IJL Approaches and the Excitement Builds… Michael Allchin, from the Assay Office, shares his views

Huge excitement at home. On Thursday night William Stanley Allchin joined the growing band of world-wide Allchini. Proud Grumpa got to count his fingers and toes; all present and correct.

Thrilled. Baby William is home with Jenny and Ben and all is well. You might want to google William Allchin. In 1847 the family started making very famous William Allchin steam traction engines in Northampton.

My cycle challenge is beginning to loom. My 50 mile Sportive is less than 4 weeks away and it’s a very hilly course. For training this weekend after getting back from seeing the new baby in London, I went three times round a loop in the Cotswolds that took me over and down Meon Hill and then up Larkstoke Hill near Ilmington. Three times up Larkstone Hill in quick succession really hurts. It’s all in a good cause and my stamina is improving. I’m feeling confident that I’ve got the strength to get through IJL and the parties from the get-go on Sunday morning to close of biz on Wednesday afternoon. Let’s see.

On a serious note the shootings at the Lonmin platinum mine in South Africa have shocked us all. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this particular episode, it’s a brutal reminder of the inequalities in the world. It highlights why we need to be cognisant of what’s happening in our own supply chains, and the need for us all to try to make a difference for the benefit of impoverished communities in the third world. ‘Making a Difference’ is the theme for this year’s Great Debate, the showpiece event at IJL focusing on humanitarian issues. It is co-presented by Reed/IJL and the Birmingham Assay Office. Steve Bennett and Vanessa Burkitt will show you some inspirational video footage and images showing you how they have helped poor people in different parts of the world. It’s the opposite of what we saw on TV last week and will to encourage us to see that our industry does care and we can help. The Great Debate is in the Inspirations Theatre from 12 noon to 1.15pm on Monday at the show. All welcome; don’t miss it.

We’re on the final straight for IJL now. Penny is ahead of the game as usual; everything carefully planned. Kelly and Natalie are getting things organised and Marie and I are ready to zoom down to London to meet and greet our many friends and clients. Marion’s recharging her batteries in Spain where she’s no doubt sipping sangria on the beach and working on a suntan to make us all jealous next week. Lucky girl.

Sam and Sarah and the team at IJL seem amazingly calm considering there’s only a few days to go. That’s probably because the Show is going to look fab, better than ever before, and I’ve no doubt it will be a storming success. Good on them and good luck too.

We look forward to seeing you all in London next week.

Take care


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Exhibitor Update: The Birmingham Assay Office

Michael Allchin enjoyed writing a blog so much for us he has kindly written another for this week 🙂

Thank you Michael. Just a reminder that you only have 11 days yet to register online…..www,jewellerylondon.com/register – avoid the £25 onsite charge and do it now.

Michael’s blog: Babies and Getting Fit for IJL.

I’m getting more and more excited. About IJL? Well sort of…….

This week should see the arrival of a new baby Allchin for my eldest son Ben and his wife Jenny. It’s their first baby and our second grandchild. Can’t wait. My first granddaughter Anna May calls me ‘Grumpa’; I wonder why?

The Olympics are over but not the cricket, the footie is just getting underway, and the Paralympics are round the corner. Wall to wall coverage on the telly coming up. I will be glued in. Just to show I’m not entirely a couch potato though, I’ve entered a 50 mile cycling sportive up and down the hills and escarpments in the Cotswolds. I’m ancient but my bike’s new and we both need a challenge. The sportive is in aid of ‘Cyclists Fighting Cancer’ a charity whose purpose is to provide bikes and adapted tricycles and equipment to children and young people whose lives have been affected by cancer. But there’s method in my madness too. All this training means I should be fit enough to keep going through all the parties and social events at IJL as well as ticking off my usual goal; to be at the show for every minute of every day throughout. Oh, my ‘Wiggo’ sideboards are coming on a storm….

