Birmingham’s Centrepiece opts for online retail

Jewellery collective goes online after open studio success.

Centrepiece Jewellery, the volunteer-run jewellery collective formed in Birmingham in 1997, has launched an online store as a way of keeping in touch with its customers.

Centrepiece aims to raise public awareness of contemporary work being made in the city’s historic Jewellery Quarter.

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Since 1997 it has grown to encompass more than 30 core and guest members, runs an annual selling exhibition at the city’s Symphony Hall and last year began hosting open studios each May.

The organisation is run entirely on a voluntary basis by 16 full time jewellery makers.

The store is a way of the Centrepiece jewellers to stay in touch with their customers. Becca Williams, a designer who will be running the online store, said: “We reach so many people through our Christmas show at the Symphony Hall that it seemed such a shame to ignore them for the other ten months of the year.”

After the open studios proved popular with both new and existing customers alike the online store was a clear next step and a chance for the jewellers to be selling their work all year.

“Centrepiece was always about promoting individual makers in the Jewellery Quarter and this is simply another way of doing that,” said Williams.

The store currently lists work from Sian Elizabeth Hughes, Andrea Jones, Katherine Campbell-Legg, Becca Williams, Miranda Sharpe and Alice Gow. It will gradually grow to list work from across the group and display the wide range of talent working in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter today.

Centrepiece spends the whole year informally planning the annual Christmas show with each of the 16 core members taking on the role that suits them best. “We run the group as a cooperative, there’s definitely a leader, but everyone else pitches in to make it a success,” explained Williams.

With help from the Symphony Hall and the Birmingham Assay Office Centrepiece will open its fourteenth annual exhibition on November 16.




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