licence holders. Oria’s collections are a contemporary twist on classic designs – pieces to be treasured and passed down from generation to generation. The designs are inspired by nature and symbolism, and each collection tells a story. Information: 0208 133 3518 or www.oriajewellery.co.uk
Available from Made by the People for the People Ltd are the Triple Hexagon Multistrand necklace, made up of three strands of delicate recycled brass hexagons and created by Kenyan designer Niku Singh; and Livia Firth’s Heart necklace, made using materials such as recycled brass and soapstone mined locally through a co-operatively run mine that provides jobs and a better standard of living. Information: 0207 258 9690, email@example.com or www.made.uk.com
Ute Decker is a leading proponent of ethical jewellery, and is renowned for her wearable sculptures in recycled silver and bio-resin. This February she became one of the world’s first jewellers to launch a collection in Fairtrade Fairmined gold. Entitled PURE, the collection reflects in its minimalist, clean lines the purity of the gold’s provenance. Information: 0207 354 4237, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.utedecker.com
First impressions count, and an innovative window display can make all the difference to footfall. Rebecca HohHale gets some creative tips from those in the know The experts Louise Dicks – director of Richard Designs, a Cambridge-based jewellers specialising in bridal pieces and offering advice and consultations to other jewellery retailers on successful point of sale. Emily Pugh – freelance stylist, set designer and trained window dresser, with clients including Florence B Jewellery led by Holly Bellm. She also works with fellow set designers Raven Smith and Emma Gibson (a collective known as the John Hour), designing windows for the world’s best department stores including Selfridges. Harriet Parry – visual merchandising and fashion stylist, with clients including Arrogant Cat accessories. While she was head visual merchandiser, her window displays contributed to a revenue increase (in terms of window sale figures) of between 15 and 50 per cent. Phil Barnes – of Muru Jewellery, which offers silver and jewelled pieces known for their fresh and fashion-led look, and crowd-drawing displays at trade shows.
he humble window display could not be more important in the world of jewellery retail. This is the portal to your products that gives the passer-by about 10 seconds to connect with your pieces, and is by far the most effective form of advertising, as it gives people a preview of the actual, physical product you are selling and the style that surrounds it. Four experts in the field of visual merchandising, from success story retailers to visual merchandising stylists and consultants, gave me the low down on what separates a dressed-to-impress window from a walkon-by window.
Phil Barnes: It may sound obvious, but the perfect window display’s aim in life is to draw the shopper in and then to focus on the products that you are selling, in that order. So, for that reason, it is vital that the theme of the window display is relevant to your target market and the product. But do remember, once inside the shop the jewellery itself needs to have visual impact so that it is the centre of attention – you are selling jewellery and not window displays after all! Louise Dicks: Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that it’s the little things that can go a long way. For example, easy, cheap solutions like a fresh coat of paint and a dust, vacuum and tidy up are the most obvious things that make such a big difference. Similarly, don’t keep items in your shop window that you have had for a long time. Customers will notice if the products are out of date or in bad condition, or even if they have seen them in your window before. If you keep refreshing your shop window then you will capture people’s interest. As a general rule, don’t put anything in the window that you have had for longer than six months.
Emily Pugh: When it comes to windows, I think the first thing you need to think about is that you have a mere few seconds, if that, to catch the attention of a passer-by. So your display needs to have that initial ‘grab’ and then also maintain that interest enough to bring that person inside the shop. You can do this by not even including product in the window, yet by creating something that is innovative, intriguing, playful, unexpected and, therefore, cool. The shopper wants to buy a piece of this ‘cool’ in the form of a tangible product, which is incredibly useful for tiny pieces of jewellery! And remember, there is no Photoshop in display; standards are the most important thing. There’s no point having an amazing window installation if half of it is falling down because you used the wrong type of glue and there are not enough staff members to keep dusting all the clever props! Harriet Parry: If time and space allow, why not dress two windows, each with separate themes or ‘attitudes’ – something that was often the scenario with Arrogant Cat. Although it’s important that both themes reflect your overall brand identity to its fullest, you can design each one to attract two contrasting demographics to drive footfall – which after all is what it’s all about.
Harriet Parry: I give each mannequin a character, which adds a narrative and movement to the point of sale as well as highlighting the style you are going for as a whole package, not just the jewellery items themselves. Again, if location allows, use further mannequin/product positioning and floor movements within, to continue the window themes and to prolong the customer journey through the store. I often use either headless dummies or some sort of quirky ‘head’, such as a cat mask, to promote the brand, but I’ve also seen birdcages and boxes, which not only keep the look open to the individual’s personal interpretation, but a peculiar and intriguing display can give the press reasons to have interest in the brand – also a good thing! Louise Dicks: Borrow an outfit from a local boutique or clothing store and dress it up with accessories. It is much easier to sell the whole look rather than individual pieces. This will catch people’s eyes from a distance and add some colour and something to engage with to your window. Credit the clothes shop and they will benefit as well and may agree to put your jewellery with their garments in their shop window too!
Above: Florence B
“Choose an idea that not only connects with the style of your product and identity of your brand, but also something that many people can connect with”
Louise Dicks: Lights can transform a space so make sure you have bright, crisp lights and plenty of them. Make the use of the whole of the space you have – a dark corner will do your window display no favours. Don’t just light up your jewellery stands but light up the whole window so that people can see it from a distance; another way to draw all those customers like moths to a flame! Make sure your jewellery is in tiptop condition – polished and shining rather than tarnished and dulled by fingerprints – so that the light makes it sparkle. You can find more information about LED lighting on page 34.
On-trend themes and concepts for 2011 and beyond
These trends include whimsical, fairytale, woodland creatures, tea party and the best of British themes. Louise Dicks: Choose an idea that not only connects with the style of your product and identity of your brand, but also something that many people can connect with; a unifying, topical moment such as the royal wedding or the 2012 Olympics. Colour themes are probably the easiest to achieve with the use of decorations in the same tone as each other and also the key pieces of jewellery – try to pick on-trend colours to remind people of their outfits which will be worn with the jewellery. Emily Pugh: My favourite kind of jewellery displays are super simple but have a twist. You can be really funny with props and use of scale – have a quick look through fashion mags to see the latest jewellery fashion editorials and find exciting ways to present these precious little things: cats, robots, miniature city-scapes, and forests made of paper covered in semi-precious stones. When working with Florence B, who has very beautiful, one-off
Above: Richard Designs. Below: Harriet Parry spring window ideas
“In general, the most innovative displays attract the most attention, as consumers are drawn in by the originality”
pieces, we wanted to emphasise this personal, eclectic feel. For the Florence B POS display in Wolf and Badger in Notting Hill we chose one very simple, striking antler that was quirky in itself but also perfect to display the rings and necklaces and a couple of folded paper motifs that just lift the product enough to emphasise the collection of designs. Holly Bellm at Florence B: As with all window and POS displays we wanted to strike that balance between being eye-catching but not too cluttered. I kept mine in theme with my brand so researched my inspirations – my jewellery is inspired by Tim Walker and Alice in Wonderland themes so we used an antler (these appear a lot in his work and are great to hang things off) and then Emily made some butterflies and bees that look like my logo, using old paper from books and the purple from my logo, which were then attached to the antler. It’s all about catching the viewer’s eye, but not being overly distracting as jewellery is so small! Louise Dicks: In general, the most innovative displays attract the most attention, as consumers are drawn in by the originality. At a recent trade show, we used a combination of twisted willow branches, butterflies and beetles to achieve an ethereal, slightly creepy display setting. It worked brilliantly for stockists, as the twisted willow branches were eye-catching and unconventional in shape but perfect for hanging necklaces on. We recently launched a jewellery collection inspired by iconic symbols of Britishness, including teapots, strawberries and crowns, which coincided with the continued popularity of all things ‘afternoon tea’ and the aesthetic of the latest film Alice in Wonderland. We co-ordinated our display to be in keeping with the Mad Hatter’s tea party and it was a real hit. With imitation being the highest form of flattery, we have since seen a number of stockists adopting our display idea, which created a real buzz around the new collection.
