Final-year students to be given in-depth industry mentoring.

Retailer Fabulous has hosted a contest for final-year Birmingham School of Jewellery students, offering two winners a £200 bursary and mentoring sessions covering commercial design, pricing and brand marketing.

The Fabulous Futures contest was hosted with Jewellery and Silversmithing – Design for Industry students, providing them with a more commercial, retail-oriented perspective before they go on to become designers or pursue a career in the jewellery industry.


The winners were announced during the School of Jewellery’s end-of-year show this month, with Rebecca Neil and Bethany Hancock scooping the Fabulous Futures prize.

They will both receive mentoring sessions designed to help them consider their target market, the pricing of their pieces, the way their jewellery is presented in-store and how to showcase themselves online.

Both Neil and Hancock will receive a week’s work experience at Fabulous, and will have the chance to appear at the annual Fabulous Garden Party, where they will meet top customers and other designers. Each will also rbe given a £200 bursary to cover any expenses incurred during placements.

Fabulous owner Jo Stroud said: "Birmingham School of Jewellery has an excellent reputation for producing highly employable graduates with the skills needed within the jewellery industry today. We have chosen this particular course as it offers students a sound knowledge of the market, developing their technical skills within a commercial environment."

Stroud sat on the judging panel with Fabulous retail and buying manager Sinade Prosser, who herself is a graduate of the Design for Industry course.

Rebecca Neil’s work is described as combining traditional techniques and new technology to create designs inspired by Britain’s rich cultural heritage, while Bethany Hancock utilises both traditional techniques and CAD to create fine jewellery that draws influence from natural structures.

Stroud added: "Both designers showed real promise, and seemed to have a real ambition to learn more and improve their skills, so we are delighted to help them both. British designers are very important to us at Fabulous, with collections from Vivienne Westwood, Lulu Guinness, Chloe Moss, James Boyd and Chris Lewis all helping make us the go-to place for must-have brands. We’d love to see the next big thing in the industry come from home grown talent."

Birmingham School of Jewellery’s acting head of school Gaynor Andrew said: “We are delighted to be working with Fabulous on these awards, and look forward to developing an exciting and positive relationship with the Fabulous team. We are also thrilled that an alumnus of the School is so closely involved."