Tell us a bit about the company
For nearly 200 years, William May has strived to provide jewellery synonymous with class, sophistication and timelessness. We pride ourselves on catering to all tastes by offering everything from vintage jewellery and classic watches to diamond engagement rings, and believe that any piece you choose is not just a symbol; it is an extension of your personality and a statement of style.
These are the values we try to uphold throughout the customer’s journey, and what we believe has helped us to become so well established in the jewellery industry.
How do you keep up with the modern consumer?
We may live in a modern world but the vintage revival has led to people searching for classic pieces that will stand the test of time. Our traditional values mixed in with our modern approach to the business is the perfect combination, and it also gives our customer more choice, which therefore attracts more people. We also like to take the time to help our customers find the perfect piece of jewellery to suit their style and personality. In a modern world where the buying process can feel very automated, it makes all the difference to go that extra mile.
What helps you stand out from your competitors?
The huge range of different jewellery and watch pieces that we offer sets us apart from the rest. We cater to everyone, all tastes and all styles, where you could pick up a Rolex watch one day and then return for a beautiful vintage brooch the next. Each of our vintage pieces, whether it’s a tiny charm or a necklace, has a story behind it and embodies all of its old charm to create a piece that is truly one of a kind; such history and beauty cannot be recreated. We also offer a range of contemporary pieces for those who are more inclined towards a modern look, from festival ready Daniel Wellington watches to exquisite jewelled necklaces.
How much emphasis do you place on customer service?
From the moment they visit our website to when they receive their order, we strive to look after our customers. Because we take such a unique and traditional approach to jewellery, we are delighted to speak directly with customers in order to find them the perfect piece. We don’t believe that everyone has the same tastes, so will work hard to help our customers to fall in love with our jewellery, just like we are. That way, they will remember us in the future.
As an traditional high street, how important are online sales to yout business?
The internet has helped to create a bit of a level playing field as it allows people from all over the country to view and buy our jewellery. The number of people doing their shopping online is only going to increase so it is important that you are able to be found online and that people know you exist. As well as offering advice and guidance on choosing pieces on our blog, we also ensure that our online buying process is as easy and smooth as possible as this makes a huge impression on customers. Our website is a huge part of our business and we always endeavour to make it look its best, be user-friendly and as informative as possible.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
In today’s modern world it is important to stand out from the crowd and offer something different. It’s so easy just to stand back and wait for people to come to you but you have to put yourself out there and make sure people know you exist. We do this by offering both modern and vintage pieces, combined with offering expert advice on jewellery and watches. Think about your core values and ethos, immortalise them and don’t deviate because these are what will set you apart from the rest. And always strive to go above and beyond for each and every customer, because they will really appreciate it.
What does the future hold for William May?
In the future we will continue to uphold and deliver the key beliefs that William May has held dear for nearly two centuries. Our ranges will continue to expand as we offer more and more beautiful vintage and modern pieces, and we will continue to share our passion for classic pieces of jewellery. Some may believe that technology has killed the jewellery industry but we believe it has only caused it to change, maybe for the better, and we will adapt and change with it to ensure our customers are happy, whilst always holding onto our time-honoured traditions.