Information, display consultants and shopfitters Arrogant Cat: www.arrogantcat.com David Ostick: www.davidostick.co.uk Emily Pugh: www.emilyepugh.blogspot.com Florence B: www.florenceb.com Harriet Parry: www.harrietparryportfolio.blogspot.com Jewellers Display Consultants: www.jewellersdisplayconsultants.co.uk Muru Jewellery: www.murujewellery.com Richard Designs: www.richard-designs.com Watts Design: www.wattsdesign.co.uk
Nick Wraith, managing director of Lumenal, explains why jewellery retailers should be looking to LED lighting to maximise their ‘shelf-appeal’
n any retail situation, the quality and performance of display lighting can dramatically enhance the appeal of the merchandise on display, but it is particularly valuable for emphasising the beauty, cut and colour of the most intricate of jewellery pieces.
Is light just light?
There is much more to light than meets the eye. A number of characteristics contribute to its effect, including its colour, brightness and concentration. Colour of light is particularly influential within jewellery displays because it affects the appearance of different metals and gemstones, both in terms of brightness and colour. It is described in terms of whether it appears warm white (reddish), neutral, or cool white (bluish). For instance, under a warm, white light, gold looks lustrous, but silver can look flat or ‘dead’. On the other hand, neutral light has the opposite effect on silver and gold, and is the best light colour for maximising the sparkle of diamonds. As individual display cases often contain a mixture of gold, silver and gemstones, using just one colour of light, as offered by conventional light sources (fluorescents, halogens and metal halides), will enhance the appearance of some pieces, but at the expense of others. As a solution to this problem, LED lamps can be made to produce various colours of light, to pick out the different products on display. This combination of lamps can then simply be incorporated into a single light fitting. For instance, for a display case featuring both gold and diamond pieces, LED lamps that produce neutral light and those that produce a warm, white light can be fitted alternately into one LED strip light, bringing both materials within that display to life. High quality LED lighting also boasts unfaltering consistency in colour, thereby reassuring retailers that the colour of light emitted will not change with use. Also affecting customers’ perceptions of jewellery merchandise is the amount of heat display lighting gives out. When handling items, customers view them with greater appeal if they are cool to touch. The radiant heat given off by conventional light sources can take the ‘cool edge’ off jewellery. However, as LED lighting produces no radiant heat, its use avoids this problem. In addition to high levels of heat, conventional light sources also emit ultra violet (UV) light, which can fade packaging and display material, including velvet display pads. However, as LED lighting does not emit UV light, it will not fade fabric or packaging within jewellery display cabinets.
Conventional strip lights are usually restricted to indust ry standard sizes, whereas LED fittings can be easily designed to suit individual shelves or display cases
Stability and longevity
One of the most significant advantages of LED display lighting is its durability. Some conventional light sources work through the process of electric current passing through a very fine filament, which gets very hot and lights up. These filaments are highly delicate and very susceptible to breaking, often as a result of vibrations. This problem is particularly prevalent in jewellery stores, as merchandising is often accessed through locked doors, which are continuously being opened and shut throughout the working day. Classified as ‘solid-state’ lighting, LED lights do not depend on a vulnerable filament, and, as a result, have far greater resistance to shock and vibrations.
Above: The Christopher Evans Goldsmith store in Poynton. Right: Lumenal’s energy efficient Articulite LED stem light. Far right: Lumenal’s Orion mini track light system
Using just one colour of light, as offered by conventional light sources, will enhance the appearance of some pieces, but at the expense of others
This stability gives high quality LED lighting a life expectancy in excess of 50,000 hours without noticeable degradation of light output, which is roughly equivalent to 10 years assuming 85 hours trading per week. This is far in excess of the life expectancy of conventional lighting, which varies from approximately 2,000 hours for halogen lights to 10,000 hours for long-life fluorescent lights.
Ease and flexibility
LED lighting also offers the benefit of being highly flexible, meaning that rather than designing a display around awkward conventional light fittings, adaptable LED lighting can be designed around the display. For instance, conventional strip lights are usually restricted to industry standard sizes, whereas LED fittings can be easily designed to suit individual shelves or display cases. This ensures that merchandise displayed towards the ends of shelves and units is illuminated as well as that in the middle. LED lighting can be made to be more slim line and compact, thereby being easier and more discrete to mount within often cramped displays or signage frames. This also means that the process of installing LED fittings into existing cabinets, where conventional fittings existed before, is very easy. The use of the correct optical lens within an LED fitting allows beams of light to be directed and focused more intensely onto specific items or features of jewellery; for example, to highlight gemstones. Alternatively, a different lens can be used to distribute the light at less intensity over a wider area for a more general spread of light across a whole unit.
Save energy, money and the environment
Perhaps the most compelling argument for specifying LED lighting is the amount of money that can be saved as a result of its efficiency and reliability. As explained above, conventional lighting can be highly unreliable, which is both inconvenient and costly. Due to health and safety regulations, store staff may not be permitted to replace blown lamps, meaning that professionals must be brought in, incurring costs for the service as well as the replacement bulbs. To avoid having to pay for too many maintenance visits, retailers tend to wait until multiple lamps have blown so they can be replaced in one visit. During this period, which can last from a few weeks to a few months, sales can suffer due to the less effectively merchandised space. The reliability of LED lighting eliminates this problem. The energy efficiency of LED lighting in comparison to conventional light sources generates further savings year-on-year, typically requiring 30 to 40 per cent less energy than conventional fittings to provide the same, or improved, quality of light. What’s more, the reduced amount of heat that LED light releases in turn reduces the need to run air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the store. As the price of electricity continues to rise, such reductions in energy requirements are going to become increasingly attractive in terms of their ability to significantly reduce stores’ annual running costs. A further cost saving and environmentally friendly benefit is related to the fact that government legislation is set to make it more and more difficult and costly to dispose of the mercury used in fluorescent lights. LED lighting has zero mercury content, making it much easier and cheaper for retailers to dispose of at the end of its use.
Return on investment
Lumenal designs and manufactures LED lighting solutions for use within a number of sectors, including retail. The company specialises in cost effective, energy efficient and aesthetically appealing lighting solutions for the inside and outside of display cases, uniquely designed to meet customers’ individual requirements. for more information. Please visit
While fitting a jewellery store with high quality LED lighting does require an initial investment, the sum of the annual savings in energy consumption and maintenance costs extends way beyond that capital, delivering an expected payback on investment within 24 to 30 months. Furthermore, stores’ savings on annual running costs will continue for years after this period. To demonstrate the costs individual stores can save, leading LED lighting companies will provide retailers with a thorough assessment of their stores’ existing energy consumption and costs compared to those expected with LED lighting. Such an evaluation of the costs that will be saved in the long-term will highlight how investing in LED lighting is exactly that: an investment.
A silver lining
Silver mania shows no signs of abating as precious metal prices continue to soar. Jon Chapple takes a look at some of the new spring collections
espite having a long and distinguished history in jewellery manufacture spanning millennia, silver has often traditionally played second fiddle to other more expensive metal alternatives. However, with the economy remaining unstable and the price of gold continuing to soar, and a financially-squeezed public still worried about their spending, it seems almost certain that this metal will continue its commercial renaissance throughout 2011, inspiring a new generation of designers to explore the metal’s endless possibilities. To commemorate the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April, custom jewellery company Chamilia is introducing a special royal engagement bead to its collection. Made with sterling silver and featuring two large, oval Swarovski
sapphires, surrounded by a total of 32 Swarovski crystals, the exclusive bead was launched at the Spring Fair Jewellery Show in February. Also enjoying another successful Spring Fair show was Jo for Girls, which says it is “delighted that so many retailers” have chosen to stock its brand. The Fabulous Friend collection, which comprises ‘BFF’ and ‘Best Friend’ silver split pendants and beads, has proved to be a winner, being shortlisted for Gift of the Year, while its new Tantalising Strawberry and Happy Star ranges of silver pendants, earrings and beads are sure to brighten up any store. 21st Century Silver has also come up with a new collection of silver designs that it says delighted customers at recent trade shows. “By combining great styles with affordable quality,” they are the “perfect solution for silver jewellery retailers looking for
something new,” the company says. The entire collection is available to view in the 21st Century Silver brochures or via a full sample range, which is carried by the team of professional sales agents. Sema Sezen, the owner and designer of Tezer, constantly seeks to find new and exciting inspiration for her jewellery, with the company this season producing a brand new collection focusing on the pretty features and unique texture of lace. The material’s delicate intricacy is transformed into pendants, earrings and rings, all crafted from sterling silver. The new Blossom collection from Gecko Jewellery’s Fiorelli Silver brand also captures spring beauty with rhodium-plated 925 silver. Encasing white enamel flowers and delicate cubic zirconia in imaginative arrangements, the designs are based on a trendy rework of ever-popular floral accessories. The Blossom statement pendant features a flurry of white enamel flowers embellished with delicate pave rings, while each blossom drop earring features a single white enamel flower and a generous cubic zirconia centre; a great seasonal update for every wardrobe.
