Applications welcomed for 2015 edition of the bursary scheme.

International Jewellery London (IJL) has launched the 2015 edition of its KickStart bursary initiative, welcoming entries from young designers and emerging talents.

Founded in 2008, the KickStart initiative, which is supported by The British Jeweller’s Association, has given emerging jewellery designer-makers the chance to showcase their collections in a dedicated space at IJL.


IJL event director Sam Willoughby commented: “Buyers, exhibitors and press always make a bee line for The KickStart stand at IJL in anticipation of seeing really inspiring, creative work. This is a great commercial launch pad for the lucky winners and I am confident that the 2015 line up will raise the game yet again – especially, as by then, we will have helped sixty young designers through the scheme. A fitting milestone as we celebrate IJL’s 60th anniversary next year!”

Of the 2015 applicants, ten will be chosen to take place on the mentoring programme. Benefits include space on a group stand at International Jewellery London, plus marketing and industry support from IJL and the BJA.

Additionally, the industry will be invited to vote for the KickStart People’s Choice award via social media or the website. All potential KickStarters will be encouraged to campaign for votes.

The 2014 KickStarters included Tom Blake of Keep Me Jewellery, Agnieszka Maksymiuk Jewellery, Cara Tonkin, Cardinal of London, Charlotte Valkeniers, Jeanne Marell, Majdan Rocks, Rosie May Jewellery, SophieAliceHirsch Jewellery and Kristjan Eyjolfsson Fine Jewellery.

Commenting on the opportunity to exhibit at IJL in September, Tom Blake commented: “Being part of Kickstarter 2014 has been a fantastic experience for me. The learning curve is steep and things have moved very fast. It really is an incredible platform for jewellers starting out in the industry to get things off the ground very quickly.”

Agnieszka Maksymiuk added: "The highlight of my career to date is being selected for KickStart 2014 and exhibiting at IJL. I would recommend this programme to any rising jewellery designer. The group stand in IJL’s Design Gallery was an outstanding space, which drew considerable attention from both buyers and press. At the moment I’m preparing new work for some exciting events and they are all as a result of the contacts made at the show."

Jewellery forecaster and IJL’s trend partner, Adorn Insight, has confirmed that for the third year running they will award the Adorn Insight Award, including bespoke mentoring, to one outstanding KickStarter.

Last year’s Adorn Insight winner Kristjan Eyjolfsson stated: “To be selected for the Adorn Insight award was the icing on the cake. The Team at Adorn Insight are very knowledgeable and supportive and I’m really looking forward to their mentoring in the months ahead and strengthening my brand as a result of their input.

“Getting this recognition from our industry as well as the sales made during and after the show at Olympia, shows how well the KickStart programme is conducted and it has really given me and my brand the confidence and insight to head in the right direction.”

Potential KickStarters for 2015 are now being encouraged to apply online here. The winning designers will be showcased at IJL from 6 to 8 September 2015 at Olympia GRAND. Deadline for entries is Friday March 13.