The very first copy of Jewellery Focus rolled off the press 10 years ago this month.Our publisher Mulberry Publications, always exploring sectors that might benefit from a fresh new offering, discovered a jewellery trade suffering from a lack of choice in publications – a dominant incumbent with an expensive subscription fee and a few smaller titles with an uncertain commercial future. It was felt that a new media brand with twice the circulation of any existing jewellery magazine, a sharp focus on what it really is to be and succeed as an independent jeweller, and best of all, free distribution to the reader, would be a breath of fresh air.
The hunch was correct, and Jewellery Focus met with instant success. From the first issue, dozens of manufacturers and suppliers were willing to take a punt and help the new title find its feet. It has remained the highest-circulation magazine in the UK jewellery industry ever since, invariably carrying the greatest number of individual advertisers too. Figures I have spoken to throughout the jewellery world have told me that, while a little rough around the edges in the early days, it offered something genuinely valuable: editorial that neither applied unnecessary Vogue-style gloss to the subject matter, nor pandered to large brands. We have always strived to live up to that pedigree. Even today in our editorial meetings we apply that ultimate litmus test: does this feature or that news item speak meaningfully to the independent high street jeweller?
Of course, in recent years, we’ve done a lot of modernising. The re-building of our website to be responsive, fast-loading and beautiful, and our Daily Briefing and Weekend Roundup e-newsletters, mean our readers are never out of touch with what’s happening in their industry. Our editorial tone is honest and upfront, and we are – sometimes controversially – not afraid of tackling the big issues. We’re fiercely independent and will never shy away from asking the important questions on behalf of our readers.
I have enjoyed every second of my editorship thus far, and having recently been invited to contribute to NAJ steering groups as the new unified trade association takes shape, I am determined that Jewellery Focus will continue to make a unique contribution to the industry as we head to the future.
Here’s to the next 10 years.