OAK, Claire English and Clarice Price-Thomas scoop free stands at LJW.
The winners of Professional Jeweller’s 2012 Treasure and Jewellery Show London competition have been announced as OAK Fine Jewellery, Claire English and Clarice Price-Thomas.
The final 10 battled it out over a week in December to win one of three stands at the Treasure selling show held during London Jewellery Week (LJW), with one of the three winners still set to win a second stand The Jewellery Show London, a boutique trade show that will also take place at Somerset House during LJW.
Votes were casst online at professionaljeweller.com earlier this month, with the site receiving 22,158 hits in the seven days during which voting was open and a total 74,940 page views. The final number of votes totalled 60,869, tripling the 21,690 votes cast during the 2011 competition.
The finalists’ PR activity, which included pay-per-click advertisements on Facebook and the offer of a chance to win jewellery including diamond studs, cuffs and silver pendants in return for voting, appeared to pay off with more than 70% of visitors in the seven days being new to Professional Jeweller.
In fact, the voting reached breaking point on the final day, crashing the Professional Jeweller site for several hours along with 15 other sites run by our publisher ITP in the Middle East. This resulted in concern over the legitimacy of the final votes amid concerns that an automatic voting system may have been used.
However our IT department spent more than 24 hours carefully trawling through the 60,869 votesto ensure that the overall votes were thoroughly counted and checked and any spam votes withdrawn from the final count.
Professional Jeweller editor-in-chief Rachael Taylor said: “This year’s top 10 finalists were an eclectic mix, with names already established in the UK industry like Gisele Ganne alongside entrants from as far afield as Sweden such as Karin Roy, and Shelley Thomas, a blacksmith-turned-jewellery designer.”
Taylor said that the issue of automatic voting delayed the announcement of the final three until today, despite the competition closing last Tuesday, as several of the finalists’ votes appeared to jump dramatically on the last day making it hard to pinpoint a source.
“We’re passionate about making the competition as fair as possible and, having had similar problems in 2010, we were hopeful that by now entrants would have understood what they could and couldn’t do to win votes.
“We’re working hard to ensure that the methods used next year keep the votes legitimate and hope that entrants will also be honest in their work to boost their brand’s chances during the contest,” added Taylor.
The three winners have distinctly varying styles making this year’s selection an exciting line-up. Claire English weaves childhood memories and stories into her jewellery, referencing the likes of Alice in Wonderland and magpies along the way, while Clarice Price-Thomas creates jewellery inspired by watchmaking and the ideas of time, having grown up surrounded by watches and clocks due to her father’s job as a watch and clock restorer.
Ethical jewellery brand OAK Fine Jewellery will return to Treasure for a second year, having held a stand in the Essence ethical section of the show last year. The two designers behind the brand first and met at Central Saint Martins and, after working for jewellers for several years, converged once again to launch OAK.
Next, however, the three winners will go on to face the judges of this year’s competition once more, including Professional Jeweller editor-in-chief Rachael Taylor, London Jewellery Week managing director Della Tinsley, The Jewellery Show event director Julie Driscoll, CMJ Media director and Country & Town House jewellery editor Sarah Carpin, Charles Fish buying director Samantha Hansard, and, one of last year’s winners, jewellery designer Laura Gravestock, to win a stand at The Jewellery Show London.
The judges will focus on the brand with the most commercial potential, and the finalist they feel could best supply jewellery retailers in the UK. One of the three winners will scoop the stand at The Jewellery Show London, which takes place at the same time as Treasure, creating a more challenging prize.
The winner of The Jewellery Show London stand will be encouraged to prepare extra products to showcase, have press material and line sheets ready for interested buyers, and will also need to run the two stands simultaneously. They will be announced later in January 2012.