An unstoppable year for new initiatives from the Chiswick jewellers.
The recipe for marmalade is simple: oranges, sugar and a bit of patience. But in Chiswick that’s a theory that Simon Johnson and Nadine Meegan are putting to the test.
The award-winning owners of Marmalade Jewellery, situated on a meander of the Thames where the annual boat race finishes, have somehow managed to pack in a whole lot more. Marathon running, fencing and long division is just the start of it.
They have (take a deep breath) been awarded Platinum Guild Recommended Retailer accreditation for the eighth year in a row, sponsored and mentored an apprentice at Holts Academy, bought the store next door to expand into a high-value jewellery viewing room called The Snug, judged awards, took part in Jewellery Week’s High Street Gems window display competition, designed and created a revolutionary new online jewellery shopping concept with plans for pre-Christmas launch, Simon has been nominated to the NAG board of directors and they launched Marmalade Money, “a pawnbroking service with a difference”.
Meanwhile all Marmalade staff are training to be valuers or gemmologists. The duo also organised Jewellers’ Christmas Drinks and the first Jewellers’ Ping Pong Tournament in June during Jewellery Week. And now they are irresistibly inducted into the Hot 100 for the second time.
Impressively they’ve done all that while trimming down from a seven day week to a six day one, as they now close on Sundays. That’s a lot for one duo. So what has been the best bit?
Simon says: “The Snug has completely changed the way we do business. The store is pretty small for the amount of business we do and previously we didn’t really have anywhere private for clients to sit. Now we can sit, have a chat and coffee without anyone knowing we are there. I love it and wouldn’t change a thing.”
Cue Nadine: “Coffee? Really Simon, coffee? I always get the bubbles out. The private consulting room has really helped increase sales – everyone loves it. However I have the next refit in my head ready to go. Hopefully that will help grow the business and Marmalade brand next year.”
Speaking of next year, the plans keep on coming. Simon says he is hoping to get the website contributing 6% to 10% of turnover, is aiming to up the profile of Marmalade Money and will focus on getting the very best out of his team, something that is important to them both. “I think we have developed a very outward-looking, people-focused business with a true belief in training and developing our team,” says Simon. When asked how they have managed to have a national impact with such a local business, Nadine says: “With our commitment to our staff and their training, and a single-minded mission to push the business forward. We are committed to supporting new talent, having work experience trainees and extensive involvement in local events in the community.”
You see, lots goes into this Marmalade, but only ever the finest ingredients.
Nadine Meegan and Simon Johnson were selected as an IJL Retail Star 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.