Established in 1978, Hadfields Jewellers in Canterbury exchanged hands in 2013, and is now run by Dave Baxter and Allie Archer. Professional Jeweller finds out more about taking over the reins of an established family business, and how the pair have been moving forward with the times.
You took over Hadfields a few years ago. Was it daunting to take over a store that was so well established?
Baxter and Archer: There was a degree of worry taking over this shop, it was 90% reassuring that we had a solid business with a great customer base. This has been a family run business and our work ethics are the same, so it still has that family run feel. A lot of clients think that we are a family! We have a good team behind us; we get on well together so it creates an efficient, smooth running machine. There is a happy atmosphere and we get regular good comments about our friendly customer service and attention to detail.
What is the key to keeping a traditional business with such a rich history relevant in modern times?
B&A: We keep old traditions alive by being predominantly bespoke. We tend to be different to most high street jewellers. Our jewellery is of a very high standard; we are renowned for our use of good quality materials and stones, hence our strong customer support.
You have a very sleek and easy-to-navigate website. How long has Hadfields had an online presence and in what ways does it help with business?
B&A: Our website is a door to the outside world and gives people a taste of what we do. We have updated it this year to keep up with the times. As yet we don’t feel the need to sell from it as we are a more bespoke setup.
Hadfields has been around for 40 years. What is the key to a business that lasts generations?
The key to a business like ours lasting generations is giving friendly, great customer service, and making people feel at home and relaxed. We stick to what we know best in all aspects of the work involved. We don’t cut corners and are very thorough and informative about the work in hand. Updating our windows regularly with new different pieces keeps the shop front fresh. All of this amounts to getting good feedback from new and old clients which is very rewarding. People know when they see us for that special piece of jewellery it is going to be an everlasting treasure.
Professional Jeweller spoke to Archer and Baxter during its visit to Canterbury for the first PJ Cityscapes special. Look out for the full report in the May issue.