Jeram Jewellers blends Parisian style with Madagascan exoticism
By Tom Wildhern
LONDON, June 2010 – Jeram Jewellers, located in the Green Street jewellery quarter of east London, offers flamboyant pieces that fuse its exotic Madagascan roots with chic Parisian style.
Jeram Jewellers is renowned for its daring jewels that blend 18-ct gold with diamonds and coloured gemstones in a reminder of its humble beginnings in Madagascar a century ago.
The jeweller has evolved from the enterprise of Jeram Jogia, a young man who landed at Madagascar in 1912 after a long sea journey from Gujarat in India, and set up a modest shop.
“He came alone with his only capital — an anvil and hammer,” says Vikram Santilal, owner of Jeram Jewellers.
Today the family own several shops in Madagascar and two outlets in London, after Jeram Jogia’s grandson Pradip, Vikram’s father, journeyed from Madagascar in 1982 to set up Jeram Jewellers on Green Street, a British-Asian jewellery district.
Since then the family has established a shop in Wood Green, north London, which focuses on the needs of British-Asian customers shopping for 22-ct gold jewellery for weddings and parties.
On Green Street, Jeram Jewellers offers distinctive and daring styles, which reflect the company’s colourful history and its vision for the future of jewellery tastes in a rapidly evolving market place in dynamic, multi-cultural London.
“Our jewellery has flair and flamboyance. It is all about really expressing yourself, and feeling good about yourself – like a peacock spreading its wings, showing off,” Vikram says.
“We are far more daring than our competition.”
Jeram Jewellers produces two collections a year, and is proud of recent lines such as “Garden Party” whose exotic butterflies and flowers in gold and gemstones hark back to the inspiration of Madagascar.
In the latter stages of French colonial rule in Madagascar, Jeram Jogia and his son Santilal, who eventually set up his own shop in the capital Antananarivo, served the sophisticated Parisian tastes of the French colonial elite and professional classes, and wealthy customers from African nobility.
Even today, some of Jeram Jewellers’ customers are descendants of Jeram Jogia’s clients in Madagascar. Now based in France, they come over by Eurostar or plane to shop in Jeram Jewellers’ Green Street shop.
“We pride ourselves on our special relationship with our customers and on our customer service,” Vikram says.
Sophisticated Parisian style, inspired by the leading brands of the Place Vendome in central Paris, is a major influence in the collections from Jeram Jewellers.
“When my father set up the shop in Green Street, the market was mainly for traditional British-Asian customers. But now the market has moved on and caught up with us,” Vikram says.
Green Street is much more diverse than it used to be. And there is much more demand for a sophisticated Parisian style these days.
Green Street sees footfall not only from the traditional British and established British Asian communities in east London, but also from the recently arrived immigrant communities — from Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, North America and elsewhere.
Jeram Jewellers merges its unique past with a vision on how to meet the changing requirements of the affluent customers who cross its threshold.
From the days of Jeram Jogia, jewellers in Madagascar have used the local supplies of gold and gemstones to manufacture their pieces. Jeram Jewellers’ designs reflect this heritage.
Madagascar is an important origin for coloured gemstones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds, as well as gold.
Jeram Jewellers’ Agate collection fuses white agate with white and yellow 18-carat gold, pave diamonds and pink quartz.
A new collection for 2010 boldly uses gold rings with curved surfaces to show off pave settings, underscoring Vikram’s love of flamboyance in design.
“Setting stones on curved surfaces is very glamorous,” Vikram says.
“Our pieces reflect joie de vivre, allowing customers to really express themselves in our jewels – not to be reserved and shy.”
Jeram Jewellers’ use of white, yellow and rose gold appeals to customers of all tastes.
British-Asian shoppers are increasingly turning to white gold, while indigenous British customers are often attracted by the warm yellow gold that reflects South Asian style, and rose gold has become highly fashionable.
Diamonds are a key feature of Jeram Jewellers’ designs, featuring prominently in its new bridal collection this year.
Vikram, the latest in a line of 13 generations of jewellers, acknowledges the unique emotional significance of diamonds.
“Personally, I am a big fan of yellow gold with diamonds,” he says, as he admires an 18-ct yellow gold necklace with pave stones in his shop.
GREEN STREET JEWELLERS
Jeram Jewellers is a strong supporter of the Green Street Jewellers’ Association (GSJA), which is branding Green Street as an important jewellery centre in London.
Vikram is the Vice Chairman and spokesman of the GSJA, and Jeram Jewellers has actively participated in the association’s recent branding initiatives including a successful prize draw.
Green Street’s jewellers are building on each other’s strengths.
While rivals, they are at the same time a body of retail businesses with a unique and joint vision – to work better with customers, and to strive for excellence.
Jeram Jewellers’ ambition is to enhance customer service for its clients by providing customised attention in the finest detail, including packaging of high-end goods.
240 Green Street