A silver lining
The Stack Ring Co is excited to be launching a new collection of 925 sterling silver stack rings for the spring season. The collection features quirky textures and polished, brushed and matte finishes, complemented by dazzling diamonds, glistening rubies and sparkling sapphires. In addition, its Prima range has also been updated with a new collection of vintage-style designs, featuring large, sparkling CZs in intricate surrounds, while the Freedom collection has been “transformed into vintage chic.” Introduced to Kali Ma Designs’ extensive range of plain silver and gemstone-set pieces for the season is a collection of tactile new designs incorporating interesting textures such as hammered, bark effect and punched finishes. Its entire range of jewellery is available to view either online or by calling to book an appointment with one of the company’s agents. With vintage emerging as a hot trend for 2011, Chrysalis is proud to present its new collection of designer vintage-style silver charms, spacers, necklaces and bracelets. Consisting of silver heart charms covered in clusters of intricate, pretty, detailed flowers, sparkling CZ spacers and
interchangeable silver necklaces with butterfly and heart detail, the range also features innovative faceted cat’s-eye bracelets that can be locked together as one, or worn separately to allow versatility and the option of creating an individual design. The Silvery makes its unusual jewellery using the process of electroforming – covering a real natural object with a coating of pure silver. Over the years the company has perfected the technique and materials used, resulting in the ability to produce large, stunning statement pieces that have the chunky and tactile qualities of contemporary solid silver pieces, but at a fraction of the cost. The coating put onto each object is many times thicker than normal silver-plating, creating a ‘skin’ that is every bit as tough as it is beautiful. The final polishing process enhances the details of each piece, highlighting their individuality. All pieces are finished with sterling silver findings and come gift boxed and with a card of authenticity. Inspired by the brands, lifestyle and architecture of Milan, Georgio Martello’s new rhodium-plated sterling silver collection, available from Unique
Jewelry, is a glamorous and colourful range crafted to a high quality, decorated with zirconia and designed as a enhancement to the elegant clothing style of fashionable Italians. Stockists can also further benefit from effective POS, such as displays, packaging and leaflets. Also new from Gecko is the Elements Silver 2011 spring/summer collection – a grown-up, feminine collection that features a lighter, precious look. A showcase of exquisite crystals and with a new array of plating finishes and colours, the range seeks to “epitomise the individuality of modern women.” The latest charm pendants in the range are modern-day heirlooms – pendants and rings featuring rose quartz set in intricate beaded edge settings that contrast against the darker tones of black ruthenium stacking rings and charms. Elements Silver’s Adorned range of pearl jewellery is also to be launched just in time for the wedding season, and features lustrous pearls threaded onto leather, and more delicate pieces inspired by ballet. World of Charms has again expanded its Amore & Baci line with a trendy silver range and stacking ring collection. The Italian brand states
beautiful thing Chrysalis beautiful things emerge Chrys beautiful thing Chrysalis beautiful things emerge Chrys beautiful thing Chrysalis beautiful things emerge
Create your own unique piece of jewellery
To arrange a visit with an agent or for a copy of our catalogue please contact us on: tel: 01823 698 898 | fax: 01823 698 551 email: email@example.com Order online at: www.silver-willow.com - Chrysalis by Silver Willow -
A silver lining
that the secret to its success is that it is able to diversify its product offering, ranging from beads and charms to its collections of stackable rings and fashionable jewellery. Ag Silver’s new spring Soho collection is all about design and detailing, as exemplified by its quirky spider and cobweb range. Pendants can be worn together for an on-trend look – the spider pendant comes with spider stud earrings – and the designs make for an eye-catching display, also available in an 18 carat gold finish. New items have also been added to Ag’s popular Posh collection, such as statement silver marquise pendants in sky blue and warm yellow and matching drop earrings. Charlie Maddocks, Ag creative director, comments: “These days anything goes in the world of jewellery, and our collection reflects the diversity of styles on the high street.” The latest collection from Worcestershire-based Midhaven is a
range of high-quality Swiss marcasite and silver pendants, earrings and brooches, modelled on a range of animals, insects and flowers. Shown is a small marcasite watering can brooch. McKenzie was established 25 years ago and is well known for its successful silver jewellery. Its newest brand, Virtue, was launched last August and comprises three innovative collections – charm beads, stackable rings and drops. All are finished to a high quality, and come with point of sale and packaging. Meanwhile, the company’s well-known silver and diamond range White Ice has at least one diamond in every piece of jewellery. Trollbeads, the original Danish charm bead jewellery, which this year celebrates its 35th anniversary, features more than 200 silver beads in its vast collection. The very first Danish Trollbead, created in 1976, was a silver bead, and the vast majority of the company’s Fairytale and Nordic Trollbeads are created in silver.
Six new sterling silver beads recently launched as part of Trollbeads’ spring collection, including the innovative modern Double Heart from Danish jewellery designer Kim Buck, featuring two interlocking hearts; and the Peter Pan-like image in Spirit of Freedom, designed by Søren Nielsen. “Trollbeads’ silver beads are always in high demand,” says Sarah Morfoot of Fable Trading Ltd – Trollbeads’ sole distributor in the UK and Republic of Ireland. “Silver is more affordable than gold, and it is versatile and attractive.” Finally, the new Silver & Co range from Treasure House seeks to deliver the latest in silver fashion jewellery at affordable prices. With extensive stock for next-day delivery, along with point of sale displays to help the retailer show and sell effectively, the company says that its continual updates allow jewellers to keep ahead of trends and to give them and their customers the latest fashions as they appear.
1) 21st Century Silver: 0208 339 3731 • 2) Ag Silver: 01603 631 314 • 3) Chamilia: 0844 811 2142 • 4) Chrysalis: 01823 698 898 5) Gecko: 01376 532 000 • 6) Jo for Girls: 01887 820 760 • 7) Kali Ma Designs: 01803 872 555 • 8) McKenzie: 0208 323 2828 9) Midhaven: 01299 851 513 • 10) The Silvery: 01273 472 570 • 11) Stack Ring Co: 01823 698 898 • 12) Tezer: 07774 928 045 13) Treasure House: 0207 400 0000 • 14) Trollbeads: 0117 377 4214 • 15) Unique Jewelry: 0207 405 5523 16) World of Charms: 0871 900 1899
Having attended the recent Birmingham Assay Office Trade Review, Louise Hoffman discusses some of the facts and figures that will prove essential to sector strategy for the year ahead
his year’s Birmingham Assay Office Annual Trade Review was especially illuminating – while the facts and figures associated with 2010’s economy may not be pleasing to the eye or pocket, one can’t deny that the changing market is fascinating. Over 60 invited guests attended, including representatives from some of the high street’s biggest names as well as leaders of the fine jewellery and silverware industry, demonstrating that many key players thought the analysis helpful to their business going forward. The seminar title – Reflections in the Rearview Mirror – was derived from a piece of wisdom once imparted by investor Warren Buffett: “In the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” Yes – retrospect is indeed far easier than prediction, but that doesn’t mean the past cannot teach us anything, or, indeed, help us plan for the future. Beginning his talk with a look at the surrounding economic factors which impacted upon the industry, Birmingham Assay Office
CEO Michael Allchin highlighted the 3.7 per cent inflation and 7.9 per cent unemployment figures for the year, with GDP falling by 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter. A graph comparing the recent recession with its two predecessors (1990/91 and 1980/81) was tough viewing, clearly showing the severity of our current situation; GDP dropped significantly further in the 2008/9 downturn, and the recovery is proving to be a much longer and drawn-out process. It won’t be the first time you’ve been told that the internet is the way forward for your retail business, but the statistics prove this advice is worth listening to: in 2010 there were 31 million UK internet shoppers, with online sales rising 13 per cent to £55 billion. Indeed, 38 per cent of Argos’s sales were placed via its website during 2010 (compared to 35 per cent in 2009), and, interestingly, the company’s online ‘click and reserve’ function accounted for 75 per cent of those online sales. Meanwhile, the Argos smartphone app was downloaded 1.2 million
The price of gold has shown a whopping 320 per cent increase between 2001 and 2010, equating to a rise of £605 per ounce GDP comparing recessions graph
Retail footfall graph
(Birmingham Assay Office)
(Birmingham Assay Office)
