British luxury brand alliance Walpole has revealed jewellers Silvia Weidenbach and Theresa Nguyen have been chosen as two of the final seven selected for the 2015 Crafted programme.
Founded in 2009, the Crafted programme has now worked with over 60 businesses in the luxury craft sector. The initiative was founded with the aim of finding and nurturing talented craftspeople, keeping their skills alive and showcasing their talents to a wider audience. Part of this includes providing one-to-one mentorship and a series of developmental workshops with some of the UK’s leading luxury leaders.
The programme sets out to foster a sense of entrepreneurialism in highly skilled artisans, from cabinet makers to ceramicists, milliners to textile designers and printers. The aim is to develop the commercial side of their business while providing opportunities to help them to expand and realise the extra potential beyond the traditional scope of many craft businesses.
The full class of 2015 are Alexandra Llewellyn, Eleanor Lakelin, Insley & Nash, Silvia Weidenbach, Struthers London, Tallowin and Theresa Nguyen.
The seven makers were selected by a panel of industry experts including Jo Newton, Head of Buying Fortnum & Mason, Savoir Beds, Charlotte Keesing, Walpole, Peter Ting, Craft expert & Curator, Toby Ecuyer, Creative Director, Redman Whiteley Dixon.
Crafted’s pool of mentors have been specially selected from across the luxury and craft industries, and paired with their respective craftsmen by a committee led by Crafted chairman and founder, Guy Salter. The 2015 mentors include leading craftsmen and business leaders such as Pamela Harper, chairman, Halcyon Days, Alistair Hughes, Managing Director, Savoir Beds and Robert Ettinger, CEO at Ettinger.
The Class of 2015 will immediately begin their mentorship, where they will develop business acumen under the guidance of their mentors.
Michelle Emmerson, CEO of Walpole, comments: “Discovering and supporting new talent is a key priority for Walpole and our members. As luxury industry leaders it is our responsibility to ensure the future success and sustainability of a sector which is forecast to be worth £51.5bn to the UK economy by 2019. These craftspeople and their small businesses underpin this success, these are the brands of the future and we must do everything we can to nurture and protect them, helping them to establish and cement their position as luxury artisans both here in the UK, as well as overseas.”
The winning applicants will be invited to take part in and exhibit at a Luxury Crafted Showcase in association with patron Vacheron Constantin at Fortnum & Mason during London Craft Week later in May 2016.