[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]
Name: Oliver Gibson, Silver Tree Jewellery
Year Established: 1982
Number of staff: 14
Tell us about the history of Silver Tree Jewellery
Silver Tree Jewellery was founded in 1982 initially as Lancaster’s only silver jewellery shop. In 1991, Pat Gibson bought the business and Silver Tree Jewellery was the go-to place for sterling silver and semi-precious stone jewellery. Pat sadly passed away in 2013.
Oliver Gibson (her son) began the transformation of the store in 2005 initially with Hot Diamonds, then Pandora and soon after Thomas Sabo. In 2007 Hannah Riding joined the business and together the two directors have sought out the world’s most fashionable jewellery brands.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
Our branded business stands out against other high street jewellers as we offer something unique. Our own Silver Tree Jewellery brand has been built around luxury, exceptional customer service and attention to detail.
The branding of our store stands out with our designer logo and white exterior. The brands that we house within our ‘Art Deco’ period store run synonymously with our own brand ethos. We are the only place in Lancaster to offer all the world-renowned designers in one place. Our inviting store environment brings in our customers and the enjoyable customer service and new products ensure that our customers will come back.
We also offer the smallest touches; free gift wrapping on all products and free champagne bottles on spends over a certain amount. We invest time in online marketing through various social networking platforms which enables us to talk to our customers directly. We also create our own in-store events centred on new brands and collection releases.
The events comprise of gift bags and an in-store feature; such as hand-made cupcakes or even a popcorn machine. We want to offer our customers a totally unique shopping experience that makes them feel excited about shopping with us.
You specialise in silver jewellery, do you still see demand for gold and other materials?
Most of our jewellery is predominantly silver from our jewellery collections; over the last few years we have seen high demand for yellow and rose gold vermeil. The mixed-metal look is fashionable and allows the customer to wear different metals at the same time. Although we do stock our own ranges of sterling silver and more bespoke pieces of jewellery the metals of our branded jewellery are obviously dictated by them. For instance Michael Kors jewellery is highly sought after within our store and this brand’s jewellery is crafted from stainless steel.
Has online shopping changed the way you run the business?
Internet shopping has not changed the way we do business but we have had to adapt. We have taken a ‘never closed’ business stance as we see the benefit of chatting to our customers out of hours either by email or on social media. Our e-boutique is fairly new (launched in 2012) but is growing every month.
We have had to produce our website for both the local and national/international customers and there is a need to see the shopping experience from both viewpoints. The website’s sales are growing but it primarily needs to be an online window into our shop.
You also sell in-store-only gift vouchers on your website, does this help drive customers to the shop?
Our gift vouchers do help drive local customers into the store; but we are in the process of updating our vouchers for use online too.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the jewellery industry?
Identify what you want your jewellery business to be (as there are so many variations) and also your target customer. Once you have this
sussed everything else will seem easier to decipher. You need to be unafraid of change and constantly evolve your business and channel new methods of marketing. You also need to acquire the right brands and work with them in order to anchor their and your success within your store.
Where do you see Silver Tree in two years?
At the moment we are focused on expanding and developing our online presence. I think that this is now a vital part of any business. Hannah and I will be constantly looking out for new designers or brands and also building on the wedding jewellery and ring collections that are offered within the store. There is also the possibility of opening another Silver Tree Jewellery in a city in close proximity to Lancaster.