Q&A: Graham Stock, Nathan & Stock

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The jewellery manufacturer on launching a brand in 2012.

Graham Stock’s career has taken him overseas, had him presenting jewellery collections on QVC and now he has launched his own silver and diamond jewellery brand, Lily & Lotty. He was named a Business Big shot in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012, in association with the Company of Master Jewellers.

Professional Jeweller: Tell us about 2012 – what have been the highs this year?
Graham Stock: One of the highlights was the fantastic response at The Jewellery Show in Birmingham to our newly launched Lily & Lotty collection – it was confirmation that our creative ideas and hard work had brought an instantly recognisable brand to the marketplace. We have had so many fantastic comments about our brand image and signature packaging. This year’s launch of children’s collection has also been a very exciting.

PJ: What kind of challenges have you faced along the way this year?
GS: As a consultant for some of the leading jewellery brands in the UK, being asked to appear as a guest presenter on QVC was probably one of the hardest challenges I have ever experienced. Having spent my life avoiding school plays, best man’s speeches and any form of public speaking I found myself in front of cameras appearing regularly on live TV. I still find this a surreal experience.

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PJ: Tell us how it has been launching a new brand in a busy marketplace?
GS: Because of my previous roles and knowledge within both the jewellery and packaging industries, launching a brand was relatively straightforward. The difficulty was the current economic climate and also the fact that up and coming brands can get sidelined as the larger retailers tend to stick with the global brands which have the backing of huge marketing budgets. As a small company, our challenge is to stand alongside these larger brands in every other aspect.

PJ: What sort of successes have you enjoyed with retailers this year?
GS: Retailers love the fact we are a quirky, British brand with a strong image, great packaging and are a family company which is highlighted by the fact that our three daughters are the faces of the brand. Our retail stockists continue to grow every month which is a fantastic achievement in these difficult times.

PJ: Did you history at Hot Diamonds help in negotiations with retailers?
GS: Having spent a lot of time over the past 15 years in the Far East I have built up excellent long-standing relationships with manufacturers of jewellery, packaging and window displays who have all been wholly supportive of my new venture.

PJ: How would you describe your approach to work?
GS: Plate-spinning. By this I mean I always have a number of projects on the go. I co-direct Lily & Lotty alongside my wife; consult on Far East sourcing for leading UK jewellery brands and appear on QVC in London and The Shopping Channel in Canada on behalf of Clogau. The skill is to not drop any plates.

PJ: How do you manage your work-life balance and how do you relax off the job?
GS: Living close to the sea in Devon, I love to head off to the beach with my family and Monty the dog in our old campervan – the perfect escape from a very busy life.

PJ: What can we expect from Lily & Lotty over the next year?
GS: We are excited about the prospect of exhibiting Lily & Lotty at the Hong Kong Jewellery Show as we have already had interest from international retailers. We hope to continue with the scale of growth we have enjoyed this year and we are currently developing new designs for forthcoming collections – this is the fun part of building a brand which I’m looking forward to.

 

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