We’re treating IJL as a campaign. The planning is done and the preparation is well underway. Penny has designed the stand and Kelly and Natalie are getting everything ready to take with us. Marion has decamped to Spain to recharge her batteries before the show, and Marie is back from her hols today. We know she’s here because the decibels and pace have doubled.

The Great Debate is going to be a treat, with some fabulous film and images of the uplifting work being done by inspiring people from the UK jewellery industry. Steve Bennett (The Genuine Gemstone Company), Vanessa Burkitt (Catherine Jones Jewellers) and Adam Jacobs (Foundation Jewellery) will raise our spirits and show that we can all help the world’s poorest people and our environment in a positive way. Don’t miss it. (The Great Debate is in the Inspirations Theatre from 12 noon until 1.15pm on Monday 3rd September, and is a joint initiative between Reed/IJL and the Birmingham Assay Office).

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Exhibitor Insight – The Birmingham Assay Office

Michael Allchin from the Birmingham Assay Office shares his views in the lead up to IJL.

“After a stunning two weeks of brilliant sport, of which my favourite had to be the BMX biking- can’t wait to have a go at that – my Olympic Hangover was sitting heavy last night.

“Where were Gaby and all the fantastic, beaming athletes, screaming  crowds and triumphant Union Jacks. What to look forward to next?

“Well there are the paralympics and of course, and as Team BAO reminded me this morning there is also IJL. Almost as good!

“Planning for The Birmingham Assay Office stand is well advanced thanks to Penny Parkes, and Marion Wilson has ensured that an interesting and varied  line up of panellists  for The Great Debate is all on track.   This is a joint initiative with Reed Exhibitions, intended to build awareness and provoke a response to the various ethical social, humanitarian and environmental challenges our industry faces.

“Last year The Great Debate focussed on the work of three international giants – CIBJO, the RJC and Fairtrade Foundation who had each made a significant step forward during 2011.

“In 2012 we have decided to focus on smaller concerns, individual businesses headed up by enthusiastic individuals who are all making a difference in their own individual way.

“Headline speaker and panellist is Steve Bennett of The Genuine Gemstone Company (formerly Gems TV) who is involved in several community based projects, particularly in Africa, in communities which he visits when buying gemstones.  He has some brilliant, inspiring bits of film showing his work.

Vanessa Burkitt is deeply committed to the work of the Catherine Jones Foundation which is currently focussing on education for the orphans of the tsunami. While not directly connected to the jewellery supply chain it is being funded by Catherine Jones Jewellers who have family connections in India and are working from the heart to make a difference.

Adam Jacobs is co founder with Peter Ungar of Foundation Jewellery , a small UK manufacturer who style themselves as a luxury ethical jewellery  maker. They are  licensed to use the Fairtrade Gold mark and are an example of a relatively small, new business who also want to do their bit.

“I am sure these three will prompt, and relish, some lively debate. Victoria Waugh from Fairtrade Gold and Alan Frampton of Cred Jewellery have agreed to join the audience to share their experiences of Fairtrade gold  and we really want lots of people to come and share their experiences and their views. The objective of the Great Debate has always been to provoke thought and prompt action – we can’t do that on our own!”

The Great Debate takes place in the Inspirations Theatre from 12 noon until 1.15pm on Monday 3rd September.

To register for IJL and to ensure you receive your free badge before the show visit www.jewellerylondon.com/register

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Exhibitor Insight….with Sarah Jordan

With less than four weeks to go everyone at IJL  Towers is busy preparing for the UK jewellery event of the year. Exhibitors are busy preparing their stands and products and visitors are preparing for their trip to Earls Court.

If you haven’t yet registered for IJL, ensure you visit www.jewellerylondon.com/register to ensure your badge arrives on time.

We caught up with Sarah Jordan (stand C71) to see how her exhibitor preparations were going…

“During the past week things have been building rapidly towards IJL, this will be my 12th year of exhibiting at the show and it remains the single most successful show that I do.