times and used to place nearly one million reservations in the 18 weeks to 1 January 2011. When you compare internet and footfall retail traffic in the run up to Christmas, an important trend develops: online shopping shows a much less erratic popularity pattern, and hits peak on Sundays when many retail outlets are closed. Obviously there was marked disruption to both online and high street shopping as a result of the bad weather immediately before Christmas – also a period in which online orders became pointless due to lack of delivery time – but here we find indisputable evidence that working as a multi-channel retailer (online and bricks and mortar at the very least) can allow you to cover more bases and therefore reduce risk. One of the positive developments over the last year has been the addition of new routes to market – ecommerce, catalogue and TV shopping have now been joined by social networking and so-called mcommerce (online from a smartphone). There are now 600 million Facebook users worldwide, with 28 million in the UK; on Christmas Day 10.5 per cent of all UK internet visits were to this social networking site; and on 1 January 2011 18 per cent of Topshop’s website hits were driven by it. Need more convincing? An Urban Outfitters Facebook campaign created a database of 500,000 online followers. So, who succeeded and who struggled during the festive season? Well, a fervent round of applause for Goldsmiths, which managed to clock up an impressive 19 per cent growth in like-for-like sales (in the five weeks to 9 January, compared to the same period in 2009). H Samuel and Ernest Jones somewhat surprisingly saw a drop, however, recording a -2.8 per cent and -5.9 per cent change respectively (in the nine weeks to 1 January). Aurum Holdings, the group which Goldsmiths is a part of, reported an increase of 53 per cent in online sales, and a 25 per cent increase in jewellery sales, proving that the customers are still out there. How did they do it? The company cites the improvement of ranges and availability; staff incentives; a significant marketing campaign; and a ‘click and collect’ website function as just a few examples of its strategies for success. A focus on the jewellery industry itself turned up further jaw-dropping statistics. Though sales of jewellery and watches have increased since 2005, and held steady in 08, 09 and 2010, the prices of most raw materials have rocketed. The diamond price index graph shows a steady climb since February 2010, and precious metals have reached near unaffordable levels – the price of gold has shown a whopping 320 per cent increase between 2001 and 2010, equating to a rise of £605 per ounce, and on 26 January 2011 the price had reached £841.21 per ounce. Silver has become especially popular with consumers as a direct result of the rising gold prices, however even this metal has seen a dizzying price increase of 328 per cent between
2001 and 2010, costing £16.91 per ounce on 26 January 2011. This certainly begs questions about the silver market for the year to come, as Michael Hoare highlighted in last month’s comment column. As a consequence, hallmarking figures have, unfortunately, plummeted. Taking a look at the graph you can instantly see the recent and past recessions, as well as their comparative severity – we have clearly not even begun to see a recovery in this area. The number of articles of gold passing through for hallmarking has dropped from 27.1 million in 2001 to just 5.8 million in 2010, representing a -17.1 per cent year-on-year change, while silver has seen a -1.1 per cent change. Platinum and palladium, on the other hand, have seen increases of 1.3 and 159.35 per cent respectively, though the total numbers of hallmarked items is tiny in comparison to gold and silver. An important point to note when looking at the gold hallmarking figures is the apparent reduced risk of 14, 18 and 22 carat gold; while they continue to be less popular than their nine carat counterpart, they have proved surprisingly risk-free, with the amount of hallmarked articles (by weight) seeing much less change over the past 10 years. 2010 is otherwise known as the year of scrap gold, with customers trading in their old and unwanted jewellery for cash left right and centre, making the most of the prices and paying off a few bills while they’re at it. The UK has seen scrap gold supply increase from 4.5 tonnes in 2005 to 59.4 tonnes in 2009, placing it in ninth place on the table behind (in order) Turkey, the USA, India, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Egypt. How long is this phenomenon set to continue though? Discussion at the seminar suggested that the amount of gold jewellery offered for scrap might peak very soon, for one simple reason: gold that is going to be scrapped has probably already been scrapped by now. However, with prices set to rise further yet, the value of scrap will likely plateau and hold steady despite the total weight decreasing. So, what is through the windshield? The CBI is predicting a two per cent economic growth in 2011, and 2.4 per cent in 2012. Meanwhile, interest rates are expected to rise, as are unemployment figures; and precious metal forecasts by GFMS/LBMA suggest raw material prices are yet to reach their peak. It’s not exactly positive stuff, is it? But, as Michael Allchin reminded us in his presentation, there is support out there for the jewellery industry, with concepts such as social responsibility, fair trading, apprenticeships and training all set to grow in strength, and jewellery trends such as charm beads, personalisation and silver design showing no signs of abating. And, as a fitting conclusion, he returned to the wisdom of Warren Buffett: “Predicting rain doesn’t count; building arks does.”
The UK has seen scrap gold supply increase from 4.5 tonnes in 2005 to 59.4 tonnes in 2009
Gold articles hallmarked
(Birmingham Assay Office)
Average gold price
(Birmingham Assay Office)
(Birmingham Assay Office)
British by design 3 rd - 5 th April 2011 Great Yorkshire Showground Harrogate, HG2 8PW, UK
For more information, please contact: PSM Ltd tel: +44 (0) 1444 246446 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Trade buyers registration on line at…
British by design…
The UK’s top trade fair representing 500 British and Irish designer makers.
British Craft Trade Fair
The British Craft Trade Fair
British This year’s British Craft Trade Fair will once again showcase the latest jewellery-making talent from across the UK…
Beverley Harris Arts
Bev is a felt maker of remarkable skill and ability. She is inspired by Indian and African art, and more recently Moroccan, which you can see in her current work. 07903 770 120 • www.bevharrisarts.co.uk
eld from 3 to 5 April at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate, the British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) is a celebration of Britain’s creativity and skill. The organisers, PSM, are pleased to report a fully booked fair with over 500 exhibitors showing everything British. Margeret Bunn, organiser and selector of the fair, says: “I just love selecting the jewellery exhibitors at BCTF; some of the new talent that comes through each year in this category is quite extraordinary, and seeing the different mediums that exhibitors adopt is a delight in itself.” The 2011 fair will be made up of both established exhibitors – many of whom will be launching new ranges at BCTF – and 72 newcomers who come in each year full of fresh ideas, not to mention the 150-plus new exhibitors showing elsewhere at the fair. Featured here is a selection of work which sums up the spirit of the British Craft Trade Fair…
Anne Morgan Contemporary Jewellery
Helen Lea Jewellery Design
Anne’s creations proudly show off her origins in workshop experimentation. This is what makes her silver surfaces in particular unique: each marks a precise moment in which she withdraws her flame from the part liquefied silver. Once she has perfected these surfaces she sets them with strong lines. She forges a relationship between organic texture and a simple geometry – rather like the placing of a formal structure in a natural landscape. 07967 388 024 • www.annemorgan.co.uk
Helen’s work is inspired by animals and nature. Her current work involves making miniature sterling silver animals, which are then placed into a piece of jewellery that represents the creature’s habitat in a stylised way. 07538 502 261 www.helen-lea.co.uk
Janet Wass Jewellery Design
Janet creates simple elegant jewellery delicately laced with pattern. She is inspired by her love of photography to create photographically produced imagery within her designs, using laser-cutting and photoetching alongside traditional jewellery-making techniques. 07814 472 146 www.janwasi.com
Melanie Ankers has a brand new collection out for spring 2011 – New Mandela Collection uses bold graphic designs inspired by architecture, textiles and tattoos. She contrasts the beautiful metal colours of sterling silver, 24 carat gold and oxidised silver, making contemporary and unusual pieces that are easy to wear. 07977 441 196 • www.kokkino.co.uk
The British Craft Trade Fair
With a BA design degree and a first class (Hons) followed by an MA at the Royal College of Art, Victoria is an outstanding silversmith with an eye for the unusual, and her attention to detail is second to none. 07973 679 062 www.victoriakershaw.com
Kate designs fashion accessories, and combines cutting-edge design processes with digital techniques. Among her work is a great range of jewellery in some bold, striking colours. 07508 395 543 www.katehasted.co.uk
Charlotte Verity Jewellery Designer
Phiona Richards – Rare Notions
See San Yung
Her work is beautifully simple and designs are governed by a specific ‘knitting’ technique, which has become her signature. 07816 097 132 www.seesanyung.co.uk
Phiona’s work is very unusual, using traditional needlework techniques to create intriguing jewellery. She gathers old books and other materials and regenerates them into pleasing tactile structures. Although they appear to be fragile and delicate they are in fact quite robust, and interaction becomes a therapeutic experience on many sensory levels. 07968 738 031 www.rarenotions.co.uk
Janine Barnsley makes Jewellery
Janine produces one-off, unique pieces of jewellery, working mainly in gold and silver. 07535 383 366 • www.janinebarnsleyjewellery.co.uk
Charlotte’s studios are in Manchester and her work combines sterling silver with handmade flame worked glass bijoux. Inspiration comes from her love of vibrant cities after dark, and she blows glass bubbles in her work, coating them in a fine layer of gold or platinum. 07736 681 203 www.charlotteverity.com
Carole Allen Jewellery
With workshops in Cornwall, Carole works mainly with silver, gold, enamel, anodised aluminium, acrylic and, increasingly, argentium silver. Her work is influenced by the Cornish landscape and fauna. 07810 770 219 www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk
Seventy Seventy One Design
Gail Myerscough gets her inspiration from 60s and 70s designs and colours, in particular the designs and colourways of 1960s Scandinavian ceramics and fabrics. She creates fashion jewellery and other fashion accessories from wool mix felt. Her work is fun and funky. 07914 264 973 • www.seventyseventyone.co.uk
Handmade by Me
Michelle Eve (Me) discovered jewellery-making purely by accident when she helped her sister mend a piece of her jewellery, and she has had no formal training. She makes up for this with her natural ability and enthusiasm and creates many beautiful and sometimes bizarre designs. Inspiration comes from childhood stories of fairies, witches, wizards and enchantment. 07917 766 089 • www.hmbm.co.uk
Charlotte Lowe .
