Thursday, 4 March 2010

Highs & Lows

At the start of this week I was unceremoniously dumped by one of my stockists. All because I refused to go into one of their shops. This refusal was due to the fact that I already sell in a far superior jewellery gallery in the same town but also because this shop sells modern, bought off the shelf Thai style jewellery (they call it designer) that does not sit so well with my 'handcrafted with love' Chambers & Beau.
They were very nasty to me and although I had been desperate to stop selling with them for some time, it still left a horrible taste in my mouth (I am not so good with confrontation)! She told me (despite the day previous desperately trying to convince me to sell in their other store) that 'they had decided to drop Chambers & Beau as the quality was not up to scratch and not good enough for their designer stores'.
Then last night I was having a little look at the website of the company I designed for, for nearly a decade. I occasionally have a little look just to see if they are producing anything as good since I left (but of course not) and to check that they are not doing anything similar to me.
Well, surprise, surprise. They have just launched a collection of engravable jewellery, personalised by you. Hearts and discs and little charms which are laser etched with words of your choice.
Now, I am well aware that I didn't come up with this concept and that lots of people are doing similar stuff but surely this is a little blatant.
I am feeling somewhat cross and wondering how small businesses can ever survive when the biggies come along with their £100,000 advertising campaigns and jump on the bandwagon.
Fortunately their collection is SHITE (she shouts at the top of her voice). I am desperately fighting the overwhelming urge to disclose these nasties but that would not be nice and nice is something I do rather well....
(sorry mum for my language)
Happily this bad news has been followed by a small flurry of press and lovely testimonials.
My cufflinks for city slickers in Square Mile magazine.

Acceptance by the fash pack (maybe) in Grazia.

Cufflinks in Wedding Venues magazine.
(I also designed the ones below for someone else - cosmic)

There is no honour in this game, but I am hopeful that the personal service as well as the product will help me to stand out in the crowd. x


  1. Exactly right. Breathe, and move on.

    Everywhere a good idea will be copied, purely because it is a good idea. People will like you, people won't like you. Some people will prefer the copies, some people will prefer your designs.

    But none of it is finite, there is more than enough success to go round in business. You know that you are building your business in the way you wish, so just keep focussed, let the others do things in their own way and concentrate on your own success.

    But having said all that sensible stuff, damn the bastards anyway... >:(

  2. Keep your head held high and just shoot them down by keep doing what you do best, big hugs x

  3. Just had a look and it's very cheap looking - don't worry... there will always be people who want proper designer jewellery and not High Street brands so just keep doing what you're doing.

    And I'm going to tell mum and dad that you swore!

  4. surely you need not worry!
    You are, after all, the posh bird in Grazia.
    The B-word is my favourite, never apologise for using it.
    I shouted it do loud at the cat it is singed into her fur (in a ladylike manner of course)

  5. Oh dear where to start. This sucks! But it was bound to happen at some point with your business. Just think that it is going to make you much better. Plus losing that first stockist that's good news and their loss and secondly I went to have a look at the shisters and yes couldn't agree with Kirsty more they look very tacky and I would never ever buy one. I think they will appeal to a different customer than yours.
    Head high Amy. Your designs are beautiful and very special and no-one can copy on you. Love and hugs Laura x
    And what are you up to next weekend the 13th and 14th? would love to see you guys.
    And look at all that great editorial!

  6. Well, I saw you in Grazia today and let out such an excited peep I woke the damn baby. Frankly anyone letting you get away after that wants their bumps felt. And not in a nice way. Bon Courage!

  7. That is terrible - your stuff is wonderful and I'm sure quality will out (I've been recommending you every time someone compliments me on my necklace)

    I love those magazine articles - hope they start bringing lots of orders in

  8. oh i am dying to see the 'shite' chambers & beau knock offs! but you are very honourable to not disclose who they are (and wise).
    don't worry about the shop, you are perfectly within your rights to reject an outlet if they clash with your aesthetic. good riddance!
    chin up! x

  9. Grazia, WOW WEE thats the big time lady, who cares about big companies without their own ideas x

  10. look how fab the good press for you is...I would die to see my work in print for all to gaze upon!

    as for those others...curse away!

  11. i agree entirely with the above comment.