Independent jewellery retailer Fabulous has announced its Fabulous Futures award winner, 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 in Birmingham, to give students a retail perspective, before they go on to become designers or pursue a career in the industry.
Fabulous owner, Jo Stroud, together with the store’s own brand and buying manager, Sinade Prosser, consecutively join the end-of-year judging panels, selecting one or two students to be the recipients of the annual ‘Fabulous Futures’ Award. Prosser herself is a graduate of the course.
“Birmingham School of Jewellery has an excellent reputation for producing highly employable graduates with the skills needed within the jewellery industry today,” explains Stroud. “We have been thrilled to support this degree course for the last few years, as it offers students a sound training in the industry, developing their technical skills within a commercial framework.”
This year’s award was made last night, (Tuesday 13 June) following the final year students’ end-of-year show. This year, Stroud and Prosser chose one overall winner – Rhiannon Rodgers.
Rodger’s final year collection takes inspiration from the architectural and natural forms of Birmingham’s historic Botanical Gardens. Roger’s has designed open-work lockets, inspired by the Art Nouveau metalwork of the glasshouses, complemented by silver discs featuring palm leaves, pineapples and other natural motifs.
“British designers are very important to us at Fabulous, with collections from Vivienne Westwood, Lulu Guinness, Chloe Moss and Daisy London being very successful for us over the years, helping make us the go-to place for must-have brands,” shares Stroud. “We’d love to see the next big thing in the industry come from home grown talent.”
The winner receives mentoring sessions designed to help them with their target market, the pricing of their pieces, the way their jewellery is presented and packaged for the consumer, their branding and collection names, and ways to showcase themselves online.
They appear at the Fabulous annual Garden Party, where they meet top customers and other designers. A £200 bursary for each winner, or £400 if just one is chosen, covers any expenses incurred during placements and gives them a headstart to produce collateral for their collection.
Course director, Claire Price, adds: “We love working with Fabulous throughout the year on this course, and especially at year-end with these Awards. Jo and Sinade bring real-life commercial expertise to our students, and offer genuine mentoring and support to new graduates. We are also thrilled that an alumnus of the School is so closely involved.”