Industry to use social media to pick one of 10 KickStarters this year.
International Jewellery London (IJL) has launched a new initiative as part of its KickStart program called People’s Choice, in which the industry will pick one of the 2013 KickStart line up.
For the first time in its five-year history, members of the industry will be able to vote for a designer to be part of KickStart.
Ten KickStarters are selected each year to take part in the mentoring programme, which is run by IJL and supported by the British Jewellers’ Association. It is now hoped the most innovative talent in the UK will be found by opening up one of the 10 places to vote, giving retailers and the industry a chance to have their say on who is hot or one to watch.
The voting will officially launch in March, and coincides with fresh voting methods for 2013. Twitter users can Tweet the name of the KickStarter they’d like to vote for with the hashtag #KickStartVote, while Instagram users can post a picture of their favourite KickStarter with the same hashtag to cast their vote. Facebook users will be able to cast votes via the IJL Facebook page. Voters may also cast their votes directly at jewellerylondon.com.
IJL event director Sam Willoughby said: “The KickStart stand is always a popular destination at IJL and, following the success of the initiative in recent years, the 2013 line up is sure to impress.”
New designers Katie Jamieson, who was a 2012 Bright Young Gem, commented: “Having had a chance to see the KickStart winners on their stand when I was a Bright Young Gem last year, I will definitely be entering this year. It looks like a great opportunity to meet potential stockists and contacts for furthering your business as well as a fantastic PR opportunity for brand building.”
Previous KickStart designer Imogen Belfield said being part of KickStart – and winning its Stylesight award in 2012 – has given her career a boost. “Winning KickStart helped me establish my brand on an international scale, meeting buyers and press from the UK and globally.
“I gained new stockists including contemporary UK retailers, an online boutique and a luxury Four Seasons hotel in Prague. It was also a great chance to catch up with an important current stockist in the UK who reordered for Christmas – my jewellery is now being displayed in their windows alongside jewellery icons.”
Designer entries to KickStart are already open with a deadline of March 15 for those hoping to take part this year. The winning designers will be at IJL which take place from 1 to 4 September.