When I was young my dad became the owner of a large jewellery workshop in Bradford. At one time 20 guys were creating and repairing jewellery at the bench.
I spent hours in that workshop. A jewellery workshop has all your senses tingling. It was a magical place for a young boy. I can be right there now again - a certain smell, or sound can transport me right back.
Whilst I grew up around jewellery, I didn't intend to become a jeweller. By the time I finished university, the family business now included two retail stores. Dad asked if I could help out, “until you decide what you want to do,” he said.
I joined and immediately loved the work. The store I ran became a drop-in centre. All kinds of waifs and strays would call in for a chat and a coffee. We made friends with everybody. I worked with a great team of people.
I had an ambition though to try something by myself.
The work I enjoyed the most was creating bespoke pieces of jewellery for clients. It was challenging and complicated. For me though this was important work. I'd experienced how emotionally attached clients became to a piece of jewellery made just for them. When the time came for me to follow my own path this is what I set out to do.