Crafting his own vision for fine jewellery retail in Liverpool.
By Steve Spear
Every now and again someone comes along and makes it all look so very simple. Matt Case has done that with his new shop Russell & Case.
In just a year since opening it has carved a huge reputation in its hometown and even beaten several more established businesses to scoop the Best Jeweller prize at the Liverpool Lifestyle Awards.
Of course it hasn’t been as easy as it looks. The punctilious Matt has poured every hour of every day into the business. The former Ernest Jones employee did everything to open the store: choosing each colour, paper, tile, carpet and chair, project managing the shopfit, buying in or designing the products and dealing with all suppliers. One employee says: “I don’t know how he found time to eat or sleep.”
And now it is up and running it still eagerly swallows the hours. “Well, the boutique is open from 10am to 6pm,” he says. “And several evenings a week I attend networking events, launch parties, etcetera. Whenever I do get home, I hit the emails and phone calls. So I’d say the day lasts at the very least 12 hours, right up to 18 or 20 hours sometimes. But, always seven days a week.”
It’s a good job he’s young. He’s not complaining though, quite the opposite. “I wish there was more time and more of us, so we could spread the word even more.”
He does evince a certain air of justified triumph though. When creating Russell & Case, he had to overcome “everyone’s preconceptions and people not believing my vision was possible”. “Almost everything we did, I was told ‘No, you can’t do that’ but I achieved absolutely everything that I wanted.”
It helps that he possesses a certain sartorial swagger of his own; you can usually find him in textured separates like a tweed jacket and his signature orange pochette. The store is likewise manicured into perfection, stocking fine jewellery in 18ct gold and platinum by designers such as Sarah Ho and Leyla Abdollahi, as well as a selection of luxury watch brands including U-Boat.
And what does the future hold? “Several more boutiques. I don’t think we would ever want to be the biggest, because we are so passionate about the different experience we offer our clients. But I maintain that several more cities deserve a Russell & Case.” That is undoubtedly good news. There’s just one question: however will he find the time?
Matt Case was selected as an IJL Retail Star in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.