Since setting up his business 25-years ago, Sheldon Bloomfield has weathered all the ups, downs, triumphs and tribulations that the jewellery industry has to offer.
His eponymous Yorkshire-based fine jewellery company initially specialised in 9ct gold handmade jewellery manufactured in the UK, but this soon morphed into coloured gemstone pieces for the UK’s finest independent retailers.
Today, Sheldon only sells 18ct gold or platinum pieces – the majority unique and one-off creations – designed by himself to customers in the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands.
We spoke to Sheldon to find out more about his plans for IJL 2016, his market observations and why he’s confident about his place in the UK market…
Q: What have your experiences of International Jewellery London been like in the past and what do you hope to achieve in 2016?
SB: IJL is an important event in our year. It is a great chance to display more of our range and show potential new customers what we specialise in. It is also a good opportunity to catch up with existing customers. We feel IJL is the start of the Christmas buying season for retailers so there is always a buzz around the event. In 2016 it would be great to find a few new leads at the show as well as continuing the success we have had in previous years with selling.
Q: Have you noticed any trends in recent months?
SB: There are definitely certain gemstones that have increased in popularity over the last few months. Morganite in particular has been very strong as well as other pastel colours. The double halo design continues to be popular but there is no real trend in what design sells as we have so many one off pieces.
Q: What are your feelings on the market for fine jewellery at the moment – do you feel confident?
SB: Fine jewellery is a tough sector but we offer a niche product that is different whilst remaining commercial. We deal with many fine independent jewellers who operate at the top end of the market who are willing to invest in beautiful jewellery, so yes I feel confident.
Q: Are there any facets of your business that you will be trying to adapt or grow in 2016?
SB: I will be focusing on areas where we have gaps in the range in order to increase the choice for retailers. I want to grow our smaller core range whilst continuing to come up with new exciting bespoke designs using top quality gemstones.