Charlotte’s range is made up of a collection of etched images surrounded by round frames. The photographs that Charlotte uses are influenced by her travels to exotic locations such as Australia and Italy, and she also offers the opportunity for clients to request pictures or provide their own photographs for commissioned pieces. The frames are available in silver and oxidised silver, with pictures in silver, rose gold plate and gold plate. 07990 893 647 • www.charlottelowe.co.uk
I understand you have a fascination with miniature memorabilia. Do you think this has been your main creative inspiration? What else inspires you?
Attention to detail Nick Hubbard’s intricate and quirky designs are responsible for warming the heart of many a jewellery buyer. Louise Hoffman finds out more… What led you to become a jewellery designer?
While growing up I had a fascination with handwriting, which eventually led me to wanting to train as a hand engraver. On arriving at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, the door of metalworking opened, and for the first time I had an understanding of what the trade was all about. With the excitement of it all I then decided to train to become a silversmith instead. It was while on this course that I met my wife Jean. On leaving the school we worked for a few small companies in the trade, and then in 1978 we set up our own business and began working from a small, rented workshop in Birmingham’s historical Jewellery Quarter. Here I spent my time making a whole host of moving and opening sculptured models for the jewellery trade. Eventually, continuing this love of miniaturisation in my own work, I went on to produce my own collection of jewellery in 1996.
My love of the miniature and intricate detail that has evolved in my work goes hand in hand with our collection of memorabilia displayed at home (small, early, plastic models of comic strip characters and objects tiny enough to fit into a match box), which populate and adorn every available shelf. I am also inspired by language and literature; the way words bring comfort and carry messages across generations. Also, all sorts of pop music from Scott Walker to Tom Waits, and a variety of ephemera from magazines and pamphlets – I like nothing better than to clip out pictures and cut them into small squares, making a picture collage. Jean and I have always shared a passion for collecting, spending our honeymoon scouring the second hand books of Brighton for old Rupert annuals.
Your designs are very distinctive. What steps did you take in developing this style?
My style is part of my personality and evolved with hard work, encouragement and patience from my wife Jean. It is a marrying of my model-making skills learnt over 20 years – which often needed to be quite traditional and trade orientated to suit a particular brief – with all my contemporary thoughts and ideas to make something that is hopefully appealing and whimsical. After a year or two of experimenting and wandering a little away from what was true to me (figurative, charm-like pieces), I quickly realised where my strengths lay. I made such pieces as the fierce and friendly dogs, which I was able to use as motifs on earrings and cufflinks, and these were the stepping stone to all future ideas. There was a small ‘eureka’ moment on discovering that highlighted, oxidised silver is well partnered with brightened gold, and this has been the trademark finish for all our pieces of jewellery. On every piece of jewellery we sell is an engraved logo of a ‘Brick and Bean’, which identifies it is an original article. The logo is a play on words of mine and my wife’s names – Nick and Jean.
“I make jewellery hopefully for all ages, with the intention of bringing small amusement and to convey a feeling of warmth and affection”
With individuality and personalisation now paramount in the minds of many consumers, have you seen demand for your jewellery designs increase? Or have you found that the economy has countered any such positive effects?
We are fortunate enough to remain busy and have found that our loyal customers still want to seek us out and buy something made with care and great attention to detail. As the years have rolled by we have accumulated quite a store of different charms, symbols and motifs; we have at least nine sizes of different gold moons (moon with face, fat moon, tiny moon, common moon etc), for example. This all helps greatly when creating a bespoke piece, and with the addition of a personalised tag bearing a hand-engraved name, date or little saying. We can produce something to suit all pockets.
Are you currently working on any new designs or ideas?
“ We are fortunate enough to remain busy and have found that our loyal customers still want to seek us out and buy something made with care and great attention to detail” Instantly noticeable is the intricate detail applied to your jewellery designs. How do you work on such a small scale?
I start by making a model working very closely to my bench peg with a bright light, mostly holding things in my fingers. Always working into metal, fashioning detail with gravers and fine ball burrs. From the model lost wax castings are produced, all the different components are then hand finished and assembled to make a complete piece.
Who do you make jewellery for?
I make jewellery hopefully for all ages, with the intention of bringing small amusement and to convey a feeling of warmth and affection. Often when making a piece, I find it helpful to have a close friend or relative in mind (as if you are making it specifically for them), when really it could be for anybody! I hope that this feeling of connection somehow comes alive.
Which are your most popular pieces?
The ‘Running hare’ brooch, ‘Heart of gold’ pendant, ‘Little bird of fortune’ locket ‘Suited and booted’ cufflinks, ‘One love’ ring set and ‘Sweet dreams’ charm bracelet. We tend to have some old favourites, which we will perhaps always include in our brochure, but we add new pieces twice a year to keep our collection fresh and vibrant.
As mentioned, we add to our collection twice a year (Spring Fair at the NEC and IJL in September). This spring we showed 20 new designs such as the ‘In a magical world’ locket, ‘3 wishes’ pendant and ‘Love... goes merrily round’ carousel pendant. We always jot down or scribble a quick design for new pieces as we go along, reviewing and making a final list as we get near to a show, so the process has already begun for the next new things. I think it would be easy to imagine that the well of new ideas might run dry, but with everyone chipping in and always being on the alert for the seed of an idea, we hope to continue growing and refreshing.
Finally, what are your hopes for the future of your business?
We work with our very loyal retailers to make sure the pieces they sell are exclusive to them only, and at the same time giving care and thought to our website www.nickhubbardjewellery.co.uk which mostly contains things we have rested from the brochure, so the two run as independent collections. Our aim for the future is to always remain creative and inventive, building on all the solid foundations of the past, very ably assisted but the ‘Brick and Bean’ team – our extended family of dedicated jewellery graduates.
