How did Brooklands Jewellers get started?
Myself, and my two business partners, Stewart Baldwin and Dave Jarvis have had a workshop running as a manufacture and repair business above the shop since 2001. We decided to move to the downstairs part of the property in 2011. We refurbished the tired old shop and moved the workshop to the rear of the building. Our showroom has changed considerably since we opened, and, being new to retail, we have found it to be a steep learning curve. We’re now able to offer a vast range of platinum, gold and diamond set jewellery, as well as coloured stones, good selection of silver jewellery.
What do you think keeps customers coming back to your shop?
Our customers come back to us because we provide sound advice on what each repair job entails. We give estimates promptly, and operate a speedy turnaround once a job has been commissioned by the customer.
What effect do you feel the internet is having on the jewellery indsutry?
We have found that the internet has actually been a help to us. Internet buying is fraught with problems: why would you buy something as precious as jewellery without seeing it or touching it first? We have been doing trade work for many years and know that you can open a can of worms, especially when knowing what jewellery to attempt to repair and what should be left well alone, normally due to where it was produced .Too many companies are making jewellery so cheaply and therefore with very lightweight materials which can’t be repaired . These companies, often online-only, don’t offer a refund and won’t repair it.
What advice would you give to someone just starting in the industry?
Learn your trade properly, no cutting corners, and make sure that you stick at it. Too many people we have come across have only been in the trade for five minutes and think they are experts. Unfortunately, this type of character tends to fail in their business.
You have a workshop onsite, how do you feel this benefits business?
Our workshop, which you can see from the showroom, provides peace of mind to the customer as there is always one of us sitting at the bench working on something while the others serve customers. This allows customers to see their jewellery being made or repaired. This is highly beneficial as we can make, set and finish an item of jewellery all on the premises and as a result the customer has the satisfaction of knowing that their item isn’t being posted or taken anywhere else. If a customer purchases a ring we will size it while they wait. Not many places offer that.
What does 2014 hold for Brooklands Jewellers?
As we move into 2014 will be entering our third year in retail, we are growing stronger every year and hopefully we will continue to do so. Our customer base is getting bigger as our regular customers have started recommending us to their friends and family. We hope our clientele continues to grow.
This feature first appeared in the January 2014 issue of Jewellery Focus.