I had the idea for Pearls & Pomegranates seven years ago. I was working at a luxury department store in London and found that, when it comes to something as personal as jewellery, people often see more than what's directly in front of them. "Can we have this in another metal colour?" "Oh, it would be perfect with a different gemstone!" "What other jewellery do you have like this?" As many sales assistants will know, when all you have is the stock in your cabinet, and the customer has seen it all, there's not much you can do except try to remind them how much they initially liked the jewellery they see.
So I imagined a space where bespoke jewellery and lots of choice was at the centre of the offering. The idea was fresh in conception and I wasn't sure how it would work—seven years ago the idea of buying jewellery online was novel (it still is for many people) but a physical store didn't feel like it could do what I wanted. It was fun to think about, but I was eighteen, loved playing with sparkly things all day, and getting ready to go to university. I put the idea on the shelf to eat ice cream by the harbour, read books, and dance in the evenings, and promised myself I'd return to it later.
While at university, I worked part time at a local independent jeweller and this gave me an appreciation for quality and craft. I compared the product with what I sold before and realised that customers saw jewellery as jewellery, not as a sliding scale of quality. So I returned to my idea and saw it not just as a potential sales platform, but also as a way of empowering independent jewellers who create beautiful, exceptional pieces, and helping customers find them. The platform could be a source of knowledge on materials, processes, and design. It could be a way of connecting customers to jewellers and jewellers to jewellers. I devoted a third-year module to building out the idea and created a prototype that had many names but always did the same thing. It was an online marketplace for talented independent jewellers that showed their pieces in the best light.
However, I realised I knew little about business and finance—I studied Liberal Arts—and if I wanted to support small businesses, I needed to know things. So the idea went back onto the shelf and I applied for a graduate job with an accounting firm, which is where you'll find me now. I'm in my final year of my accounting training learning the things that will help me support independent jewellers through Pearls & Pomegranates's launch, and as we grow. (We is me and P&P...)