Are your customers comfortable? Though delivered with the best of intentions, mundane chat is unnecessary and distracting for customers in a mood to buy, says Leonard Zell
Now is the time to invest in your salespeople. Leonard will be scheduling seminars in the UK beginning 27 March. For details of his programme go to his website, , and click on the links in the left-hand column. You may email Leonard at or call him on 001 503 412 9521 (Pacific time). To increase your sales get Leonard’s best-selling 180-page sales manual on proven jewellery selling techniques. And for the perfect complement, order –a full day’s sales training seminar recorded live on three CDs. You may order from his web page.
any jewellers say that one of the most important things they tell their salespeople is to make their customers feel comfortable by not talking about jewellery when greeting them. Instead they should talk about sports, the weather, or something in the news. They say that way the customers will be friendlier and it will be easier to start to sell them. I have heard this many times because there are training programmes that teach this technique. The problem is that it does not make sense. When I conduct sales seminars I often ask salespeople why they greet customers by saying things like: “Do you think we’ll get the World Cup?” or: “Did you hear the good news about the royal wedding?” They all reply: “It’s to make our customers feel comfortable.” I ask them: “Who has to be comfortable?” There is silence for a while until someone says: “We do.” I tell them of course it is them – the problem is never with their customer because their customer is already comfortable. When I ask salespeople if they are comfortable walking into any retail store, they always say yes. When I tell them their customers are the same they realise that they do not have to go through all that nonsense when greeting customers; all they have to do is greet them with enthusiasm and a big smile like they would their friend. When customers come into the store with jewellery on their mind, why distract them? Some salespeople will still say they always smile and are comfortable with their customers, until I ask them this question: “When a customer comes into your store for the third time, are you more comfortable with them and
give a more enthusiastic greeting than when they came in the first time?” They always say yes. Then I ask them: “Why didn’t you greet those customers coming into your store for the first time like it was their third visit? Why does a customer have to come into your store three times to be greeted like a friend?” “Always hire by the smile. It is the most powerful selling tool” The problem is that most salespeople are a bit shy to be so outgoing to a stranger, and their favourite customers are the ones who come into their store with a great smile and are happy. They do not realise that should be their personality and they should initiate the smile. That is why I keep telling jewellers: “Always hire by the smile. It is the most powerful selling tool.” Look for that salesperson who has an outgoing personality – you will find that they outsell others with more experience. The reason is that the first impression counts: you are only as good as your opening act. This is the key: when salespeople initiate the smile their customers will always smile back and their smile relaxes the salesperson, making him or her feel comfortable. The process will then continue throughout the sale as, in turn, one party smiles back at the other. This is exactly what happens when you greet a friend in your home – you always keep exchanging smiles – so why not in your store with strangers? Try it and see how many more friends you make and sales you close.
How do they do that?
In a new series of technical articles, experts from the Birmingham Assay Office offer a detailed explanation of the processes behind the services they offer. First up is chief executive Michael Allchin, who explains how the new optional jubilee hallmark was developed and how retailers can use it to create appropriate attractive products for 2012
he UK hallmark offers a high level of protection to UK consumers and the trade. The Hallmarking Act 1973, and its subsequent amendments, requires that all items of gold, silver, palladium and platinum offered for sale in the UK must have a hallmark, unless they are under the exemption weight. There are three compulsory symbols: the sponsorâ€™s mark, indicating who submitted the article for hallmarking; the town mark, of the assay office that assayed and marked the piece; and, most important of all, the fineness mark, with a millesimal number indicating the standard of fineness, such as 375 for what is
commonly known as nine carat gold, 925 for sterling silver and 950 for most platinum. In addition to these compulsory symbols there are optional marks, most commonly the date letter, and the traditional lion for sterling silver, crown for gold, orb for platinum and Pallas Athene for palladium. The British Hallmarking Council, which oversees the activities of the four UK assay offices, may also grant approval for a special commemorative hallmark to celebrate a national occasion. These are often connected to royal milestones and there have been commemorative marks for the coronation and the Queenâ€™s silver and golden jubilee years. The millennium was also honoured with an optional mark. Designing a hallmark involves a challenging mix of criteria. The design needs to be distinctive and immediately relevant to the celebration. It needs to have enough detail to make it difficult to forge but be simple enough to reduce to a tiny mark and still be legible. It also needs to be practical to sit neatly with the other symbols and to sit straight inside the curved shank of a ring. The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair 2011 saw the preview of a new commemorative hallmark to celebrate the Queenâ€™s diamond jubilee in 2012. The chosen design depicts a young Queen Elizabeth wearing an oversized crown,
How do they do that?
Focus on the expert set in a diamond-shaped surround. Prototype punches were made at the Birmingham Assay Office, which has its own punch-making facility, and the design was modified several times by punch makers and experienced markers from all four UK assay offices, who were consulted to ensure that the final design was functional and would not present any unnecessary problems. As a result of their input the detail of the pearl necklace around the Queen’s neck was simplified and the pointed diamond shape was set into a roundel, which eases alignment when being struck with the other hallmarks. After months of development the design was finally submitted to Clarence House for royal approval in late 2010. The mark was granted approval without any further changes and will be available from all four UK assay offices from 1 July 2011 until 1 October 2012. The optional mark may be applied to articles made from gold, silver, platinum or palladium. Date letters will be maintained as usual – ie ‘m’ until 31 December 2011 and ‘n’ throughout 2012. However, trade samples bearing the letter ‘n’ plus the jubilee hallmark will be permissible from July 2011, although they will not be able to be sold by retailers until 2012. The jubilee offers many opportunities to the jewellery and giftware trade, particularly coinciding as it does with the London Olympics – two reasons for visitors to come to the UK. The hallmark gives the jewellery and silverware trade 15 months to create and sell something different and distinctive. The minimum size punch available for a jubilee mark will be .75mm, as anything smaller will be illegible. However there is no maximum size and, while there is obviously a practical restriction as to how big a mark struck with a punch could be, a laser mark could potentially be of a significant size. The optional mark does not have to sit immediately alongside the compulsory marks and so, for example, could be the centrepiece of a pendant or ‘dog tag’, with the compulsory marks struck elsewhere. This affords designers great scope to create attractive pieces to celebrate a very special year. The Queen is only the second British monarch to reign for 60 years and the celebrations are expected to draw in many people, who will all be looking for something special to mark the event. The assay offices are confident that this hallmark will help the jewellery and silverware industry to make the most of this important occasion.
Michael Allchin has been chief executive and assay master of the Birmingham Assay Office since January 1999, and has driven its successful diversification into new areas, all closely related to jewellery and precious metals. A Cambridge graduate, Michael has spent his career in the jewellery industry and has bought and sold for companies ranging from small private concerns to Signet Group Plc, where he was buying director for H Samuel for 14 years. He has extensive experience and a sound understanding of the dynamics of the UK jewellery industry and, as an attendee at the British Hallmarking Council and International Hallmarking Convention meetings, also has thorough knowledge of legislation and global issues relating to jewellery. Michael is a director of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, and of the Responsible Jewellery Council, and a freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company.
The Birmingham Assay Office was founded in 1773 to provide a hallmarking facility to the rapidly expanding local silver trade. Over 235 years it has become established as the largest UK assay office. During the past decade the assay office has expanded its services further, far beyond its statutory assaying and hallmarking duties, and offers independent expert opinion on every aspect of the precious metal, jewellery and gemstone trade.
