Hot 100 2013: Nicholas King

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Designing for Cheryl Cole, working in New York and sourcing in Asia.

By Steve Spear

In terms of both profile and profit, Nicholas King has had a barnstorming year.

“At the end of last year I was asked by LA stylist Renelou Padora to design the jewellery for Cheryl Cole’s first solo UK tour. Working with Cheryl and her team we came up with the concept of trapping her lyrics into bangles.”

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He now has 50 stockists worldwide from Club 21 in Bangkok, Luisa Via Roma in Florence, Christine in Melbourne and more via Palm Springs, New York, Boston, Munich and Toronto, back to Fenwicks in London. His work has catapulted into Jaeger’s Boutique Gallery and will join the Best of British store on Amazon.

As much as any jeweller out there Nicholas is living the dream right now. But of course if you are not careful, the dream can become a nightmare. “My weeks are pretty scheduled and I have a very lovely and patient partner, Michael, whom I can bounce ideas off. He is much more disciplined than me and so keeps me on track when I have a meltdown. I do thrive on being busy and as time has gone by I have become busier and busier, so never a dull moment.”

The best bit? “Travelling and sourcing the new materials in Asia and the US. That is really the only time I have clear to design and think about product.”

And the worst? “I have to say a production day in mid January with no real heating and resin dust flying around me has to rank as the worst part. I love the manufacturing in theory but after working on the 100th bangle in a week I have to say I long to be behind my desk.”

Next up is his continued assault on the US. Already half of his wholesale revenue comes from American customers but having lived there for seven years he recognises the potential for much more.

The US is not the only foreign clime on Nicholas’s CV. He spent lots of his childhood in Australia, the nation of his mother’s birth. “She grew up 100 miles north of Adelaide in a little mining town called Burra Burra. Before she passed away in 2004 I told her I had an idea for a business and she was so supportive and simply said ‘go for it’. I did.” This initial confidence boost from his mum meant a lot, which is why Nicholas chose to have his Hot 100 photograph taken on the bench on Barnes Common, London, that his family had installed in memory of his mother last year. And we’re quite sure she would be proud to know that since taking her advice he hasn’t looked back.

This Hot 100 Tresor Paris Trendsetter profile was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 book. To read the digital book in full, click here.
 

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