Yesterday we were thrilled to host a morning for The Sick Children's Trust where we opened all of our doors to 30 jewellery enthusiasts who wanted insight into just what is that we do here at our Jewellery Studios in the rolling Hertfordshire countryside.
At 11am we welcomed our visitors with handmade cakes, tea and coffee (all Fairtrade and locally sourced) as they browsed our ready to wear collection of jewellery from the comfort of our on-sight coffee shop within the barn.
Once caffeinated and suitably full, our very own Harriet Kelsall kicked off the groups guided tour with a bit of background on how she started this hub of creativity; from early beginnings in her father's small hobbyist workshop making rings at the age of four, to being the current holder of the coveted 'Boutique Retailer of the Year' award.
The groups then disseminated into smaller sections and were taken to meet many of the experts who source, design, and painstakingly make our one-off pieces. Our designer Laurie led a talk on Fairtrade Gold and explained what this means for the workers, environment and customers and why more and more people are choosing this option when commissioning jewellery. As one of the first jewellers worldwide to launch fully certified Fairtrade Gold this is an area of passion for our business and something our guest had many questions about.
Next, Jenna - a Senior Designer and CAD specialist, gave an insightful show and tell explaining just how modern technology is used to create wonderful pieces of jewellery where repetition or complex irregular gemstones are required as part of the customer and designers vision. The group seemed to be fascinated at how CAD works and having been given the chance to handle the jewellery in different stages found that this brought the process to life.
Finally the groups were bought to our Goldsmiths' workshop which is usually open to public viewing (albeit behind a glass screen) from our coffee shop. Having seen from the outside earlier the group was delighted to get up close with the Goldsmiths and actually stand next to their work benches whilst they set stones, filed metal and soldered with high concentration.
Finally the groups had the opportunity to ask Rebecca (Head of Design and Production) any questions about our Goldsmiths ranging from lengths of apprenticeships (5 years) to years of experience on the team (totaling 170 years!).
We hope that The Sick Children's Trust had a wonderful morning here and enjoyed the lovely lunch on offer afterwards. Judging by the amount of smiles and requests for future commissions we hope to see a lot of them again and can't wait to open our backstage doors to more people at our future events.