Time flies, and we have been to Jewellery and Watch Birmingham to catch up with existing suppliers and search out new ideas and quality items for the shop. We are very excited about a new watch range to complement our popular Danish Design watches, by Jacob Jensen. Scandinavian style, at great value, that ticks every box on our buying list and hopefully our customers too. STORM London watches were equally impressive, with lots of brand new designs which you will see in April.
We also saw some great quality new gold designs from London with Mark Milton ready for later in the year and ordered lots of new designer sterling silver – customers just keep buying it, and we need to keep up!! A particular growing favourite is John Garland-Taylor, all handmade sterling silver, from Warwick, we love to support British makers, and it seems our customers do too.
It’s not just jewellery and watches that we looked at, our after sales at Libby Butler Jewellers is just as important as products, so we looked carefully at replacement watch straps from Condor, and looked at tools and packaging as well and also caught up with industry news.
A great show – we work closely with our suppliers to bring you the best, and it is great to see lots of them under one roof.
STORM London watches are a sure fire hit whoever you are treating this Christmas. With many vibrant colour choices, they are high quality at the right price.
Designs range from elegant to completely bonkers, but all very tempting. With LED, dual time, rose gold and faceted glass options, the range is vast for both ladies and gents. There is an added bonus that while stocks last, every watch purchase has a free gift of a STORM London toiletries set – an extra little something to wrap under the tree with our good wishes.
Are you an English Rose? Every year we say that rose gold is coming back, and the new season jewellery ranges always have a sizeable splash of copper colour in them, and then by Christmas it disappears back to a few items as token rose gold in many collections, but the trend in the last 6 months is definitely towards rose. This has been led by the watch market where rose is firmly established as the colour of choice for both gents and ladies (and let’s face it, we sell as many “gents” watches to ladies these days with the other big trend to oversize cases). So, if you have pale “English rose” skin like me, embrace the choice available right now! From delicate pendants from London designer Mark Milton with diamonds for sparkle, or a stylish watch from Danish Designs or Storm to tempt you, we have lots of inspiration for you.
Rose gold is sometimes referred to as “Russian” gold as it was very popular at the beginning of the 19th Century in Russia, and our most popular style of “Russian” wedding ring (3 interlocking rings representing the holy trinity) is with 3 colours of gold together, including rose gold. In Northern mythology, the bands are also said to represent faith, love and friendship.
After your visit to browse our shop, and possibly some further retail therapy for new outfits to show off your jewellery purchases, like gorgeous English tailoring from Carters Countrywear or European Designer Chic from Pennitas, you may feel ready for refreshment in the rose/pink theme too – so why not treat yourself further with some pink fizz from Helmsley wines to take home if you’re driving, or if you’re staying, then a glass of something pink & sparkling at The Black Swan might refresh you from all those hard purchasing decisions?!
This month we went to International Jewellery London on our weekend off to source two ranges of watches which we have had our eye on for some time & I’m pleased to announce that we will be stocking Storm London & Danish Designs from this month. British fashion brand Storm offer distinctive individual designs, with a wide range of sizes, materials, textures, and colours. Danish Designs, a collection of respected Scandinavian designers, impressed us with their range of high quality stylish watch designs in typical minimalist fashion, understated & elegant timepieces with use of hypo-allergenic titanium, and smooth leather.
Whilst there, a new jewellery range from British Designers CW Sellors caught my eye. I am sure their Whitby Jet & Marcasite will be one of our bestselling ranges this Autumn as both Whitby Jet & Marcasite are already very popular, and the combination together looks amazing. Vintage-style carved Whitby Jet Yorkshire rose earrings, Cabochon pendants with Marcasite surrounds, as well as beautiful bangles & bracelets really stood out & will stand the test of time in your jewellery collection as well, with classic vintage style. Of course while I was there, 2 foxtail pieces also caught my eye, a bracelet & pendant in Blue John – both one-offs, although the style can be replicated, the piece of stone (the UK’s only semi-precious stone) in each is unique. The bracelet is already sold!
In Helmsley we are gearing up for 2 great events, #LittleFest as part of OnOurTurf on 28th/29th September and our Second Christmas tree Festival from December 5th-20th, which is raising money for St. Catherine’s Hospice this year – a very valuable local Charity which we personally support. See www.visithelmsley.co.uk for more details. I am currently struggling with “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” window display but Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone, it’s a competition to guess the song/play/book from the various displays around town during the OnOurTurf #littlefest event. Seeking inspiration from Made You Look notes from a recent display training course I attended is fine, it’s just finding the time to put it into action! There’s no training for making more time unforuntately.
Andy & I are still running the pub to help my parents, as well as Libby Butlers, but it is up for sale so if you’ve always wanted your own pub, or know someone who does, then see details from Barry Crux, our commerical agent.
We have seen new collections this month from 3 of our established British jewellery designers: David Scott-Walker who specialises in handmade British jewellery including Whitby Jet & Derbyshire Blue John, Britain’s only semi-precious stone. Deborah Darling and Colin Greer based in Northern Ireland who make handmade Pewter jewellery in gorgeous Celtic designs, one of our current bestselling ranges. This is really comfortable to wear, very affordable and customers keep coming back to build their collection. Also just ordered and coming soon are some new pieces from Lucy Quartermaine, whose solid sterling silver designs continue to set British Design standards.
Whitby Jet is found just across the North York Moors from Helmsley, and is a popular collectible, as is Blue John from Castleton in Derbyshire – we visited the mines 2 years ago for my birthday & enjoyed a fascinating tour as well as a very lively pub quiz at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn in the village on the Sunday evening. Andy stopped me from purchasing a tiny turned bowl that sat in the palm of my hand for just over £400 on the grounds that it would get broken when dusting – not sure what made him think I will start dusting!
One of the difficulties in starting a small business is cash-flow and we have recently paid up-front for an exciting new collection for a recent graduate of York University who is using the money to add to her graduation collection for us, in an exclusive range featuring inspiration from nature. Very exciting to be able to support a local girl who is undoubtedly very talented. Watch this space!