was lucky enough this week to visit a
jewellery warehouse with a friend
of mine who's a fashion jewellery buyer
for a High Street chain. Wow! I had no
idea what was involved. When she said
I could tag along, I certainly didn't
expect to see the truly massive amount
of choice that greeted us.
The rooms were huge and packed absolutely
full of fabulous styles in every kind
of design you could think of. I had no
idea where to look first but I watched
in awe as my friend whisked from one department
to another, nodding or shaking her head,
ticking things off on her clipboard, and
discussing figures with the chap trotting
along beside us.
For me, jewellery is something I love
to look at any try on in the department
stores and I'm often impressed with how
well the jewellery has been matched to
the clothes on offer. I suppose I thought
it just happened that way, but I now appreciate
the thought and effort that goes into
Experts like my friend are so informed
and experienced - she knew almost instantly
exactly what she wanted, she was able
to accept or reject really quickly and
I have to say I loved almost every piece
she picked out. I also noticed how much
she handled the jewellery. She seemed
to run each necklace through her fingers,
then hold it up to the light then she
kept draping them onto a felt swatch booklet
she was carrying round. I have no idea
exactly what she was seeing or feeling
but she often accepted or rejected based
on her examination.
an hour or two I was a little 'product
blind' and longing just to try some pieces
on. I wasn't disappointed. Once she had
her list firmly confirmed the pace slowed
and we began to take a longer look at
new styles and designs that she was putting
together for next years collections.
It always amazes me how designers, buyers
and fashion houses are constantly working
in the future. Whilst we are busy choosing
our accessories in the shops now, they
are already deciding what we will be wearing
next summer. I was allowed to do some
trying on, really that's what I'd come
for, and of course I kept falling in love
with things, I absolutely loved a gorgeous
bead necklace made from picture jasper,
I couldn't take my eyes off the wonderful
organic patterns I could see in it.
She was also kind enough to tell me where
I'll eventually be able to buy the fabulous
yellow daisy necklace that I tried and
really wanted right now. All the buyers
seem to know what's going to be in each
others collections and there was a competitive
edge between them. I know exactly where
to go now for the tangerine pebble necklace
and bracelet set that I need as soon as
the autumn collections hit the stores.
truly was amazed at the amount of choice
we have nowadays in accessories and at
how different we all are in our choices.
Whilst I'm definitely a semi-precious,
earthy, organic bead wearer, my buying
friend loves her metals and always has
an array of chains dangling in various
lengths, around her neck and whilst I'm
a pearl earring girl she had two tiny
silver horses hanging from her ears.
Actually, another friend of ours is a
huge Butler and Wilson fan and constantly
amazes us at parties by wearing the magnificently
massive creations from that collection.
My niece always wears wooden beads, usually
strung on ribbon or leather - she had
a beautiful painted pink and lemon wooden
necklace on yesterday that was stamped
with little flowers, it was so cute. So
it does seem that whatever your preferences
if you search hard enough there will definitely
be a look that you can make your own.
As a parting thought I asked my friend
what advice she would give in relation
to jewellery. She said 'If you have holes
in your ears then never leave the house
without earrings. Never wear just one
ring - we have ten fingers for a reason.
Now and again, go for something BIG -
people will remember you?
So happy jewellery shopping and next time
you buy a piece, remember all the work
it took to get it to the shop!