Charm Links from Charms UK has an extensive choice of over 850 competitively-priced beads and a great collection of complementary necklaces and bracelets. Charm Links beads are fun to wear and are interchangeable, allowing the wearer to create a new look every day. Gift pouches and POS material available. Information: 0117 968 3979 or email@example.com
Owing to its success at the Jewellery Show, Carnival Jewellery (part of the SC Designs International Group) states that its LoveBands collection is now gaining popularity fast throughout the UK. Made of pure silk, silver and Swarovski crystals, with prominent British assay hallmark and many combinations to choose from, Love-Bands have already been successfully launched in the United States. Information: 01903 211 105 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Award-winning designer Sarah Ho has designed an exciting new wedding collection for Brown & Newirth, unveiled at the Jewellery Show 2011. The collection has a traditional engagement ring, wedding ring and eternity ring, but with a key difference in the way they all fit together. The wedding ring can be worn on either side of the engagement ring to create two different looks; similarly, the eternity ring can be worn next to, or between, the other rings. Added to this is a choice of metal, finish and stones for a very personal creation. Information: 01707 255 000 or www.bnrings.com
Dew introduces a new look, new packaging and hundreds of new designs for spring 2011. Created by the same design team behind the Kit Heath brand, key features for the spring 2011 launch include delicate nature-inspired themes, trend-led 14 carat gold-plated accent designs and new diamond pieces. Dew jewellery is available unbranded or branded. Information: 01271 329 123 or email@example.com
Made by David Reale and his apprentice in Blandford in Dorset, this new collection from Reale Jewellers is cast in sterling silver with semiprecious stones, using coins found in the local area. Dating between 350 and 400 AD, the coins are cast from moulds made from the originals and finished in plain silver and 18 carat gold plate, and anodised to produce an attractive alternative to simple oxidisation. Information: 01258 450 043 or www.realejewellers.co.uk
Something Classy is increasing the designs in its exclusive range of ‘peel and seal’ gift bags introduced late last year. The new bags are made from high-gloss laminated mirror paper, created specifically with the jewellery trade in mind. They offer a fast solution to gift-wrapping, and most designs are also available in matching counter rolls and gift tags. Custom prints are available in the customer’s own design. Information: 01543 480 914 or www.somethingclassy.co.uk
Magpie Europe used last month’s Spring Fair show to launch its new GemTAGS C-1 card printer. Simple and easy-to-use, the GemTAGS C-1 enables retail jewellers to print their own jewellery certificates, loyalty and gift cards at a very low cost, and comes complete with card design software, 100 white plastic cards and one ink ribbon (enough to print 200 labels). Information: 01773 745 774 or www.magpie-europe.com
Michael Keating of Hangar Seven discusses emerging trends in retail photography, and their relevance to your business
n today’s fragmented media landscape of earned, paid and owned media channels, the way consumers engage with brands and products has transformed all aspects of retail – none more so than retail photography. As retailers adapt to the challenges and opportunities the new multi-channel landscape and digital era present, a number of new trends are emerging in retail photography:
Photography’s impact in the consumer purchasing cycle has become more important
Photography is now more critical than ever in the sales process – often the purchasing decision is already made through online research before a consumer even sets foot in a store to touch and feel a product. Similarly, purchases are increasingly made in environments where products aren’t physically present – through ecommerce channels that now even include Facebook as well as brand-owned websites. All this is being driven by new technology (such as mobile smartphones, tablet computers and portable netbooks) and the extent and speed of technological development and consumer adoption is not abating. With new platforms around the corner, like IPTV, retailers will need to continue to adapt and cater for further change. And greater reliance on distance selling – where products aren’t physically there to touch and feel – doesn’t end there. As the cost of physical retail continues to soar, even in-store imagery has become more important as a way of enhancing the sales environment and to drive sales in-store. So the impact of photography is that it can make the difference of thousands of pounds worth of sales if retailers get it right. The better the balance between inspiration and information, and the more clearly you show the features and quality of a product – particularly online – the more likely you are to motivate consumers to purchase straight away rather than put off the decision for further evaluation.
Retail photography gets more strategic
The channels for photography to be used as a brand engagement and sales tool have increased, but one size does not fit all. Images have to be designed and produced for the situation and format they’re going to be used in, so that they are right for the channel and level of engagement required. And the stronger the photography is for its purpose, the more it can drive sales. Therefore, another emerging trend is an increase in the range of images needed to promote the same product or products. Photography must tick new boxes: an image that has the ‘wow’ factor and can drive desire, while reflecting the overall brand; an image that
Purchases are increasingly made in environments where products aren’t physically present
is inspirational to a wide audience but has enough detail to sell a product; an image with enough detail that it can be scrutinised online (with 360 degree views, zoom in and out); and an image that can be viewed on the small screen but is detailed enough to sell. Another growth area is the combination of still and digital video being used, particularly online. This year will see a boom in retailers investing in more video content across all retail touchpoints to bring products to life in an appealing and aspirational way. As a result of the need for photography to be more strategic and cross-channel, brands and retailers aren’t just selecting their photographic partners for their technical (photographic) ability, but are increasingly reliant on strategic advice with regard to styling and brand management. Two trends are affecting this: one is that photography is now part of an overall brand strategy, because product shots are less likely to be just simple cut-out or catalogue shots. Inspirational styled shots have to be ‘onbrand’, relevant to their audience and on-trend. Secondly, due to tightening budgets, photography is increasingly the remit of marketing teams and not photographic managers of old, who were solely responsible for image production. Today’s successful photographic agencies are those that can offer a complete package of technical capability, styling, propping and expert advice.
Retailers need to produce more for less
And of course, while photographic requirements increase (and more products come to market), budgets are tightening. As retailers look for ways to achieve more photography from smaller budgets, a few more key trends are appearing: More synergy across photography projects – photography is being produced in one shoot for use across web, TV, PR, instore, POS and brochure, which saves on duplication and cost. Smarter application of photography, for example still photography is being applied in digital and TV formats, but animated to appear as a moving image. There is a boom in the use of CGI, particularly among fitted furniture retailers who are able to reuse computer generated environments far more cost effectively than setbuild as assets can be reused again and again. New European locations for fashion and outdoor photography are emerging, as more cost-effective alternatives to the traditional South Africa location shoot. Europe gives good shooting windows, reduces excessive transport and complicated logistics and enables UK-based studios to control shoots, rather than using a foreign production company.
There is an increase in the use of bespoke photography asset management systems, which allow retailers to track and isolate specific products (as solo items and in groups), and get better control of their photography collateral. Post-photographic work is increasing and can offer cost savings. Suppliers (photography studios) have stepped up to the mark with better services, smarter solutions and increased strategic input.
As the range and number of shots required has increased, so has the demand for quality
So, while there is a need to do more for less, there is also a need for better quality – more creativity and inspirational shots than ever before. This is being driven by consumers’ expectations, increased competition in a crowded market where standout and originality is vital, and for manufacturers increased demands from retailers to support products and brands with cutting-edge marketing collateral.
The jewellery market has seen a massive shift from simple cut-out shots to more lifestyle and ‘aspirational brand’ shots to create differentiation In particular, the jewellery market has seen a massive shift from simple cut-out, straight product shots to more lifestyle and ‘aspirational brand’ shots to create differentiation. But showing products with amazing detail and in a lifestyle setting is having a major impact and is worth the investment!
Greater control is required for distilling images across the various channels
Finally, to ensure image control across the fragmented media landscape, pre-media services have become vitally important and their use is a growing trend. Pre-media is the term that is used in the design, creative and publishing industries for the processes and procedures that occur between the conception of original artwork and the manufacturing of the final output. It is a process that combines creative art and technology to communicate the final message to a consumer.
A new type of photography studio
So really, for brands and retailers, photography has never been more important. The rapid change in the volume and variety of image requirements in a challenging economic landscape is revolutionising the type of photography studio and creative production agency that retailers and consumer brands are using. Image production and management is no longer something that can be handled as a sideline by a traditional agency or studio; it’s the remit of specialist large scale businesses designed to deliver strategy, creativity, quality and volume directly to retailers and consumer brands. Getting the right partner and investing in commercial photography is a powerful commercial tool that will differentiate brands and maximise the opportunities new technologies bring in 2011 and beyond.
Michael Keating is client services director at Hangar Seven – the Creative Production Agency. Established in 2009, Hangar Seven is one of the UK’s largest creative production agencies that ‘takes big ideas to market, brilliantly’ through its commercial photography, pre-media and publications services. Its clients include B&Q, Sainsbury’s, DFS, Adidas, WH Smith, Monarch, COTY, Thomas for more information. Sanderson, Silent Night and Fired Earth. Please visit
Prices • Figures • Outlook Retail sales volume Year-on-year, there was no change in the overall volume of retail sales in December. However, predominantly non-food stores increased by 3.1 per cent, with rises across all sectors apart from household goods stores. The largest rise was other stores at 10.2 per cent, and non-store retailing increased by 14.5 per cent. Between November and December total sales volume decreased by 0.8 per cent, with predominantly non-food stores falling by 0.6 per cent. Within predominantly non-food stores, non-specialised stores increased by 0.3 per cent and other stores increased by 0.5 per cent. Non-store retailing increased by 5.4 per cent, making it the largest rise since March of 2009, when it was 5.8 per cent. Sales volume in the three months leading up to December increased by 0.2 per cent compared to the previous three months. Within predominantly non-food stores, which increased by 0.3 per cent, there were decreases across all sectors apart from other stores, which increased by four per cent. Non-store retailing increased by 2.5 per cent. Total sales volume for the same period was 0.4 per cent higher than a year ago, with predominantly non-food stores increasing by 3.3 per cent. Within predominantly non-food stores there were rises across all sectors, apart from household goods stores, which decreased by seven per cent. The largest rise was other stores at 8.4 per cent. Non-store retailing increased by 11.4 per cent. The seasonally adjusted value of retail sales for December 2010 was two per cent higher than in December 2009. For the period covering October to December 2010, it was 2.6 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier. Source: ONS
2010 Seasonally adjusted figures
Sterling silver (£/Kg)
- 5% + 3%
+ 1% No Change
Scrap metal prices
Sterling silver scrap (£/kg)
- 2% - 5%
9ct Gold scrap (£/g)
14ct Gold scrap (£/g)
18ct Gold scrap (£/g)
22ct Gold scrap (£/g)
Platinum (95%) scrap (£/g)
Data supplied courtesy of Cookson Precious Metals. www.cooksongold.com All prices shown on this page enjoy indicative status only. Jewellery Focus and Cookson Precious Metals accepts no responsibility for their accuracy or for any use to which they may be put
Diamond prices Weight
The table above has been prepared by SafeGuard and is an average of the retail selling prices of round brilliant cut diamonds per carat including an average retail markup and VAT. There is no allowance for the mount but the prices have been taken from mounted goods prices. The table is also compared with International diamond prices for additional accuracy. Compiled at 1st February 2011 /Dollar Exchange Rate 1.6120
Hallmark figures January 10
Year to Dec 07
Year to Dec 08
Year to Dec 09
Year to Dec 10
375 14,125,629 13,262,000
16,681,292 15,874,037 10,438,055
Year to Dec 06
January hallmarking figures have revealed the impact that the snowy weather had on deliveries to the four UK assay offices pre-Christmas. December 2010 figures showed a 16.5 per cent overall decrease in the volume of articles hallmarked compared with the previous year, but a surprisingly healthy January suggests that much of this was due to a delay in parcels arriving from overseas and a fear that valuable parcels would be stuck in transit. January volumes figures were 16.7 per cent up against last year overall with even gold showing a 14.4 per cent increase on 2010. Taking December and January together offers a more realistic reflection.
