, age Credit: Katherine Yiannaki Photography
Each month we like to get to know a supplier even better and bring you snippets you won't know about them from their page. This month our supplier of the month is Holly Robinson, owner of Holly Robinson Jewellery; a Whitewed Directory approved Jeweller based in Wiltshire. Holly specialises in bespoke fine jewellery and a personalised approach to create a truly unique piece of jewellery, along with a luxury service, and it has also been announced that Holly has been shortlisted for the following three Whitewed Directory Awards: Start-up Business of the Year 2019, The Peers Award 2019 and The Director's Award 2019 - she is a truly fantastic business person offering an exceptional service!
They not only create one off engagement rings with the use of individually sources diamonds and precious gemstones, they also offer jewellery services for wedding bands, eternity rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets too.
Read on to hear what Holly had to say when we asked her about the start-up of Holly Robinson Jewellery, her preferred cut of diamond, favourite proposal story to date and so much more...
Image Credit: Katherine Yiannaki Photography
Who runs Holly Robinson Jewellery and how did you start out in business?
Holly (that’s me!) runs Holly Robinson Jewellery. The company was established in August 2018 after many years dreaming of starting my own business within the jewellery industry. After deciding to leave my employment with a high street jeweller I took 3 weeks out to reset myself and began work straight away on my branding and vision for the business.
Tell us a little more about your business and style of jewellery?
HRJ definitely has a ‘feel’ or ‘style’ to it. I would describe the design foundations as elegant, streamline and delicate. My focus of each piece is to ensure that the design and metal choice has the strength and durability to be worn appropriately. The design of each piece is very much down to my clients tastes and style as each piece is made to suit their wishes and requirements. This means over time I have built a wide collection of very different looks and finishes.
What is the hardest thing a bride or groom has ever asked you to do for them?
The most challenging task I have ever had was to deliver the wedding rings to the wedding! My clients booked their wedding ring consultation VERY late in their wedding planning which resulted in a super-fast production time and me delivering the rings to the best man on their wedding day! Whilst the design and creation work weren’t challenging, the nerves I had on the way to venue made me feel like it was my wedding day! As the bride & groom were not together at the venue in the morning, we had no opportunity to try on the rings together to ensure they fitted either! I was relived to receive a beautiful photo of Mr& Mrs boarding their plane to their honeymoon that weekend with their rings on!
Image Credit: Maxeen Kim Photography
What has been your favourite proposal story to date?
How to choose one?! I am so fortunate to be involved in the proposal plans from almost day one and I love to hear about my clients plans to surprise their loved one. I think my favourite are the ‘at home’ proposals. In familiar settings, both parties feel comfortable and they usual end with a very funny story to tell the rest of the family.
One of my favourites must be one of the bravest proposals I have been a part of. James arranged an engagement party under the disguise of a family barbeque. Liv (his partner) had no idea and proceeded as usual to plan the food and drinks for the Sunday afternoon but in the meantime, James had told most of her friends and family what was about to happen. When the time came and he proposed, Liv had her whole family there waiting to celebrate!
How do you assist a customer to design an engagement ring (or piece of jewellery) that their partner will love?
First off, I have the best adviser when it comes to making something my client’s partner will love. My client! Even if the client has no idea where to begin after a few questions about their partners current jewellery, watch or even glasses we can come up with a rough idea of the shapes and styles that may be suitable. If necessary, we do spend time on social media, for me to get a feel of the client’s partner to see if there are any other looks I would suggest. After nearly a decade working in the industry, I am thrilled to be able to design the perfect ring for a client after just a few little fact-finding missions on Instagram or Facebook!
Image Credit: Katherine Yiannaki Photography
How much do bride & grooms usually spend on their wedding rings?
Dependant on the metal choice and whether the rings are diamond set; my usual client spends around £1400 - £3000 on both their wedding rings. This is including their initial consultation, designs, wax models if required and delivery.
How soon after booking their venue should couples get in touch to book their wedding ring consultation?
I always suggest 6-12 months before your wedding date as it is always best to check both of your finger sizes (particularly the groom!) in warmer and cooler seasons. This also gives us enough time for your wedding rings to be resized closer the wedding date if required.
