NAME: Mitch Lloyd, Petra Jewellery
YEARS ESTABLISHED: 35
NUMBER OF STAFF: Six
Tell us about Petra Jewellery?
My mother set up the business in 1979 at the Viables Craft Centre in Basingstoke with just her apprenticeship pieces and a £500 loan from her own mother to buy some stock. We now have an in-store team of six lovely ladies and a fabulous workshop team based in Hatton Garden.
What helps you stand out from your competitors?
Definitely the level of service we give our customers and the relationship we have with them. We hold regular VIP events, we go out of our way to look after them, we’re good communicators and they value that. We’ve also got extremely high standards; mum is German after all.
You make your own bespoke designs, does this add an extra dimension to your store?
Absolutely, we rarely sell from the showcase, people always want something ‘just a bit different’ and we love that too. It’s a pleasure to share the journey with our customers, from concept, through to design and manufacture.
You celebrated 35 years of Petra Jewellery this year, is this a tough feat for an independent?
Well, I’m sure we all have our ‘ups and downs’ but like most things in life; it’s how you deal with them. I can never be accused of expecting business to walk in through the door, I work hard on marketing to get new customers and look after existing customers so they don’t leave. As a result business has grown steadily over the years.
What do you think has been the biggest change in the industry since owning the company?
The digital era: my mother didn’t do email or have a website when I joined eight years ago. Now we are digital marketing experts and I believe that’s a crucial part of survival now.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the jewellery industry?
The same advice my mum gave me: “Never, ever compromise on quality, leave that to the others and your customers will always come back.”
What does the future hold for Petra Jewellery?
We’re moving into a much bigger premises next year with a VIP design suite and hopefully 3D design software, more VIP parties and a growing team. It’s going to be fun.
This feature first appeared in the January 2015 issue of Jewellery Focus