Tell me a bit about the history of Ingle & Rhode?
Ingle & Rhode began with my own hunt for an ethically sourced engagement ring back in 2006. I was unable to find a jeweller who could tell me where their diamonds had come from or the conditions under which their jewellery was produced – it was hugely frustrating.
This experience sparked the idea for a jewellery brand which could do things better. I enlisted the help of my friend, Tim Ingle, and we set about establishing a jewellery company centred on ethics and sustainability. That’s how Ingle & Rhode came to be.
Tell me about the jewellery and services you offer?
Our focus at Ingle & Rhode is on provenance, ethics and sustainability. This mission permeates through everything we do, from how we source our diamonds and how the people who produce them are treated, to how we treat our own customers. We hate the ‘hard sell’ and believe treating our customers with patience and respect is best for our business and our brand. Ultimately, it’s all about trust.
We offer sustainably sourced engagement, wedding rings and eternity rings, as well as offering a bespoke service. Our diamonds and gemstones are all conflict free, and each one can be traced back to its mine of origin. As for our gold, we only use FairTrade or 100% recycled, and the same goes for our platinum. We also do everything we can to ensure our metals and gems have the smallest possible impact of the environment. We want to make luxury jewellery as ethical as it possibly can be.
What was the biggest accomplishment you had last year?
There were a few moments that stand out. In 2017, we launched our Fairtrade Gold Design Award, open to young jewellers new to the industry. And in 2018, we were invited to bring it within the umbrella of the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards, which brought it a much higher profile – it felt like a real endorsement of what we are trying to achieve.
We also completed a successful crowdfunding campaign to drive the future growth of the business. Most of the money was pledged by former clients who’d had a positive experience of working with us. It was great that so many of the people who know us directly wanted to be involved.
What is your favourite part of your job?
There are so many things I love about my job, but if I had to choose just one, I suppose it would be knowing you’ve helped a customer find their perfect engagement ring. It’s a great feeling when a client comes back in to choose their wedding bands after having had such a positive experience sourcing an ethical engagement ring.
What is your business goal for 2019?
In 2019 we want to make sure we educate as many people as possible about ethical jewellery and inform them on how to go about sourcing a conflict-free, properly sourced ring. We’ve been offering sustainably sourced diamonds for just over a decade now and the world finally appears to be catching up with us in terms of customers taking the ethics of their consuming choices seriously. So we’re looking forward to seeing this trend develop over the year and exploring what that means for us as a brand.