What’s your top piece of advise to anyone wanting to design a bespoke engagement ring with you?
Don’t worry too much about having prepared ideas or design before your appointment. That is what I’m there for! I would suggest having a think about the diamond shape you prefer and a price point you want to stick to and together we can design the perfect ring within those parameters.
How long before the planned proposal should a client get in contact with you?
I always suggest around 8-10 week pre-proposal to ensure I have a design slot available, I am now operating with set slots throughout each month to ensure I have enough time to work on every clients design without sacrificing time from another client due to over booking myself.However, I understand sometimes work & life get in the way so orders can be expedited if necessary. I offer appointments Monday – Sunday, 11am until 7pm to ensure I offer flexible appointments for all clients regardless of their commitments.
How about Wedding Jewellery?
Focus on your dress first and establish your hair style, that way we can choose earrings, pendants or bracelets to compliment. I have a larger range of fashion jewellery (silver & gold plated with cubic zirconia) & fine jewellery (white & Yellow Gold and diamond) that is available online to order.
What is the one thing you can’t live without in your job?
It would have to be my diamond sorting kit. Including several different types of tweezers, weighing scales, measuring gauges and diamond viewing loupes. I take my kit out with me to all my diamond selection appointments where I meet my diamond and gemstone suppliers around the UK & sometimes in the USA. The kit assists in my selection of stones for my clients and provides me with the tools I need to grade each stone based on the systems I have been taught by the Gemological Institute of America.
What is your greatest extravagance that helps you get through the day?
I don’t have any daily extravagances; I would say I save them all up and have a blow out twice a year! My biggest weaknesses are holidays and handbags…. Need I say more?!
What moment are you most proud of in your profession?
There are two moments I am most proud of; the first would be watching members of my previous teams grow throughout the industry and find their perfect fulling roles. And the second would be motivating myself to leave full time steady employment to start my own business.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
All over! Sometimes from social media and shopping in different locations around the world but most of the time my inspiration comes from outside of the studio. Whether that be a little sketch a client does on a beer mat or the certain way a twig or branch is bending. One of my biggest weaknesses is switching off and it really doesn’t help when I go out for a quiet walk to find trees and leaves and streams and even the coast looking like a new piece of jewellery I could design.
What would people be surprised to learn about you and your work?
I began my journey through the jewellery industry as a part-time Christmas temp salesperson in a high street jeweller! With no intention to stay in the field, I just needed a job after university. I was very lucky to meet some extraordinary colleagues through my time of sales, production, design, gemmology and senior management roles – I guess the jewellery obsession is contagious!
Image Credit: Katherine Yiannaki Photography
What is your favourite diamond cut and why?
As a diamond lover, I find it a real challenge to pick just one. I love the emerald cut diamond because of its simplicity and elegance. An emerald cut is cut in a slightly different fashion to the ‘brilliant’ cuts as it features a step like feature inside the stone that really shows off the full depth of the diamond and the high-quality characteristics. However, as a complete alternative to the emerald cut, I love the pear shape and the oval shape diamonds as they offer the elongated feature like an emerald but with the brilliant sparkle of a round brilliant cut diamond. Usually you find each bride to be has a clear preference on shape to match her personality and style.
Do you wear a lot of jewellery yourself?
I am my own worst nightmare! I love jewellery and am constantly looking to change my look - most days I’ll base my whole outfit on which jewellery pieces I want to wear! My partner is not the biggest fan of Holly Robinson Jewellery purely because he is slowly becoming one my best clients!
What is your ambition for Holly Robinson Jewellery in the future?
I would love for Holly Robinson Jewellery to grow both nationally and internationally offering bespoke and diamond creations to all. However, my main goal is to ensure that the company remains true to its initial foundations; an approachable consultative approach offering clients affordable high-quality jewellery.
Image Credit: Claire Bemister Photography
Loved finding out about Holly Robinson and her bespoke jewellery service? If you head over to her Whitewed Directory Page you can find out even more, swoon through images of her exquisite pieces, and make contact to arrange your complimentary consultation with Holly at your convenience.