After a challenging 2020 across all industries, it can feel disappointing that we are now entering 2021 in much the same way. The ongoing lockdowns around the UK and beyond have not allowed the year to be the fresh start that many hoped 2021 would represent for business.

Ajay Shamji, director at AVS Designs, however, said that the business is taking a wholeheartedly positive approach moving forward, in spite of the ongoing pandemic.

The jewellery brand has been supplying fine diamond and gem set jewellery to independent retailers in the UK and Ireland for 30 years.

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Below, Shamji tells Professional Jeweller of the many plans the company is cooking up for this year, including a range of updates across its jewellery lines.

How has AVS Designs fared in recent years?

Over the past two years or so, we have performed particularly well with coloured stones like tanzanites, morganites, unusual cut aquamarines and some wonderfully vibrant tourmalines, in addition to the traditional sapphires, fancy sapphires, rubies and emeralds.

Here at AVS we are delighted that our pieces have been really well received by the quality conscious retailer and we intend to build on this by delivering more exciting collections with that wow factor.

What product plans can you share for 2021?

We are planning on building on the success of the styles which were well received by our retailers and their clients.

In what ways are you innovating from a product or design perspective at the moment?

Very noticeably, whilst flamboyant and extravagant designs are impressive to make and visibly attractive, it is still the modern classics with a fresh twist that proved to be a hit with AVS clients.

What are the key influences when it comes to new product development and do you see these changing?

Moving forward for this year and beyond, we have been keeping a close eye on trends for colours that are going to be ‘in’ and perceived styles expected to be well received by the consumer.

Sharing of the forthcoming trends is an integral part and just another additional way we can support our customers.

It has been a challenging 12 months for the industry – what key trends do you expect to see within the jewellery industry this year?

If the reopening of the businesses after the March lockdown in 2021 is anything to go by, AVS is expecting a flurry of activity with customer demand for their pieces.

However, we are also mindful that a lot of retailers who were forced to shut down in December will still have stock which they would normally have expected to have been sold by February.

In addition to previously mentioned trends: ovals, cushions and marquise shapes are expected to continue its popularity for diamond pieces.

How has the pandemic affected your business strategy – what’s your main focus now?

AVS will continue to support its retail partners by welcoming stock enquiries for specials, in addition to WhatsApp, FaceTime and direct emails.