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Hockley Mint vows to keep nurturing talent to keep British skills alive

Gary Wroe – Hockley Break out

“When I walk around our jewellery manufacturing facilities in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, I am always amazed at how easy some of our craftsmen and women make their tasks look. In reality, they’ve spent years developing their skills to the point where they know what to do intuitively,” explains Gary Wroe, managing director of Hockley Mint.

In 2020, Hockley Mint is forging ahead with its promise of ‘Honest British Craftsmanship’ by engaging with the National Association of Jewellers’ ‘Created in the UK’ initiative and voluntary mark.

Wroe continues: “Being a British-made business is part of our identity and it is one of the aspects of Hockley Mint that I believe sets us apart from the competition. Although the world is an incredibly connected place, having access to high quality products direct from Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is something that our customers appreciate.”

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‘Created in the UK’ will shine a spotlight on all the benefits of UK manufacturing for Hockley Mint, such as reduced lead times and flexibility, quicker delivery times and complete oversight over production and quality control. Aside from these practical benefits, Wroe explains that being British-made also future-proofs British skills, craftsmanship and jewellery making talent. He says: “By investing in UK manufacturing and continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible in-house, we are creating an environment where British craftsmanship can thrive. Our apprentices, both men and women from all backgrounds and walks of life, can learn from highly skilled specialists and be part of a long line of professionals who keep jewellery making fresh.”

Over the coming months, Hockley Mint will continue to expand what is made in-house. It has already enjoyed significant success with its award-winning Embrace bridal jewellery collection, which is designed, manufactured, finished and branded in-house. “We are always developing new techniques to allow for different products to be made in the UK,” Wroe notes. “With such an established in-house team and the best equipment, we can spend time in research and development to expand the options available to our customers.”

Wroe continues: “Customers are conscious of where their products come from, now more so than ever. Being able to demonstrate a clear point of origin, in our case Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, through ‘Created in the UK’ is vital for future business. Those conscious of the carbon footprint of their products will look to ‘Created in the UK’ as a possible solution, while others will choose ‘Created in the UK’ for different reasons, like supporting the economy, nurturing people or accessing high quality designs. ‘Created in the UK’ and investment in UK manufacturing are natural partners; we are excited about the future of the scheme and what it can achieve.”

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The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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