Independent jeweller Fabulous has announced the winner of its annual award designed to help designers understand retail demands.
In conjunction with the Birmingham School of Jewellery, Fabulous works closely with final year students on the Jewellery and Silversmithing – Design for Industry degree course to give them a retail perspective before they go on to become designers or pursue a career in the industry.
Store owner, Jo Stroud, created the ‘Fabulous Futures’ award several years ago, as a way of recognising home-grown talent and supporting the UK jewellery industry. Since launching in 2005, British designers have always been very important to Fabulous, helping make the store the go-to place for must-have brands.
Jo Stroud, together with retail and product manager at Fabulous, Anna Burkett, formed part of the universities end-of-year judging panel. Out of the many graduates that presented, Megan Watkins, was selected and presented with the ‘Fabulous Futures’ Award.
Watkins was chosen for her floral designs in sterling silver and enamel, inspired by the flowers, birds, insects and colours of the wild British countryside. A country girl at heart, the budding designer started off studying agriculture, before being drawn into nature-inspired jewellery design.
Fabulous owner, Jo Stroud, comments: “Birmingham School of Jewellery has an excellent reputation for producing highly employable graduates with the skills needed within the jewellery industry today. We love this particular course, as it offers talented students a sound knowledge of the market, developing their technical skills within a commercial environment. Megan’s work already has such a professional feel to it, with a real appeal to her target audience.”
The winner receives mentoring sessions designed to help them consider their target market, the pricing of their pieces, and the way jewellery is presented in-store, as well as the way they can showcase themselves online.
They also receive a week’s work experience at Fabulous, as well as the chance to appear at the Fabulous annual Garden Party, where they will meet top customers and other designers. A £200 bursary is also been given to the winner to cover any expenses incurred during placements.
Stroud continues: “British designers have always been very important to us at Fabulous, with collections over the years from Vivienne Westwood, Lulu Guinness, Chloe Moss and many more all helping make us the go-to place for must-have brands. We love supporting young designers as they start out in their careers.”