Why my move to Cockpit Arts has been invaluable

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Jewellery designer Laura Gravestock on being part of a design hub.

By Laura Gravestock. This piece is taken from the April issue of Professional Jeweller.

It is with great anticipation that I finally move into my new studio at Cockpit Arts in Holborn.

I say finally, as for the past three years I have been working for other established Cockpit-based designers such as Rachel Galley, and patiently waiting for the day when I would be able to relocate my studio from my bedroom to a more prestigious location – that location was Cockpit Arts, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

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This move has come at the perfect time for me. Having launched my Moorish-inspired Promise collection and needing to progress my business further, Cockpit was a logical choice. As an incubator space for a wide variety of design disciplines, Cockpit provides me not only with a credible space to meet customers, stylists and buyers alike, but also important practical help through their business development seminars and workshops.

And they’re keen to get started. Having only been there a month, I’ve already met with the very friendly Abigail, Cockpit’s business development manager, to discuss the inspiration behind my collections and how it can influence my branding. I’ve come away from the meeting with new ideas and a firm understanding of where I should be heading with my business.

As well as providing vital business support, Cockpit is ideally located for me because of its proximity to Hatton Garden, meaning that my visits throughout the day to my gemstone and material suppliers, the Assay Office and an occasional trip to the post office, are a little easier on the Oyster card – and my legs!

Lastly, one of the best things about Cockpit for me is participating in their twice yearly Open Studios. Having helped out at several in the past, I’m hugely looking forward to the prospect of meeting the large number of people that visit every year and showing them my work. Knowing that Cockpit’s Open studios are also frequented by the likes of Selfridges and Liberty, where I hope my collections will one day be stocked, as well as celebrities on the look-out for beautifully designed, well made pieces, I can be sure that my jewellery is set to reach a whole new audience.

With a new collection in the pipeline, several retail and trade shows in the diary, and a studio space where my business can grow and develop, it’s shaping up to be an exciting year.

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