BIRMINGHAM, February 5, 2014 – Brands and designers reported a busy show at Jewellery & Watch Birmingham, and early indications were that exhibitors were having a successful show and writing lots of new business.
Acclaimed jewellery designer Fei Liu, who has returned to the show for the first time since 2008, said he was having a great show so far.
“We have had lots of enquiries and I secured a great new stockist on the first day,” he said. “It was a prestigious retailer that I have been trying to reach for ages so I am really pleased.”
Ian Latham of watch brand Bering Time added: “We are having an amazing show. We are currently UK watch brand of the year and we have had lots of buyers coming to see us. I think that the economy is starting to pick up and this is definitely reflected in the mood of the show.”
Buyers were out in force for the show’s first two days with the likes of Beaverbrooks, Fraser Hart, Fenwick, House of Fraser and many key independents all in attendance.
Sara Usher, director of Jenny Jones Jewellery in Manchester, said: “We always enjoy this show and this year is the same. We have picked up a couple of new brands and seen lots of interesting things.”
Julie Driscoll, portfolio director for Jewellery & Watch Birmingham at i2i Events Group, said: “We are really encouraged to see that the show has got off to such a great start and hope this continues over the next few days.”
Also on the second day of the show, exhibitors and buyers received a visit from the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham, who came to officially launch the new collection from Birmingham-based cufflinks brand Deakin & Francis.
Day two of the show also saw the unveiling of the winners of two prestigious jewellery design competitions which have been run in conjunction with Jewellery & Watch Birmingham.
The British Jewellers’ Association announced the winners of its annual BJA Award, the brief for which this year was to design a cocktail ring.
The winner in the precious category was Rosie Sanders’ Kaleidoscope ring, while in the non-precious category, the award was scooped by Silver Service Jewellery and their Wings of Desire design.
Commenting on the competition, Simon Rayner of the British Jewellers Association said: “We were very pleased with the response to this competition and it was very difficult to judge such a high standard of entries.”
Renowned jewellery buying group, Houlden Group also revealed the winners of its inaugural Bridal Design of the Year competition which asked entrants to design an engagement and wedding ring set.
The winner of the £1,500 to £3,000 price category was Fei Liu with his Aurora design while in the £3,000 to £5,000 category; Siobhan Maher took home the award for her Treasured Moments design.
Chairman of the Houlden Group Stuart Laing said: “I want to thank all of the entrants for making this competition such a success and I believe it will also be a great commercial success too.”
Fei Liu added: “It is absolutely wonderful to win this competition and I want to thank the judges for recognising that bridal pieces should be both creative and commercial.”
At the end of day two of the show, portfolio director Julie Driscoll officially launched Jewellery & Watch London, which will move to London’s Saatchi Gallery this year, taking place on June 18-19.
Jewellery & Watch Birmingham ends on February 6.