It's about time we questioned our lovely Yorkshire jewellers on all things JL, don't you think! So here goes...
Well, the obvious place to start is what made you set up Jeweller’s Loupe?
We've been creating jewellery for over 60 years and we're passionate about our craft. We want to keep the British jewellery industry flag flying high, and we want to ensure it is done responsibly and sustainably.
We’ve also spent over a decade creating bespoke jewellery for customers – handmaking specialist engagement rings, shaping fitted wedding rings and remodelling inherited jewellery. And we love it! But we're ready to showcase our own designs. Fabulous, wearable and affordable jewellery that offers that special something that you can't get anywhere else.
And we wanted it all to be accessible from a simple and friendly online store.
Was it easy to start a new independent business?
Oh so easy... haha, not at all. It was so important to us that we got our message across properly and the branding just right. Jeweller's Loupe isn't just a fling for us. We're committed to creating an important outlet for ethical British retail. There is no compromise. We're offering great design, ethically created and at affordable prices. That's it. We needed that to be obvious from the off to our customers, because we know that's what they want too.
Plus, like we said, we're also running a successful, independent bespoke jewellery business, Form Bespoke Jewellers ...and we have families, and hobbies, and pets, and friends, and y'know life is constantly running its own marathon. So, we had to fit this in alongside.
What are the important values behind Jeweller's Loupe?
Centuries of jewellery craftsmanship heritage in the UK has preceded us and we are proud to be keeping this ancient craft and a creative spark alive. We really are committed to playing our part in supporting British manufacturing. And we make sure that all of the materials we use are ethically sourced.
On our homepage you'll see the strapline: EXQUISITE. ETHICAL. AFFORDABLE
On our bespoke packaging you'll see printed: JL - Creating Great British Jewellery
We say these things because we mean them. It's even in our name. A jeweller's loupe is a specialist magnify glass that is a staple part of a working jeweller's toolkit. It provides the perfect analogy for our values as a company:
transparency - to you; our customers
precision & attention to detail - flawless quality and nothing less
traditional craftsmanship - keeping the flag flying for an important British trade
What have you found exciting about JL?
Launching JL at the start of the year was (stressful but) amazing! It felt like years of hard work had landed with glorious sparkle! Social feeds were running, the website was live and Marie Claire hosted an engagement ring competition for us. We were so ready to be out there, spreading the word as conscious creatives. It just felt great.
Since then, Covid happened! But actually we've been able to draw some joy from this with our new collection of stacking rings. We were so inspired by the resilience of our nation, and indeed the world, that we designed a colourful collection of stacking rings, each design named with a poignant word that had derived from the acts of Hope we had witnessed over a rather strange year.
How has COVID affected you?
It's been a real strange one - like with many businesses. When the first big lockdown happened, we obviously had to close our Yorkshire workshop and find alternative solutions. We had customers who were relying on us to create their special jewellery pieces, so we just had to make it work.
And then, like we mentioned, we were inspired into creating our Hope Collection. It's been so special to create a collaborative collection that says 'thank you' to the community. It's just been amazing to witness everyone's resilience, strength, hope, cohesion and thoughtfulness in such a difficult time. And for an independent business, those qualities are so so important to ensure survival.
We are back in our Yorkshire workshop now and busier than ever, which is just fabulous. And we're carrying on keeping safe, well and creative going forwards.
What are your plans for the future?
Ooo we love this question!
We've got some Christmas additions coming to the Hope Collection. A little extra sparkle on a Crystal Quartz theme. We love the dusty white of this semi-precious stone. It's perfect for the winter season and so versatile as the seasons change. Plus, it means we can talk more about ethically sourced materials on social media, which we love to do! #sustainablefashion, people!
We are also considering adding Fairtrade Silver as an option across our Hope Collection. Silver isn't as durable as the other precious metals we offer, but it does offer significant cost advantages. We wonder if this could be beneficial for customers when purchasing stacking rings, as opposed to engagement rings or wedding rings.
Also... keep your eyes peeled for our next collection due in the new year. It will be showcasing lab-grown diamonds! An up-coming alternative to mined diamonds. Both ethical but both slightly different in their approach. We shall say no more, but get ready...
What's your message for the conscious consumers who is interested in JL?
Well, we can’t thank you enough for your help in changing British retail. Together we are making better choices that in turn help improve the way we design, manufacture and shop as a conscious nation. Keep making those great decisions! Every one makes a difference.
We've chosen not to compromise our ethical ethos or quality of manufacture. And this hasn't affect us being able to offer you exquisite jewellery at affordable prices. It's all totally doable with clever design and the best suppliers.
And we will keep providing this to you, trusting that you will keep making those fabulous, thoughtful decisions as a conscious consumer. Bring on slow fashion, sustainable retail and independent business. Hip hip hooray!