Joys of Spring

 

I love this time of the year, after the clocks have gone forward, the extra hour really makes a difference and seeing the daffodils in bloom gives you that springtime lift.

TB Egg Brac

Trollbeads have managed to capture the essence of Spring with their new Daffodil Tassel bead, ‘a symbol of new birth and beginnings, the daffodil lets us know that spring is here’. It’s part of the mythical, magical Easter collection from Trollbeads which also features two new silver beads and a lock.

A silver Easter Dragon bead, ‘a dragon as a freind means joy, magic and adventures’ and a Dragon Lock, ‘guard my treasures with courage and fire’.

The Dragon Egg bead, ‘The egg cracks and out comes new life, luck and magic. A baby dragon is born’

TB easter Brac

Here at Argent we’re all looking forward to series five of Game of Thrones on the 13th April, the Dragons Egg bead reminds us of the eggs guarded by the character Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons.

dragon eggs 3GOThrones

 

 

 

 

If you know a Trollbeads collector the beads in the Dragon Egg bead would make a great Easter gift.

We have quite a few other Easter and Spring themed pieces in stock at the moment. One of my favourite new collections is Linda Macdonald’s quirky illustrative jewellery.L McDonald BunnyThe cute rabbit necklace is part of her Enchanted Collection, ‘inspired by nature and animals frolicking in the sun’, she uses flower, heart and bird motifs in all her work.

 

Continuing on a Spring theme we also have lots of new work in from Reeves & Reeves including the animal sillhouette necklaces, the stags head pendant was very popular at Christmas and it looks like the Hare and Hen are going to be top sellers this season. Perfect for Easter, their beautiful egg pendants on long chains are bang on trend with the fashion for layering necklaces. I do love the layered look!R&R Eggs2R&R HareR&R Hen Egg

 

Looking ahead to the next few weeks I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of new collections from some of my favourite designers including Shaun Leane and Chlobo……..watch this space!

Happy Easter!

In the holiday mood

Having just returned from a lovely break in Tenerife I’m definitely feeling the chilled out holiday vibe.

I was thrilled that the new ‘Let’s Dance’ Chlobo collection arrived at the shop just in time to help me put together my beach look. I loved adding a pop of colour to my gold Chlobo stacking bracelets.

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As designer Chloe says, “The ‘Let’s Dance’ collection captures the fun mood of the summer season and brings to mind beach holidays, lazy days by the sea and long summer nights dancing under the stars.”

I love the way Chloe has introduced the neon look with tassels in coloured thread. In the core collection the silver tassel is used as a symbol of protection, translated into neon colours it gives this new collection a more casual and funky feel and the vibrant colours bring a fun, fashion element to the summer collection, reflecting this seasons trends.goldturqnkhearthamsa

 

 

 

Another favourite for summer holidays is the Lucky Eyes collection, their ‘Monaco’ friendship bracelets come in a variety of semi-precious stones with contrasting silk cords, representing on trend summer colours. The diamanté set rose gold vermeil adds a sparkle which allows you to take the look through to the evening.lucky eyes

 

It was great to come back to sunshine, and with a bit of a tan! I can finally ditch the black boots and winter woolies and feel at one with my new collection of Chlobo neon brights.

Hello 2014

Well, here we are… the beginning of our ARGENT 25th Anniversary Year!

Nomination V-picHere in the shop we are gearing up for Valentine’s Day, I love this time of year! It’s nice to have something to look forward to following the lull after the Christmas Festivities. It is a perfect time to be thinking of that special someone. Any day soon we are expecting the Valentines Collection from our best selling range Nomination. With a starting price of £18 per charm, this is the perfect alternative to chocolates! If collectables is your thing, then don’t miss out on the Valentines Collection from Trollbeads. In the CholBo range there’s plenty of love related stacking bracelets to choose from, popular with many of our regulars and celebrities alike, I too adore my stacking bracelets and take great pleasure in choosing my look for the day.

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Another range on a romantic theme is Oak, a particular favourite of mine is the spinning heart necklace, now also available in rose gold vermeil. For that extra special present or for those of you thinking about proposing at this romantic time of year, don’t forget we also have diamond jewellery in classic styles as well as quirky designer pieces.

We are always here to help you, if you can’t see what you want online, do give us a call or pop into the store where we can help with any special requirements.

Finally, whatever you decide to do – have fun this Valentine’s Day!

Bonkers about Bangles


This week’s summer story is on the subject of Bangles, which are undoubtedly this season’s wardrobe staple when it comes to accessorizing.
Top catwalk shows from designers across the globe were littered with wrist wear in an array of forms, with the implicit premise that any statement summer outfit required a form of jewellery equal in its boldness to complete the look.
So with three key summer trends in mind, here is a pick of just some of the bangles we have to offer at Argent.

Sportswear
Think minimal and futuristic with clean lines and simple shapes, materials may include plastics, a typical trait of designers such as Sarah Packington and Lesley Strickland, but also an adventurous and cutting edge use of silver and
gold plate with Stubbs and Co’s textile like bangles, with simple twists and knotted detailing.

 


Ethnic
Boldness in print and in colour, oversized statement pieces with a use of varied contemporary materials such as wood and plastic perfectly fit the criteria of both Lesley Strickland and The Branch. Whilst these designers choice of materials is opposing they both remain highly similar in their organic appearance.


