Hidden Depths

World Tour Beads

 

This July saw the arrival of Trollbeads exciting new selection of World Tour beads and what better way to mark the occasion than to celebrate with our customers by offering sweet treats and champagne, giving out goody bags and holding a raffle with the opportunity of winning a £50 voucher to spend in store! Not surprisingly the event was a hit and both we and our customers thoroughly enjoyed ourselves that Sunday afternoon.

Autumn / Winter 2012

But just when you thought that Trollbeads might have packed their schedule to the brim manufacturing over 50 beads from our International neighbours as well as designing their new autumn collection, they then decide to coincide this with the arrival of their new range of Universal Unique Malwai beads!
As a family run business one wonders how on earth they manage to fit it all in, they really never cease to amaze!  Nonetheless this new collection is just as special as everything else Troll brings to its followers, if not (dare I say it) even more so in the amount of spirit founder Lise Aagaard has put into establishing the project.

Malawi Universal Uniques

Lise Aagaard and the Malawi team

This is a development that gives a well-built sense of optimism to a challenged group of around a dozen young people from Malawi who between them have varying issues in their personal life, whether these be in relation to their own health or loss of family to AIDS. Speaking of the project the Trollbeads founder gave words on her strong aspiration to lend a hand to bettering the lives of others;

 

“I am now in the position to help others. I believe the best way to do so is to help them create an existence for themselves, providing help for self help is close to my heart”.

By offering the opportunity to learn the art of glass making first hand from someone that is at the forefront of jewellery design, Lise Aagaard has given a window of hope to those less fortunate.
Each bead tells a unique story, inspired by the idiosyncrasies of the life of the maker in question which in turn forms a truly personal collection.
By all of the beads being ‘Universal Uniques’ the design not only fits onto Troll bracelets but also other leading branded bracelets so everyone can enjoy the artistry, thus giving a wider prospect in terms of commerce and sending the collective on its way to becoming completely self sufficient!

In times like these with such an unvarying inflation throughout the high street prices, it’s hard as both a consumer and a retailer not to allow oneself to get too wrapped up in cynical thoughts on where this leave the buyer and the merchant.
But then projects such as this allow us to stop for a moment and gain a little perspective on what is really important right now, generating opportunities for those less privileged, the unemployed both here and overseas. Many of us are struggling in some way but that doesn’t mean we can’t take the time to give a little back.

This brings me to my next account of an ethical jewellery venture, which too is led by the same form of premise as is held by Lise Aagaard and is just as fresh off the press.
It goes by the name of Cornerstone and while being a completely different project this and Trollbeads are united through the mutual ethical concepts that are the driving force behind these organisations.

Cornerstone started its life back in 2011 when distinguished jewellery designer Paul Spurgeon took a trip to South Africa where he led lectures to small businesses, sharing the personal philosophies behind his brand. It was there that he was struck by the work of local jeweller Nqobile Nkosi who has become the first person to ever open a jewellery store in his home town of Soweto.
Inspired by such revolutionary movements Paul has since collaborated with Nqobile to form the project as a means of progression, taking such labours of love out of Africa and into Europe.

Currently the designs comprise mostly of silver and enamel due to the current market and project funds, through time as business flourishes Nqobile and his team hope to gain full independence of, with the prospect to expand their horizons both artistically and within industry; and it is the proceeds from the project that will go towards turning this vision into a reality.

 

The brand was officially launched at The Jewellery Show in Birmingham earlier this year and this was swiftly followed by the support of The Jewellery Show London and Treasure in their naming Cornerstone as their Social Enterprise partner for the June show at Somerset House. Meanwhile Weston Beamor have offered a helping hand in providing all of the casting and silver for free and in August Paul organised a sponsored bike ride from London to Paris to raise further funds as well as to promote interest within trade press and further afield.

These projects prove to consumers that when it comes to jewellery, there need not be any reason to compromise on style when choosing to direct the focus on ethical means of manufacturing. Who would know, when viewing these collections that established designers such as Paul and Lise were working with ethical motives? The fact that the making of these pieces is done with such conscious makes each one all the more candid and unique and just goes to show that there really is more than meets the eye when it comes to big name designers.

 

 

For further information on the Malawi Universal Unique beads as well as other Trollbead and Paul Spurgeon products available please visit our website.

Welcome! Take a peek at Argent’s newest jewellery collections

Welcome to Argent’s new blog! Here, we’ll be bringing you news from Argent as well as a range of posts exploring the latest trends and updates on all things jewellery related.

Firstly let me introduce myself, I’m Claire and I’m the owner of Argent Jewellery. I’ll be posting on here along with some of the girls from the shop giving you some insight into running a jewellery shop and our perspectives on the industry. We hope to bring you regular content and ideas to keep up with fashion, trends, latest offers and new collections we have in stock.

What better way to launch our blog than to tell you a little about our newest collections. Last month myself and Charlotte visited The Jewellery Show, an annual trade show for jewellery at the NEC in Birmingham.

Despite difficult weather conditions, the show still managed to attract over 63,000 retailers from across the country to catch a first glimpse of up and coming ranges. It was not surprising to find a huge number of charms and bead collections dominating the show, as these are still a key trend for 2012. However, the ‘Shamballa’ bracelet (drawstring bracelets encrusted with Swarovski crystals) is creeping into the market offering a slight alternative to the more well-known ranges.

When choosing new pieces for the shop, our main tactic is to look out for what we know our most loyal customers will like, which can be quite an easy thing to predict when they’ve been coming to us for 23 years! We also want to attract new customers and stock ranges which, although possessing timelessness, are in touch with the current fashion trends. It is very important to look at the quality, designs which will appeal to a range of customers, and collections which cater to different budgets.
Here’s a roundup of our new collections:From our visit to the NEC, we acquired some gorgeous new ranges from a couple of designers we already stock – Mounir Designs and Flash Jordan, as well as three completely new designer collections. We hope the new collections will bring variety and some fresh designs our customers will be interested in. They also allow for us to keep up with the trends of the moment helping to attract new customers.

Mounir Design pendants

Mounir Designs
Mounir’s latest addition, to an already intricate and beautiful range, includes letter pendants which incorporate semi-precious birthstones. These would make a great birthday or christening gift.

Flash Jordan
Flash Jordan’s latest collection includes sculptural and stylish cufflinks with semi-precious stones, such as blue topaz, amethyst and garnet. The new ‘Jack the Lad’ collection is based upon the Union Jack and is relevant to the upcoming Olympics and the Queen’s diamond Jubilee.

Seen as the elite of cufflinks, these might attract the high end market.

Missoma bracelet

Missoma
Award winning designer, Missoma, has a collection of innovative designer jewellery in a variety of bold, colourful and directional designs. Available in 18ct vermeil and sterling silver, Missoma’s jewellery uses an array of exotic semi-precious stones.

Missoma has attracted a loyal and ever growing fan-base in the UK and abroad, as it offers affordable luxury with a fine jewellery look.

Rebecca
A new silver plated bronze collection from Rebecca, with a fresh white and sparkling statement that will look great for summer. An early claim to fame as it’s recently been sported by Jennifer Lopez on American Idol.

Stubbs and Co.
The last range we’ve taken on is Stubbs and Co., a fine silver mesh collection predominantly made up of bracelets.

Keep an eye out in store and on our website for the new collections over the coming weeks.