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Boutique Highlight: Nude Jewellery Interview

Monday 5 January 2015

 Nude Jewellery is a name not too far from my consciousness when my wandering thoughts veer towards jewellery (pretty easy to do, as it is part of my everyday life), though I have never visited the boutique that is prominently tucked in the heart of London's Mayfair until last October, I was actively browsing on their website to reacquaint and discover independent jewellery designers that are currently stocked with Nude Jewellery as well as eagerly awaiting new talents featured. One thing for sure, its owner Nikki Galloway certainly have an eye for talent. 

 Established in 2001, I am curious to find out more about Nude Jewellery, Nikki herself and how she adapted to the whirlwind change that is social media.

1. Tell us a little bit about your background in jewellery? What did you first become interested in choosing jewellery as your career path? 

I have had a love of jewellery since I was around seven years old. I had a silver boy and girl kissing pendant that I lost in the playground and was absolutely heartbroken so my appreciation for jewellery was always there. When I was at school I new I always wanted to do something creative and art based, maybe fashion design but I'm not the best at sewing so that really wasn't for me. As a teenager I studied an art foundation course which covered many skills including photography and graphic design but my love for jewellery won over and that was the path I chose.

 2. Who or what would you say is the biggest influence in your decision?

 The biggest influence on my career path in the early years was my mum, she pushed me into doing something that I was passionate about when I first left school, after that my competitive side took over, she gave me the nudge I needed at the right time in my life.

3. Your jewellery boutique Nude Jewellery in Mayfair has been around since 2001 and going from strength to strength. What is the formula of sustaining a successful company? 
You have to move an adapt with the world. In the past twelve years the world of retail has changed more than I think than at any other time in history with the boom of the internet, websites, google and social media. If you don't go with it then you are left behind. You also have to find your USP as there are so many jewellers and jewellery companies selling the same jewellery online that if you don't stand out then there is no point. At Nude Jewellery we love unusual jewellery that is wearable, sophisticated and quirky. The jewellery is all handmade by independent designers and we champion that. We also provide a bespoke jewellery service and have made many unusual pieces over the years from setting a sharks tooth to a lion claw, made an purple gold and rose gold unique chain necklace for a certain supermodel ( I can't say any more or I may get into trouble!)

4. Have you embraced the whole concept of social media?How important it is for you and your company? What is your favourite platform?

 You have to embrace social media, if your in retail and don't think it matters to you then I think that you will be in for a shock one day in the near future people just don't shop the way they used to and you have to move with it. In some ways it's frustrating, I studied to design and make jewellery yet spend a huge portion of my time in  front of a computer of some sort, it's fun and can be a little addictive!

I enjoy twitter as it's easy to start a conversation with people and it's fun but I have just recently working on Instagram and that's a little addictive too.

5. What is your most memorable customer experience?

  I love it an am extremely proud when a  customer loves the jewellery and is genuinely enthusiastic about the collections that we have in-store, and when a customer tells me this is there favourite store.....that is always a great feeling. Other proud moment where when I casually made small talk with John Hurt  whilst he bought a pair of diamond earrings for his wife, as a film lover it was tricky to play it cool, then bizarly in the same week we had Christina Ricci pop in to buy a gold necklace from us that was a strange and proud week. More recently we have done work for a very wealthy gentlman who has commission us to make many pieces. One was for his girlfriend as very famous lady who i turn wanted me to make him something.

6. What is your favourite piece of jewellery at the moment? What do you wear often/on your wishlist?

I love the large gemstone ring by Radek Szwed but I have always had a thing for large chunky statement cocktail rings, I also love the Volute ring by Cara Tonkin and the full swing Vesper bracelet also by Cara Tonkin. We also have some jewellery due in any day now from three Greek designers there are a few pieces there that I would keep.......this is an unfair question, my answer can change from day to day. Over the years I have had to hold self restraint or I would have kept many of the pieces for myself but I think having a passion for what you sell and loving it is a good thing?

7. You stock a wide variety of jewellery designers from the established Lucy Q and Andrew Geoghegan to new upstarts such as Dovile B and Linsday Hill. What criteria do you use in terms of selecting the designers to showcase in your boutique? What are you looking for in terms of concept, aesthetic and materials?

I love jewellery that is innovative and with the technical limits of making jewellery coming up with new ideas can be a tricky one. The jewellery we stock has to be beautifully made, unusual, innovative, creative and wearable. There is no point in taking on a new collection that is similar to another that we have, that is unfair on the designers.  We are always on the lookout for new collections by going to exhibitions, trade fairs and a variety of shows. Being so established also puts us in the privileged position of having designer approach us. We also run a competition every year "Graduates in the Spotlight" this is for one new recently graduated designer to showcase their work with us. This is always fun and I am continually amazed by the collection, every year the decision gets harder.

8. If you could choose an ambassador to represent Nude Jewellery who would it be and why?

Wow that is a hard question. I'm not sure there is any one person, I'm not sure I could choose one person. Many of my female customers have a certain style and braveness, edgy, confidant and a little bit quirky. It's jewellery for everyone so long as you are looking for attention to detail and are brave enough!

9. 3 words to describe Nude Jewellery?

  Innovative, Independent, Friendly

10. What are your future plans for Nude Jewellery? 

In the past I always wanted a second store but now with the internet I'm not sure that is necessary, your reach online really doesn't have a limit. At the moment it's to simply to continue growing the business and we have many, many ideas that we will be sharing with you soon.

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