24,889,863 25,413,275 19,044,249 16,091,183 14,841,840
EVENTS and auctions
17 – 21 March Istanbul Jewelry Show CNR Expo Centre Istanbul, Turkey
24 – 31 March Baselworld Basel Switzerland
18 – 27 March The European Fine Art Fair MECC Maastricht The Netherlands
25 March – 10 July In Time and the Mind of Others: The Modern Jewel mima Middlesbrough
20 – 24 April INACRAFT 2011 Balai Sidang Jakarta Convention Center Djakarta, Indonesia www.inacraft.co.id
22 – 24 April Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show Holiday Inn, Denver Central Denver, Colorado, USA www.mzexpos.com
3 – 6 March Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair AsiaWorld-Expo Hong Kong
4 – 6 March Desire Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair Bank of England Sports Centre, London
21 – 24 March Costume Jewellery and Accessories Salon Manezh Exhibition Complex Moscow, Russia
3 – 5 April British Craft Trade Fair Hall 1, The Great Yorkshire Showground Harrogate
3 – 6 March Carat HUNGEXPO Budapest Fair Center Budapest, Hungary
7 – 12 March AJWEX Al Ain Convention Centre Al Ain, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
22 – 26 April Golden Globe Crocus Expo International Exhibition Center Moscow, Russia
5 – 9 April MidEast Watch and Jewellery Show Expo Centre Sharjah Sharjah United Arab Emirates
3 – 6 March ElitEXPO Lviv Palace of Arts Lwów, Ukraine www.galexpo.lviv.ua/eng/ events/elit.html
23 – 29 March BADA Fair The Duke of York Square London www.bada-antiques-fair.co.uk
9 – 12 March Amberif MTG Gda´nsk, Poland
24 – 27 March Jewellers’ Salon Exhibition Center Odessa Home Odessa, Ukraine
+380 482 372 936
24 – 30 April International Gold & Jewelry Exhibition Kuwait International Fair Mishref, Kuwait
15 March Campbells Jewellery, silver, clocks and watches Worthing West Sussex
19 March Kent Auction Galleries Ltd Victorian and later effects, including jewellery, silver and coins Folkestone, Kent
24 March Fellows & Sons Second-hand jewellery and watches Birmingham
16 March Dreweatts 1759 Silver, jewellery and watches Godalming Surrey
22 March Bonhams Antique jewellery and watches Knowle, West Midlands
17 March Sotheby’s Jewels London
23 March Christie’s Jewellery South Kensington, London
15 March Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood Antiques and collectables, including silver and jewellery Honiton, Devon
18 March Wellers Auctioneers Pawnbroker and secondhand jewellery Chertsey Surrey
23 March Gorringes Fine art, antiques and collectables, including jewellery and silver Lewes, East Sussex
3 March Fellows & Sons Antique and modern jewellery Birmingham
9 March Dreweatts 1759 Antique fine silver, jewellery and watches Donnington, Berkshire
7 March Fellows & Sons Costume, silver jewellery and novelties Birmingham www.fellows.co.uk
9 March Bonhams Jewellery Knightsbridge London www.bonhams.com
14 – 17 April Jewelry Fair Korea Seoul South Korea, COEX
5 March Kent Auction Galleries Ltd Victorian and later effects, including jewellery, silver and coins Folkestone, Kent
22 – 25 April Malaysia Jewellery Festival Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaya
10 March Fellows & Sons Second-hand jewellery and watches Birmingham www.fellows.co.uk
12 March Thomson, Roddick & Medcalf Antiques and works of art, including jewellery and silver Dumfries
25 March Jacobs & Hunt Silver and jewellery Petersfield, Hampshire www.jacobsandhunt.com
29 March Thomson, Roddick & Medcalf Antiques and works of art, including jewellery and silver Carlisle www.thomsonroddick.com
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Emma Tinsley of POINT 925, Sheffield Could you explain a bit about the company’s history?
POINT 925 opened in June 2000. I was originally from a finance background, but wanted a change. Whenever I went on holiday, I was always on the lookout for a nice piece of unusual silver jewellery to remind me of my travels. This gave me the idea of starting to source unusual pieces not easily found on the high street. I also wanted people to be able to find something to suit all budgets; an inexpensive pair of earrings for some Saturday night sparkles through to an investment piece. So POINT 925 was born.
Do you enjoy trading in Sheffield?
I enjoy living in Sheffield, having moved here 18 years ago. Broomhill, the shopping district where the shop is based, is a vibrant, cosmopolitan area, located close to both the university and teaching hospital. It is an area of independent shops, offering something a little different, and attracts people who want something more than the high street generally offers.
How has the internet impacted on your business?
Because I love silver jewellery! I can’t think of a better way to spend my working day than helping people choose the perfect piece of silver jewellery – be it for themselves, for a particular occasion or as a gift. I have been lucky enough to turn my love of shopping for jewellery into a full time job, and I think that genuine passion and interest comes across to my customers.
It has had a very positive impact on our business. Our website, www.point925jewellery.co.uk, is a valuable shop window. It is hard work keeping its presence high on search engines, but it’s an important asset to the business. Men especially like to browse the website, before visiting the shop with their minds made up as to exactly what they want! The shop’s proximity to the university means some of my customers are in Sheffield temporarily, so the website allows them to still shop at POINT 925 when they move away. We are continually working to make the website’s presence felt nationwide.
What are some of your favourite items?
Finally, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
What made you choose to specialise in silver?
I love heavy, chunky bangles with a hammered finish. They are a striking addition to any outfit, and a popular choice in the shop. Labradorite is my favourite stone – again, the chunkier the better.
And the best selling?
At the moment charm necklaces are hugely popular – angel wings, birds, hearts and butterfly charms being among the biggest sellers. Silver bangles have always been and continue to be big sellers, with people currently buying more than one to layer them together. The Bali-inspired beaded bracelets and earrings I design and make also sold very well in the lead-up to Christmas.
Do you have any favourite jewellery collections or designers?
A range I personally love, and one that consistently sells well in POINT 925, is a Mexican handmade range from Andea Jewellery. The heavy bangles in this range are really stunning; customers fall in love with them the minute they try them on. The striking pendant and earring sets complete an outfit and the quality of the workmanship is apparent throughout the whole range.
I hope to still be successfully trading in Broomhill. Plans for the future are further developing the website – both in the jewellery that’s available to buy on the site, and in marketing the site so it appears high on search engines under a variety of search criteria. I also want to expand the range of POINT 925 in-house-designed jewellery, both for sale in the shop and on the website. I love this aspect of my work, particularly when a customer is after something specific and, together, we are able to create the perfect piece of jewellery. People are increasingly seeking something a bit different to mass-produced jewellery, and I see this continuing over the years, so it’s an area I aim to expand successfully.
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