Now in its fifth year, KickStart is a bursary scheme run by IJL and supported by the British Jewellers’ Association, offering retailers and buyers a chance to discover new designers who have undertaken a mentoring programme. This year there has been a change to the format, as, for the first time, one of the 10 KickStart places has been opened up to allow the industry to vote for their favourite.
“KickStart is a great way to find new talent and gives credibility and weight to the designers promoting their work,” remarked retailer Jos Skeates of EC One.
Coinciding with the launch of the KickStart ‘People’s Choice’ award voting in March is the launch of three new online voting options. Twitter users can ‘tweet’ the name of the KickStarter they’d like to vote for and tag #KickStartVote; Instagram users can post a picture of their favourite using the same tag; and Facebook users will be able to cast votes via IJL’s Facebook page. Voters may also cast their votes directly by visiting www.jewellerylondon.com
Event director Sam Willoughby said: “The KickStart stand is always a popular destination at IJL and, following the success of the initiative in recent years, the 2013 line-up is sure to impress.”
Katie Jamieson, who was tipped for future success in 2012 on the Bright Young Gems stand, commented: “Having had a chance to see the KickStart winners on their stand when I was a Bright Young Gem last year, I will definitely be entering this year. It looks like a great opportunity to meet potential stockists and contacts for furthering your business, as well as a fantastic PR opportunity for brand building.”
Previous KickStart designer Imogen Belfield remarked: “Winning KickStart in September 2012 helped me establish my brand on an international scale, meeting buyers and press from the UK and globally. I gained new stockists including contemporary UK retailers, an online boutique and a luxury Four Seasons hotel in Prague. It was also a great chance to catch up with an important current stockist in the UK who re-ordered for Christmas – my jewellery is now being displayed in their windows alongside jewellery icons!”
Deadline for entries is Friday 15 March. To enter, visit www.jewellerylondon.com/Kickstart2013