September 8, 2015

The Old and the New

(“NAJ”) presented itself to the jewellery world on Sunday 6 September 2015 at the International Jewellery Trade Show, IJL 2015. The immediate advantage of the merged Association (the British Jewellers Association joined with National Association of Goldsmiths in June), is a larger and more impressive stand at the show. Previously, the BJA and NAG stands were not always so easy to find and certainly less conspicuous. The new merged Association has a significantly sized stand, clearly visible and conveniently located behind the champagne bar (not that your blogger took any advantage of that!).


Michael Rawlinson, CEO of the NAJ, explained more about the new logo during a seminar question and answer session sponsored by Retail Jeweller. The new badge, Rawlinson enthused, is a coat of arms following on from the NAG crest, which he believes is a mark of trust and professionalism that consumers and commercial partners can have in the NAJ membership. Rawlinson says that there is already some recognition amongst the public, but it is to be hoped that the NAJ coat of arms will denote a badge of quality of business within the industry.

Rawlinson went on to talk about his vision for the NAJ; the different forms of membership; the new code of conduct combining the old codes of the BJA and NAG; and of training and mentoring for the whole jewellery industry.

As for those exhibiters hoping to write plenty of business down on the trading floors, this trade show is the opportunity to exhibit the new collection for autumn/winter 2015. What I observed amongst the plethora of AW 2015 collections, were new variations of existing and classic collections. For example, Royds’ client Daisy’s iconic chakra jewellery. The designs of which were registered by Royds Solicitors. See also the stackable bangles and bracelets of another Royds client, Chrysalis, who are expanding their use of customised talismans and spiritual symbols to adorn the colourful bangles.

For totally new designs, the place to visit was, as ever, KickStart; the bursary scheme run by IJL and backed by the NAJ, which gives ten up and coming designers a platform to exhibit. The diversity of jewellery design can be seen in this little section of the show alone.

This year I offered an open free Intellectual Property Advice Clinic to visitors at IJL. Organised and promoted by IJL, I set aside time on Sunday and Monday to provide one-to-one advice on all aspects of IP to designers, manufacturers and retailers visiting the show. The clinic was well attended, both sessions considerably overrunning. Good luck to all the designers I chatted with and hope the advice assists you.

It was a pleasure this year to escort jewellery maker and proprietor of Something About Mable, Mrs Lynsey Austin, on her first visit to IJL. I hope the visit proves to be inspirational and best wishes for the future of your business.

So its in with the new, but not so much out with the old. If its still selling, don’t get rid of it, just keep it fresh! Bling anyone?

For further information please contact Stephen Welfare.

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