How did you get into jewellery?
I saw an advert for a jewellery apprenticeship near my hometown in Germany. It was really tough – I almost quit several times – [I] got my apprenticeship and studied jewellery design before qualifying as a master goldsmith in 2003. Shortly after that, I moved to London and after years as a diamond mounter on Hatton Garden, I started my own business from a shared workshop at Cockpit Arts.
What kind of jewellery do you sell?
We design and hand make silver jewellery, mainly of animal-inspired pieces. Another big part of our work is bespoke commissions. I do most of our mount making and wax carving, my partner Ross does our stone setting, engraving, polishing and plating. He also deals with most of our clients which is just as well as I am not the most patient person.
Where are you currently stocked?
We have stockists [in] England, a few in Ireland and across Europe. Some of our best and oldest include Wink in Guernsey, Goodman & Morris in Brighton and Design Yard in Dublin. We also have online stockists that do well for us, particularly Not On The High Street.
Is there any desire to set up a physical store?
I [don’t] have much desire at all. I like to have a bit more freedom, especially since we have young kids. We see online as the future and are investing in our website. We would like to have a store that competes with ASOS and Astley Clarke.
How do you keep up with competitors?
We have a wide range of skills and can take on pretty much any commission without having to outsource. Ross spends hours communicating with customers, coming up with the perfect design, sourcing stones and delivers the pieces within a tight timeframe. People always seem impressed by that and maybe some of our competitors aren’t offering that kind of service. We once made a huge Edwardian-inspired ring set with over 30 stones for a TV show in three days entirely in-house. Keeping up with competitors in the wholesale sector is trickier. Many businesses seem to manufacture in the far East and offer competitive prices which we struggle to compete with.
What’s next for Jana Reinhardt?
Improving our website and streamlining our production so that we are free to design new pieces. We are hoping that all the online work will drive more sales so that we can take on new staff and keep driving the business forward.
This article first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Jewellery Focus