Long-time IJL exhibitor, Dower & Hall, is enjoying a busy year of digital updates, new sterling silver collections and a step into bespoke design for its loyal fans.
Here, co-founder and design director, Dan Dower, explains what has been going on behind-the-scenes in 2018.
What have the last 12 months been like for Dower & Hall and what have been your most successful collections?
We’ve had a successful year as we’ve relaunched our website, which hasn’t been without its challenges, but has meant we’ve been able to bring in new innovations to improve our customer experience. We’ve also worked closely with our stockists to provide a great brand experience, from special events to new display, photography and social media support.
As always, our pearls and designs with our signature hammered finish have continued to do well. Pearls and bridal have been a key area with us and our wedding events and strong coverage in bridal magazines have strengthened this for us.
Lockets historically have always been a great seller for us. Our newly launched Lumiere collection worked very well for us, these new designs allow customers to add their own images and this has made them a big hit.
They make great gifts and are a lovely treasured keepsake. We expected the small heart and round locket to be the best sellers, but in fact it was our large oval design that exceeded expectations.
We’ve been thrilled to see our designs in magazines like Cosmopolitan, Glamour and OK! and also worn by stars Zoella and Perrie Edwards at the Brit Awards (pictured above).
What newness will you be presenting at IJL 2018 and what should visitors look out for?
This year at IJL we will be showing two new collections, alongside our classics. Jewel features individually hand-cut gemstones and takes inspiration from past collections that we had discontinued. We’ve brought back this style as we’ve had so many requests from customers who loved the designs and we suspect it will be a great Christmas seller.
We’ve also responded to demand and will be bringing our precious collections to IJL. Every piece is designed and handmade to order on our London workshop, from delicate classics to our new multi-stone Cascade collection in 18ct gold with precious gems.
You have lots of sterling silver collections but also precious collections and a bespoke service – do you see the potential for growth in the fine jewellery side of your business?
We pride ourselves on having a great variety of designs and products available and of course this does include precious collections. We are actually in the process of growing and streamlining our 18ct gold collections and making them more available for wholesale. This is a growing area for us and one that we would like to make more widely available.
Our bespoke service is a great opportunity for us to work on a one-on-one basis with our customers to create individual pieces, we do offer all of our customers the opportunity to have appointments in our stores or studio to do this.
We have the great advantage of our having our own in-house team of jewellers based in London and because of this we work on a large amount of made-to-order designs. Dan especially loves these projects and they can be a lot of fun and hugely varied.
They can vary from corporate gifts, for example for WPP plc, who are a British multi-national advertising and PR company and were looking to celebrate their 30th anniversary with a British brand and the gifts were sent to their customers and partners around the world.
And in a completely different style we designed the feather collection for the brand Kasabian and their limited-edition box set, not to mention the jewellery we designed for three Bond movies, which was very exciting. We have more partnerships lined up and coming soon, watch this space!
If you had to summarise Dower & Hall in a couple of sentences, what would you say?
Dower & Hall has been creating a wonderful world of fine jewellery since 1990 and we have become known for our easy-to-wear pieces that become treasured favourites. From personalised designs to timeless pearls and diamonds we know our collections are the perfect addition to your jewellery box.
You have been attending IJL for a number of years, what is it about the show that you like?
IJL has been in our calendars every year for so long, and I think that’s the case for so many in the industry that it’s the perfect opportunity to meet buyers and stockists from around the country. The new venue (Olympia) is so much nicer and a lovely working environment to be in and being in Central London is great, we’re looking forward to another successful show.
What do the next 12 months have in store for the brand?
We have lots of plans coming up, with Christmas nearing we will be launching our traditional Christmas Tree Charm, of course. We will also continue to work on our website so that it is an information hub for our customers and stockists as well as an online shop. We have some exciting plans for collections next year, but we can’t give too much away.