Creating an established, world renowned centre for jewellery making.
Count yourselves lucky, jewellers of the UK. The educators in some sectors are a surly bunch; sombre, guarded and competitive. In the energetic Jessica Rose the jewellery world has someone who is the exact antithesis of those things. Fun, open and generous, the young founder of the London Jewellery School is not just a breath of fresh air but a full-on gale.
She runs Europe’s largest jewellery training centre with more than 1,500 classes per year delivered by 25 tutors. More than 6,000 students have passed through her doors in the past four years; she has supported hundreds of budding designers to set up in business and collected more business awards than she could fit on a giant’s charm bracelet. They include this year’s Artemis Award for businesswomen under 25 at the prestigious Natwest Everywoman awards in recognition of her turning a £10,000 loan and £5,000 of savings into a £500,000 business.
But you try asking her why she’s been selected for this year’s Hot 100 and she jokes it’s because her premises are so “ridiculously close to the Professional Jeweller offices in Hatton Garden that they had no choice but to include me!”.
Actually those premises are new this year, a sign of her school’s expansion and a signal of its widening diversification, which will include more online materials and pop-up materials shops this year. And remarkably the whole thing was a bit of an accident.
“I left uni to set up my own business and started making to sell to shops, galleries and at fairs and events. I began teaching as a sideline and loved it. It was extremely popular and there were very few places teaching people to make jewellery in London at that time so I set up the London Jewellery School.”
And now her aim is to create an established, world renowned centre for jewellery making in the UK.
With a shelf load of business awards you would think she is immune to them by now but on the contrary. “There is something extra special about gaining recognition from within the industry. The jewellery school’s ethos is all about bringing jewellery making to the world, opening it up to a wider audience.” And with more schools now opening, Jessica, who used to be a professional dancer, says: “I think it’s great! Our message is all about spreading the fun and creativity so the more people helping to do that, the better. And if any of them want to work with us, we are open to collaborations too.” See, far better than the stuffy academics we remember.
Jessica Rose was selected as a CMJ Business Big Shot in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013, in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.