Designer Claire English has scooped the final prize in Professional Jeweller’s Treasure and Jewellery Show London competition, winning a free stand the trade-facing Jewellery Show London, to be held during Jewellery Week in June.
English, alongside finalists Clarice Price-Thomas and Oak Jewellery, took part in video interviews with Professional Jeweller’s deputy editor Kathryn Bishop last week, in which each answered questions on the commerciability, marketing and aims of their brands.
The videos were then viewed by the judges overseeing the competition, including The Jewellery Show London director Julie Driscoll, CMJ Media director Sarah Carpin, Kathy Dyton of retailer Pearl & Queenie, Kiyan Foroughi of online retailer Boticca, Val Trotter of retailer Pebbles and fellow designer Laura Gravestock, who each gave feedback on who they felt would best benefit from the stand at The Jewellery Show London.
Claire English scooped the majority vote, with feedback from the judges offering that she was retailer-ready, confident with her brand message and fully prepared with a marketing and business strategy.
Carpin said English had “the clearest idea of her own branding and the direction that her business should take”, while Kiyan Foroughi described English as in command of her business plan.
Runners-up Clarice Price-Thomas and Oak Jewellery were also commended by the judges for their strong brand personalities, awareness of their brand stories and being prepared to take on new stockists with newly-developed lines and clear price structures.
All three finalists have previously won stands at Treasure, the public-facing selling show at Jewellery Week, which this year will be hosted at Somerset House in central London.
English said of her win: “I am so pleased. I want to thank all of the judges who voted for me and for their kind words.”
English took her first major steps in the jewellery industry several years ago when she was featured on BBC TV series High Street Dreams, working with mentor Stephen Webster, who helped her develop her brand identity. Since then she has continued to build her brand, based on ephemera and childhood stories, and was last year named a NexGem in Professional Jeweller's Hot 100.
Oak Jewellery was founded by university friends Jo-Anne Owdud and Parul Tolentino, who joined forces to create a jewellery brand that could be worn and passed down through the generations. They were one of the first fine jewellery brands to work with 18ct Fairtrade Fairmined gold, and have since developed their collections to include a silver range, while outsourcing their manufacturing to allow for sustained quality production and better pricing structures.
Clarice Price-Thomas is a jewellery designer with a difference, having never had formal training in jewellery making. She is inspired by her father, a horologist, and launched her debut collection, Time Never Stops, in 2011 based on watchmaking cogs and components. She won EC One’s Unsigned competition, a mentoring scheme that has allowed her to develop her line in a more commercial way. She has worked with a number of well-known British designers including Ana de Costa and Jessica de Lotz.