With many jewellers handed down through generations, what’s it like to set up as a first generation jeweller?
As part of the Cityscapes series, Professional Jeweller speaks to Divyan Pabari of Silk Diamonds in Leicester, to find out more.
How long ago did you open the store?
We opened in July 2008. I was 24 at the time, and I’d come from a retail jewellery background, working for some of the multiple retailers. On getting my retail experience I moved on to work in the head offices and gained more experience in valuations and insurance. From that point, I worked out how everything worked, from trade to retail, and the whole method of production, and that’s what has brought me here today.
Did you find it quite difficult setting up?
Yes and no. Definitely jewellery is one of those trades where you need to have the knowledge and experience together – one alone won’t work. It can be very hard when you’re that young. I think you just have to be confident, you have to be enthusiastic about what you want to do. When I started working for jewellery I knew straight away that this was something I really enjoyed doing from all aspects; from retail to valuation. Then at the same time, the location I was in, there was a bit of luck there as well, and having the route I had helped as well. In some aspects it has been a little bit easier, and in some it has been harder as well. Determination is key, is what I’d say.
Is it less restricting to be a first generation jeweller?
The first few years was about gaining the experience of how to make jewellery through using several designers and CAD/ CAM technology. I think from there I realised that yes, we can produce artisanal jewellery, and it really helped me understand what people are looking for. When you’re starting out as a first generation independent jewellery shop, you can really be as adventurous and creative as you want with the styles that you offer. Buying patterns are sometimes quite fixed as you grow bigger and bigger. We were definitely one of the first in Leicester to start experimenting with more contemporary designs of jewellery. Even to this day we stock pieces that a lot of people comment to us on, and say that they’re very new designs that they haven’t seen before. So that is definitely a bonus. From the other side of it, you’re starting out and again you’ve got to be careful with the amount of risk, as certain designs may or may not work. There’s definitely got to be a balance of some sort of classic pieces combined with those contemporary pieces to give an all around mix of variety.
Read the full PJ Cityscapes Leicester report in the June issue, available now.