HOT 100 2015 RETAIL STARS: Pippa Knowles and Jason French

Pippa Knowles and Jason French, co-directors, Baroque Bespoke Jewellery

Baroque Bespoke Jewellery was established in 2006 by a collective of like-minded jewellery designers and goldsmiths all hailing from England’s South Coast.

There must be something in the air in Brighton, because it has become a hotbed for jewellery designers with the business savvy to turn their creative flair into successful retail businesses. You might not have heard the Baroque team talk too much about sales forecasts and profits in their first few years, but their survival has depended on adding business skills to their passion for design and delighting their customers.

“Our profits have been up in the last two years and, whilst this is very important to us and to the business, it’s not what drives us to improve further. Our customers are the foundation of our business and collectively are the single most important success story of the shop. We do really well from word-of-mouth in the locality and throughout London and the South-East so keeping our customers happy is our main priority,” says Pippa.

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Creating bespoke jewellery is central to the Baroque team. It guarantees that their design skills are always improving, while at the same time building a growing community of loyal customers. “Each customer brings a new experience and a new piece of jewellery into the mix with its own challenges and unique components. And, because we say we can make absolutely anything, it’s like having a blank canvas for each commission which day-to-day makes it very exciting, wondering what we may be making next — it certainly keeps our workshop on its toes.”

Gazing out to sea from the bandstand on the Hove/ Brighton border is symbolic of the connection Pippa and Jason have to the city and the sea. “Brighton is a great place to live, work and play in and we thought the Bandstand by the sea in one of Europe’s coolest cities would reflect the relaxed and approachable attitude of our business. A direct translation of Baroque means “rough or imperfect pearl” which is also a bit like us and Brighton,” Jason suggests.

To read a digital version of the Hot 100 2015 book in full online, click here.


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