Trade show International Jewellery London has opened applications for its KickStart mentoring programme, where ten of the most promising designers are chosen to show at the 2017 event.

The KickStart initiative is supported by the National Association of Jewellers and has helped 80 young designers since its launch in 2009.

Up-and-coming British jewellery designers are invited to apply online and ten of the most talented entries will win a place on this highly regarded industry bursary programme. Winners will not only benefit from exhibiting on a group stand at IJL 2016 but also receive marketing and industry support from IJL and the National Association of Jewellers. The deadline for entries is 10 April 2017.


IJL event director, Sam Willoughby, comments: “KickStart is a fantastic pool of talent, which consistently impresses with astounding creative flair and technical ingenuity. First started in 2009, it is the natural next step on the ladder for the new generation of trend-setting jewellers, many of whom have previously been featured in our Bright Young Gems platform for jewellery graduates.”

“This initiative has grown in stature every year, helping emerging British designers achieve further industry recognition and commercial success,” adds NAJ marketing manager, Lindsey Straughton. “We provide them with support and mentoring, not just at the show but throughout the year. This includes a dedicated one-day workshop in June, with experts at hand to ensure that they maximise the experience and all the unique benefits of exhibiting at IJL. The stand is a ‘must see’ destination at the show for visitors, providing a showcase of some of the most exciting jewellers in the UK today.”

The full line up for KickStart 2016 included Joanna Bury, Emily Richardson (Emily Richardson Jewellery), Emma Calvert, Sammie Jo Coxon (SJC London), Cécile Gilbert, Vicky Lew, Lucas Mitchell (Lucas Alexander), Charlotte Scott Moncrieff (CF Concept), Marina Skia and Jonna Jarvenpaa and  Laura Vilppula (Addalit).   They all enjoyed a really busy show, cementing contacts with press and buyers and filling order books.

People’s Choice winner Marina Skia explains how being a KickStarter has helped her: “KickStart really helped raise awareness for my brand and showing at IJL was a fantastic experience. Winning the People’s Choice Award was another big step for me and I am really looking forward to IJL in September 2017.   I recommend every designer who feels ready to take their brand to another level to apply for this important initiative.”

All applicants must have been trading for not less than one year and even, if previously unsuccessful, can still reapply each year.

The winning KickStart 2017 designers will be at IJL showcasing their work from September 3-5 2017 at Olympia GRAND.

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Editor, Professional Jeweller