Ladylike

Elegance and intricacy are the two main principles held by this seasons ‘ladylike’ clean image when it comes to jewellery. Such class is realized through the use of polished metals such as gold and silver, which stand alone and proud with Ntinga’s magnetic mesh bangles. Meanwhile wrist wear from Nomination and The Branch sees the use of gold as a setting for semi precious stones such as agates and quartzs, Nomination’s ‘Extension’ bracelets offer a selection of natural hard stones, 18ct yellow gold detailing and stainless steel for an affordable and classic Italian aesthetic.

You can shop all of these looks and more on our website and instore.

 

 

Big brands vs. independent designers

Amanda Cox's Lily collection

Independent jewellers are often known for their small designer collections and products you wouldn’t really be able to purchase from bigger jewellers. That’s what makes them special.

Over the last couple of years everything has gone mass market to meet the demands of the consumer and the type of jewellery they want to purchase. As we’ve mentioned previously, the charm craze and rise of Pandora has played a huge part due to a number of reasons. The advertising spend from bigger brands enhances the popularity and gives customers a sense of confidence when purchasing that jewellery product. It is harder than ever for individual designers to compete.

Customers often move with the trends which can put individual designers at risk. Some designers don’t work to the current trends and can often fall behind as customers move towards the bigger brands. It can be seen as safer for independent jewellers to invest in big brands, having more confidence in their success; whereas in the past, individual designers were seen as more successful offering a wider choice to the consumer.

Jeremy Heber

Including collections from smaller designers brings something different to the market but also demonstrates our continual support to jewellers who are trying to compete against the likes of Pandora and Links of London. We have a gorgeous and completely individual collection from Amanda Cox, called ‘Lily’. Her contemporary use of pearls appeals to all ages and her collection pushes the creative boundaries in jewellery design. We also stock ranges from Julie Pratt and Jeremy Heber, who both use gold and silver together in their work, rather than separating the two materials. Many people like to wear a mixture of gold and silver and these collections offer an ideal way to wear them together in a stylish and fashionable way.

Julie Pratt

At Argent, we stock a mix of big brands and small designers, so we are able to keep on trend for some of our customers, but also have the individual choice for other customers. Stocking only big brands would exclude the opportunity for difference and variety for our customers, with the risk of becoming uniform with the mainstream jewellers.

Argent strives to support small designers and we believe in the individuality and timelessness of their designs. We have a great relationship with the designers and they are a pleasure to work with, maintaining a very personal approach to business. We aim to offer our customers variety and the type of jewellery associated with an independent jeweller. Customers can be assured that when they come to us, they will find something different and not something they could purchase in every other jewellery shop.

The ever-changing habits of a jewellery customer

As a small independent jeweller, we really get to know our customers and we are known for being able to recognise faces and names of people who visit the shop.

There is one thing in particular we notice from our customers, and that’s the habits and tastes of what they like. We pride ourselves on the range of jewellery collections and designers we stock, as we hope to offer something that will appeal to everyone.

Changing trends
We’ve noticed a definite change in the habits of jewellery customers, who are moving to the more well-known and recognised branded pieces. As I mentioned in my last post, the Shamballa trend is becoming increasingly popular, as well as the significant move into charm ranges such as Lovelinks, Trollbeads and Thomas Sabo. The attraction of these sorts of pieces is that they provide easy and affordable gifts for family and friends to buy for their loved ones. It’s a great idea to get a charm bracelet for someone as a gift as not only can they add to it themselves to create an individual piece, but it means there is a gift for every occasion.

To stay ahead of this trend we’ve bought in the Italian charm bracelet by the Italian brand, Nomination, where you can put together an individual and personal charm bracelet in a completely new and innovative way to those which are so popular now. Argent is the only stockist in Leeds to hold Nomination bracelets.

Shaun Leanne’s collection has also become far more popular since appearing in fashion magazines, on the catwalk and being worn by a range of current celebrities.

The changing consumer
When the shop first started out as a stall at the Granary Wharf, it was more craft orientated and tourist based. Weekends were incredibly busy as the market would offer new themes and events to keep people coming. It was described as the Camden of Leeds.

When the shop made a move to the city centre there was a shift to more ‘designer’ ranges as well as giftware. More branded ranges were introduced and then we took on the bead and charm trends to keep up with the trend and to extend our customer base.

Because we’ve been here for so long (24 years) we’ve noticed that in times of recession the public seem to be drawn to glitz and glamour, which helps to create a feel good factor during a more bleak time. In times like these it’s ranges such as those with Swarovski crystals that appear to sell well. However in more affluent times, people appear to downplay their jewellery with matt finishes and pieces which are more demure. I can see charm bracelets and the layering of jewellery – especially on the arms and around the neck – being here to stay for a while as popular looks among customers.
I find that customers are very brand away and are more driven by reality TV shows and celebrities when it comes to choosing jewellery now, as celebrities often help them to feel more confident and assured when it comes to picking jewellery.

Price point
There’s been a definite reduction in what customers will spend now. We have always been renowned as a silver shop first and foremost but we do sell a lot of platinum/ 18ct gold jewellery. There has been a noticeable correlation between the amount of money spent on pieces going down and the prices of metal continuing to go up. Jewellery has made a move to the forefront of fashion which has been helped massively by the celebrity culture.

What’s next?
As the price of metal is constantly on the rise I see silver as very much becoming the new gold. The new Rebecca range (which we now have in the shop) makes the silver statement piece more affordable in the designing of silver plated bronze jewellery. The Branch range which we already have in store has also made a change of this sort, using plated base metal as opposed to sterling silver to make their jewellery more affordable.

In the not too distant future I can see many designers looking for alternatives to keep the prices of their jewellery more accessible and affordable to a greater number of customers.