Meet the Staff. A little bit about me………

imageClaire Douglas (Owner/Director)

I’ m planning on introducing you to the staff at Argent over the next few months so I thought I should start with a little bit about myself.

 

I studied at……. Birmingham School of Jewellery for a BA Hons in Jewellery and Silversmithing.

When I was growing up I wanted to be…….. an Air Hostess, it seemed like such a glamorous job but now it wouldn’t appeal to me at all. I think I could have enjoyed being an Interior Designer and nearly chose that course over Jewellery but I think Jewellery has served me well.

Favourite piece of jewellery that I own…….. Shaun Leane signature long tusk earrings.

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Piece of jewellery that I aspire to have…….. the 18ct white gold and diamond set version of the Shaun Leane long tusk earrings.

I can’t live without…….. my boys (my husband, two gorgeous sons and labradoodle dog).

Favourite pastime…….. walking my dog Billy or sharing coffee and cake with close friends.

Favourite restaurant in Leeds…….. Shear’s Yard, not only is the food excellent and beautifully presented but the restaurant has happy memories for me as we used to go each year for the Argent Christmas party.ShearsYard

 

 

Best holiday ever…….. two weeks spent travelling around Tuscany and Umbria, beautiful. Next year it’s my 50th birthday and I would love to go to Bali, the very first range of jewellery I bought was Balinese and now Chlobo is one of my favourites, I think it would be an inspirational trip!Bnq_1RZIIAA6pjV

 

 

Highlight of my job…….. feeling like I’ve really connected with customers, many have become my friends.

One thing I’m most excited about at the moment……..  our 25th Anniversary event in the shop on 11th October! I’m really looking forward to celebrating with our customers so many of whom have become good friends over the years.

Favourite perfume……. Molecule byMolecule1 Escentric

 

 

 

Favourite film…….. Barbarella, Edward Scissorhands, Moulin Rouge. Book….. anything by Penny Vincenzi – pure escapism.

Favourite jewellery designer…….. A difficult one, I have many…… Shaun Leane (of course), Alex Monroe and Chlobo. I’m thrilled to be getting a Chlobo cabinet installed in the shop, the range is so wearable, it’s described as ‘boho chic’. I love the story behind the range and I’m always excited to see the new collections which are inspired fashion and current trends.Bf3eQnxIQAA4HBPIMG_1644

 

 

 

 

July – Designer of the Month

The month of July sees the start of Argent’s 25th Anniversary celebrations. To mark this occasion we will be showcasing a different designer each month for the duration of the celebratory year.

Alex Monroe will be our ‘Designer of the Month’ for July, his work will be displayed centre stage in the shop window throughout the month and every customer spending £50 or more on jewellery from the ‘Designer of the Month’ will receive an Argent gift voucher.images (3)

I decided to choose Alex as our first featured designer because, aside from him being one of my personal favourites, he is fast becoming one of Britain’s most talked about designers and I am proud to represent his work in Argent. With the Grand Depart taking place in Leeds on 5th July how fitting that one of Alex’s designs features a wonderful interpretation  of a bicycle, complete with moving wheels, a diamond headlight and a ruby rear light!Bianchi About Alex Monroe

 

It wasn’t all that long ago that Alex Monroe was celebrating his own 25th Anniversary, he designed the beautiful ‘Hooray’ necklace to commemorate this achievement. Fans of Alex’s work may also be interested to know of his recently published book ‘Two Turtle Doves – A Memoir of Making Things’ which is available to buy in store (one signed copy left!).book_featured_blogam2012d-gp4

 

 

 

Having trained at the Sir John Cass School of Art in London, Alex started making his own jewellery in 1986, out of a small workshop in South London. To this day all of his jewellery is still hand made by a team of highly skilled jewellers in that same picturesque studio.DSDHAAlex_Monroe_StudioSnowsfields11cDennis_Gil_0Alex Monroe Shopfront137Snowfields-041012-017-500x750

 

Growing up in the Suffolk countryside surrounded by plants and animals, Alex has a great love for nature and it has become a strong theme throughout his work. He has the wonderful ability to translate the attributes of delicate natural objects into precious mepcn10-gp1tals.mgn10-gp1ss11alex130100799-assorted

 

 

 

Alex makes all of his original designs by hand, using traditional jewellery making techniques he works directly into silver as opposed to wax, a method which allows him to achieve the high levels of detail and texture that are such a feature of his jewellery. The intricate detail in the ‘Bumblebee Necklace’, one of his most popular pieces, is amazing and having coveted the ‘Baby Bee’ necklace I finally gave in and am now sporting the gold vermeil version. I wear it daily and it is constantly admired.am_earcrysanthemum2osn1-gp1BrC6rX3IUAA0gNJ

 

 

 

 

I am looking forward to the launch of Alex’s new Autumn/Winter collection, with everyone returning to the ‘make do and mend’ mentality and the success of the recent TV programme ‘The Sewing Bee’ it seems appropriate that it should be called ‘The Haberdashery’. The collection consists of charming representations of key sewing box accessories that only Alex could interpret in such meticulous detail.hab am