Exciting news for Primrose Hill: this February we are to have one of the UK’s most highly respected independent jewellers opening in our midst at 69 Regent’s Park Road: HARRIET KELSALL BESPOKE JEWELLERY.
Harriet Kelsall founded her business in 1998 and quickly became known for her beautiful designs and also for her commitment to ethical practices, being selected as one of the first 20 companies worldwide to hold a Fairtrade gold licence. The company was also named as the Fairtrade Foundation’s choice of ‘luxury bespoke jeweller’. Membership of the Responsible Jewellery Council soon followed and the business was the first independent jeweller to be certified by both organisations.
Until now, Harriet’s small team of designers and goldsmiths has been located at her two studios, one in the Hertfordshire countryside and one in Cambridge, so the opening of her new Primrose Hill boutique is an exciting addition, particularly as she and her husband Tim have great affection for the neighbourhood having previously lived on Chalcot Square.
Harriet told me “We’ve been dreaming of opening a shop in Primrose Hill for so long and we’re so excited to make it a reality! We’ve been frantically busy designing and making one-off pieces to showcase our work and we can’t wait to tell the life stories and love stories of our new community in the form of beautiful bespoke jewellery”.
Although jewellery will be available to buy on the spot in the boutique, most of their pieces are created specifically for individual customers. Harriet’s highly-skilled designers and goldsmiths collaborate carefully with the customer to craft unique jewellery that often represents a special milestone or event; Head of Design Rebecca Howarth gave me examples of matching a stone to the recipient’s eye colour, for example, or of lovers proposing outside their Hertfordshire studio and then making their way excitedly up the drive to begin the design process for the all-important engagement ring. Perhaps Harriet Kelsall Jewellery will now be factored into proposals that take place atop Primrose Hill?
Rebecca also pointed out that whatever the financial value of the ring, their approachable style and intelligent design means that every piece of bespoke jewellery is first and foremost meaningful, being above all else a symbol of unique and very personal resonance. As we chatted, the team’s enthusiasm for their customers’ stories was actually very moving in itself; the privilege of being part of such profound moments of life and love is very clearly at the heart of their approach.
“We like to think of ourselves as love storytellers and we take pride in the fact that we get to know our customers and use elements of their narrative to make jewellery that they will love for the rest of their lives.”
With personal relationships being central to their practice – from their customers’ love stories to the family-feeling evident amongst Harriet’s team, and beyond to the sense of responsibility that engenders their commitment to Fairtrade ethics – our new neighbours have already been out and about introducing themselves locally and are thrilled to find such an engaged and lively community which is welcoming them with open arms.
The Primrose Hill Studio & Shop will be overseen by Manager and Senior Designer Tom Wilson, whose designs can be seen here: https://hkjewellery.co.uk/designer/profile/tom-wilson
Designer Christiana Christoforou will also be available and her design profile can be found here: https://hkjewellery.co.uk/designer/profile/christiana-christoforou
They will be backed up by Design Assistant Victoria Viner and all three are eager to throw open the doors to the boutique, show off their beautiful work and get involved in the lives and loves of Primrose Hill and beyond.
It’s well worth noting that, with so many achievements in the fields of jewellery design, ethical practices, business and dyslexia awareness, Harriet Kelsall is one of the most highly thought of bespoke designers and business trailblazers working in the UK jewellery industry today. She is the 2016 HSBC Forward Ladies Retail Business Woman of the year, was Everywoman’s “Retail Woman of the Year” in 2011, one of the IoD Director Magazine’s six “Women who have most changed the business world” in 2014 and is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and of the City of London. She is the vice-chairman of the National Association of Jewellers and a non executive director for both the Responsible Jewellery Council and the British Hallmarking Council.
© Joanna Reeves 2018, all rights reserved.