Contemporary jewellery designer Rachel Galley will return to International Jewellery London this September, bringing with her new collections and ambitious retail and digital plans. Here she explains to IJL why some time away from the industry has only increased her determination to succeed.
Q: What has been your experience of exhibiting at International Jewellery London?
RG: I exhibited at IJL in 2014, the first time the show was at London Olympia, I would have re-booked for 2015 but I was busy with my new baby. The show was really positive for me in 2014 and we had many returning retailers and many new accounts opened at the show. We also opened lots of new accounts after the show with people who had seen us at IJL.
Q: What is it about IJL that appeals to you as a brand?
RG: I think the location in Olympia is good with great lighting, which makes for a really positive atmosphere to the show. It is a good time of year to be buying and getting new stock in for those bigger Christmas sales and promotions too.
Q: Will you be presenting any new collections when you exhibit at IJL in September, and if so can you tell us any themes or trends those collections follow?
RG: I am planning on launching lots of new collections and additions to my ranges. I have been off the radar for a while on maternity leave and so I want to show that I have been busy behind the scenes. I have many new exciting pieces to launch, alongside new website concepts, buying platforms for the retailer and I am also working on ideas that will inspire and give confidence to the retailers to invest in my brand.
Q: What do you think are the challenges for a designer jewellery brand in 2016?
RG: I have always designed what is right for me and my brand, so no matter what the trends are I have ensured the pieces I make are classic and timeless. The pieces have to be priced competitively and the high quality and provenance of the pieces needs to be clear also.
Digitally, images have to be strong and clear to be used on multiple websites for the retailers and ready and easy to use for various platforms such as Instagram, websites and also for print. The brand has to be ready for all aspects of sale and promotion across the multiple platforms we are now selling and buying on, and we as wholesalers have to give retailers the ammunition they need to bring customers in through their doors.
Q: What are your aims for 2016 from a business perspective?
RG: I have so many ambitions now that I have had some time off and reflected on the business and what is important to push forward. Firstly, I plan to expand the ranges with more gemstones and precious pieces, offering bespoke services as always to the retailer for commission pieces and personalisation.
I plan to build the relationship I have with the retailers as this is the key to building the brand. I have lots of online developments underway to link my website which consumers head to, to that of the retailer. I want to ensure that the retailer is able to claim back ownership of consumers who may have been into their stores and then like many of us gone home to shop online.
The retailers are losing consumers to online retailing and we need to work together to build this relationship otherwise we will be without a local family-owned jeweller on the High Street. I don’t have all the answers but I am implementing some strategies which I hope to be ready for IJL 2016.
Rachel Gally will be at Stand R90 at IJL from 4-6 September 2016.