Chislehurst jewellers shine at turning expensive dreams into reality
PUBLISHED: 09:48 29 November 2012
When it comes to popping the big question, the engagement ring is all-important.
But for hapless grooms, the decision can be an agonising one – how much should you spend? What carat diamond? Or how about sapphires? Or a ruby?
Enter Flawless Jewellery, a bespoke company which works closely with customers to turn designs on a page into reality from its Chislehurst workshop.
Originally opened five years ago in Green Lane, the business is flourishing and a second store in High Street, Westerham, started trading last month, with 24-year-old Kaylie Urwin at the helm.
“We make and design everything ourselves, which the high street jewellers don’t do,” she says.
“At our Chislehurst store, you can see your jewellery being made and I think the customers really like that because they know they’re getting something handmade and personal.
“People are trying to be more careful with their money and they want to make sure it’s worth it when they spend big.”
Owner Rob Bicknell, 40, took stepdaughter Kaylie under his wing during his time working in London’s jewellery capital, Hatton Garden.
Helping at weekends and during school holidays, Kaylie joined Rob straight from school and has picked up a wealth of knowledge that means she is well equipped to run the new store.
Focusing on design, she makes it her job to steer customers in the right direction.
She said: “Our customers can have as much input into their jewellery as they want. They might come in and say they’re getting engaged, or they inherited something that they’d like to customise.
“We get all sorts of requests and I try to gently point them the right way. One guy came in and wanted arrows all along an engagement ring and I had to persuade him to try something different. His fiancée loved it in the end.”
Though customers can often need guidance, some enter the store with clear ideas and can often have specific designs drawn up.
When a design is complete, the creation process can take up to three weeks – but with Christmas round the corner the store’s waiting list is growing as it faces the busiest time of the year.
Kaylie said: “There’s a lot of Christmas engagements and so we’re really busy at this time of year.
“It’s our responsibility to sit down with the guys and make sure they’re really getting what is needed. We get as much information as possible from them, like where their fiancée works and what she likes to do.
“All these things will determine when and how she will wear the ring and so it can make a difference to the design.”
With items selling for more than £20,000 at times, an emphasis on trust is shown when recruiting staff – in fact, almost the entire workforce is made up of Kaylie’s relatives.
Their warm approach to business means that, out of 1,000 stores, Flawless Jewellery has been shortlisted by the British Jewellers’ Association for its Retailer of the Year title.
The honour comes after the store was chosen to display its jewellery for the Queen when she visited Bromley during her Diamond Jubilee tour.
Kaylie said: “The award is to mark the BJA’s 125th anniversary and we are down to the final three, which is really exciting.
“We’ll find out the result at a special ball next month, but it’s a huge honour to have been shortlisted.”