INTERVIEW: Judith Lockwood on The Promise of Created Elegance

Judith Lockwood Gary Wroe

You Fine Jewellery has debuted its new fine-fashion jewellery collection The Promise of Created Elegance at Jewellery & Watch.

Always excited to hear about a new brand, Professional Jeweller caught up with the director of You Fine Jewellery, Judith Lockwood, to find out all the industry need to know about her latest venture.

What inspired you to launch a new jewellery brand?

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Fairtrade and fate introduced us to Thierry Silber from Madestones® who is the largest supplier of laboratory grown diamonds in Europe. You Fine Jewellery co-director Gary Wroe and I both saw an opportunity to create something completely brand new, and it seemed obvious to work with these extraordinary lab-grown diamonds and precious Fairtrade metal to make jewellery that was memorable. Colour inspires colour ­ so you will see a lot of rose and yellow gold within the collection. The beauty of the colourful lab-grown diamonds absolutely need to be seen to be appreciated; they are truly alluring, magical and magnificent.

Why did you decide to target self-purchasing female consumers?

We have called our new brand The Promise of Created Elegance and the idea of our customer is completely behind this. As women we are constantly making promises to ourselves ­ to buy a house this year, to work harder and achieve that well-earned promotion, or to try and spend more time with our family and those we love. We make many promises to ourselves throughout our lives, so our brand is created for every woman who quite rightly deserves to say thank you to herself once in a while with a beautiful piece of self-rewarding jewellery. This collection is for strong, independent women who love life, have a strong social circle, values and attitude ­ they are just like you.

Where do you think this new brand will sit in the UK jewellery market?

The Promise of Created Elegance is a fine jewellery brand crafted in Fairtrade 18ct gold. At present it truly stands alone, because it celebrates beautiful coloured lab-grown diamonds, which no other brand is doing. But working with our creative director Sarah Jordan, we have ensured the pieces fit perfectly with the growing trend for fashion-fine jewellery. We see a potential for daughters to buy pieces for their mothers and visa versa, sisters to buy for each other and friends to purchase pieces for those special milestones. We also believe the men in these women’s lives will be drawn to the use of lab-grown diamonds and their story.

Why did you decide to use synthetic diamonds?

I am so pleased you asked me this question, because I do not believe we are using synthetic diamonds. If you look at the IGI laboratory that grades all of our diamonds you will find that they use the terminology of ‘laboratory grown diamonds’ – mined above ground. From research we’ve seen, the millennial customer is completely open to lab-grown diamonds because they live in a world of fast paced technologies and understand the sustainable benefit that this method brings.

Do you think consumers fully understand lab-grown diamonds and if not, how will you help communicate this idea to them?

We believe that our position is one of being pro-active and educational. I would suspect that many consumers and retailers are not even aware of how beautiful lab-grown diamonds can be, which is an exciting opportunity. We are sure our future retail partners will be attracted to the colours, the striking designs and the brand’s aesthetic. They will be open to new opportunities, they will receive full training from us, and this will enable them to create an experience that customers are not yet receiving anywhere else. We promise that every stone is laser-inscribed and comes with its own IGI certificate, plus each piece is hallmarked with the Fairtrade hallmark. We promise that we have transparency and full-disclosure.

We work very closely with Facets PR and we all believe that the consumer press will have great interest in The Promise of Created Elegance because of the visual impact that the jewellery creates and its innovative use of lab-grown diamonds, as well as its sustainability.

What inspired the designs for the debut collection?

I believe in life you should try to spend as much time as possible with people you enjoy being with, those who have energy and calmness. After working collaboratively with Sarah Jordan last year on the Northern Lights daywear collection, we found her a joy to be around and to work with. Gary and I sat with Sarah and explained our idea to bring a coloured lab-grown diamond jewellery collection to market.  A true designer feels and listens to what they see, and Sarah has created a collection with a bohemian-meets-rock’n’roll vibe, yet a distinctly wearable elegance.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the new brand?

The Promise of Created Elegance gives every woman the ability to own, buy, receive and wear a vivid pink, a gorgeous blue, a stunning yellow and a resplendent cognac diamond ­ something that most of us would never have thought possible. The retail price points allow us to fill a gap that is missing in many retailers’ stores. We will be leaving Jewellery & Watch Birmingham and immediately heading to Inhorgenta with the collection, followed by Baselworld in March where we will present on the stand of Diamaz International (Made®). This confirms the confidence that we have in the designs, the brand, the feel, the message and that lab grown diamonds are a part of our future jewellery world.

As You Fine Jewellery partners with Madestone diamonds to supply the lab-grown diamonds for The Promise of Created Elegance, Professional Jeweller asked Madestones founder Thierry Silber a couple of questions about the stones and the vision.

Could you tell me about the story of laboratory grown diamonds and how these keep within your ethical stance on jewellery?

TS: First let me start by saying I recommend using the same terminology as the diamond laboratories – laboratory grown diamonds. They are a product of modern technology. They marry science to social values. They are eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable and affordable. They appeal to a new group of consumers who may not have considered buying a diamond due to possible social, moral and environmental concerns. Laboratory grown diamonds are preferred by socially and environmentally conscious consumers, and the younger generation who are engaged with technologically forward products. Madestones® views its presence in the diamond market as a natural progression rather than a disruptive force. Laboratory grown diamonds are not a substitute for natural diamonds, but a new and very relevant alternative. 

You are targeting the European market with this brand too, could you talk more about that and why you are aiming for more than just a UK market?

TS: Madestones® is the largest distributor of laboratory grown diamonds in Europe. I would like to see the jewellery line expand in the same manner. I see no reason to limit the concept of The Promise for Created Elegance from becoming the top brand for lab-grown diamond jewellery not only in the United Kingdom but throughout Europe and the rest of the world. When you believe that you have a product that is extraordinary, you should not limit your vision.

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