“2012 is a big year for Sarah Jordan as we are celebrating 25 years in jewellery and all the stops are being pulled out.

“A new stand has been designed, brand new point of sale developed and a new website is being launched alongside the 25th celebratory collections in platinum, diamonds and silver.

“Designing the new look has been a big and challenging adventure, the POS prototype has been hand sculpted by myself to get the exact contours to show off the jewellery to its best. Working with the manufacturer has been exciting, we have made a short video of the whole process which will be on the new website and youtube shortly to mark this epic journey, the POS is of course made of recycled materials in keeping with our love of the natural environment.

“The stand will reflect the influences that go into creating the jewellery, so embrace the relaxed beach holiday vibe when you approach stand no:C71.

“As part of the 25th celebrations on the Monday of IJL I will be hosting a VIP invite only champagne reception. I will be introducing the new collections alongside my 2012 Design Innovation Award winning Shimmy earrings and the brand new platinum tri sets named after the Goddesses of love, Aphrodite and Freya. These tri-sets are being entered into this year’s PGI platinum trail/tri-set competition. Although I have won this competition for the past three years, I still get nervous and excited in anticipation of the outcome.

“Last week I was judging the BJA’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Competition and I was so happy to see such high quality entrants for such a prestigious competition, the final six are now down to a public vote both online and at IJL and it will be fascinating to see the end result.  The finalist are pretty much all young up and coming designers and I was so impressed to see them take up this inspiring challenge and approach the brief with such diligence.

“Moving forward to next week, we have a big photo and video shoot taking place in the studio, showcasing the collections. The new videos will build on inspirations behind the brand of Sarah Jordan and fire the imaginations of retailers and their customers. We are very lucky to have an exceptional model who also works as Angelina Jolie’s body double…. nice…!

“After 25 years I can still say that I enjoy creating jewellery as much now as I did 25 years and feel very lucky to work in such a fabulous industry.”


T:01239 654500

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UK Jewellery Awards Fun!

UK Jewellery Awards Fun!

A fun night was had by all at the Retail Jewellery Awards last Thursday. The IJL Team joined over 600 key industry players as they came together to celebrate another year’s personal triumphs and business successes.

IJL hosted IBB, Jessica Flinn Designs Ltd, Allumer and The Peers Hardy Group. The team and their guests enjoyed being entertained by radio DJ, Lauren Laverne who presented the deserving winners with their trophies. Great food, wine and entertainment  -a fantastic evening had by all!

Congratulations to all the winners and finalist from the IJL Team.

Tresor Paris for Marketing Campaign of the Year
Rachel Galley Jewellery for Catwalk Jewels of the Year
Rox for Independent Retailer of the Year
Clogau for Jewellery Brand of the Year
Danila Tarcinale for Jewellery Designer of the Year
Jessica de Lotz highly commended for Jewellery Designer of the Year
Steffans.co.uk for Jewellery E-tailer of the Year
Chisholm Hunter for Multiple Retailer of the Year
Gemex for Platinum Bridal Collection of the Year
Beaverbrooks for Retail Employer of the Year
Kirsty Rennie, Fraser Hart for Retail Star of the Year
Gekco for Supplier of the Year
Jayce Wong for New Designer of the Year
Citizen Watch for Watch Brand of the Year
Baroque Bespoke Jewellery for Boutique Retailer of the Year
Winner Bremont Watch Company and Highly Commended Nomos Glashutte for Luxury Watch Brand of the Year

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IJL’s new blog!

IJL now has a new Blog! Ensure you visit on a regular basis to see what’s new.

Last Wednesday, during London Jewellery Week, we launched KickStart 2012. We welcomed Diamond Club members, our Advisory Board, Press and VIP’s to The Goldsmiths’ Centre for canapes and champers.

Everyone was treated to the soothing sounds of our harpist and having their charicatures drawn. A fantastic night was had by all during London Jewellery Week……

Read the release on the IJL website – http://www.jewellerylondon.com/kickstart

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