What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.
Baroque Jewellery is an award-winning boutique jewellers located in Brighton’s famous Lanes. We spoke to Jason French from Baroque to find out more about him and the business.
How was Baroque Jewellery created?
Myself and a few other goldsmiths had a studio in New England House where we were making jewellery for other shops around the country. We decided to relocate to a workshop with a small retail space and ended up acquiring the shop on Union Street instead – so we inadvertently became retailers – that was in 2006. We are unlike many of the other jewellery shops in the Lanes as we design and make all of our own jewellery as well as stocking a small selection of designer-jewellers.
How did you get into jewellery?
I loved making things back at school from woodwork to metalwork. After school I got onto the pre-apprenticeship course at Sir John Cass and then became an apprentice at Graff Diamonds where I stayed for twenty years making anything from giant diamond rings to Tiaras for princesses!
Baroque has a unique, eclectic style – what are your influences?
My greatest influence comes from the precious stone itself. I usually start working around the gem – it could be a rough diamond, a free-form opal or an intensely coloured sapphire – and draw on my experience to create something unusual that works with it.
What’s your proudest moment?
This was probably making a massive rough diamond ring for Jo Wood (then wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood) 50th birthday and then getting an invite to the party! Although having said that, it’s always a proud moment when customers leave the shop delighted with their customised purchase – it’s hugely rewarding especially as it usually marks a special moment in their lives.
Favourite thing about the job?
I love to make and create jewellery but I also enjoy meeting customers and working with them from the start to the finish of their dream piece.
What’s your favourite music to listen to while you work?
We listen to Radio 6 Music in the workshop and they play an eclectic mix which suits our style.
Apart from being the place where we choose to live (because, among other things it’s the greatest city in the country) Brighton attracts our kind of customer who is looking for something a little different. It’s a very creative and liberal place and there’s always such a buzz around town especially when the May Festival and The Great Escape Music Festivals are on.
What are your future plans for Baroque?
The future of Baroque Jewellery is taking care of itself as it has firmly established itself as the destination store in Brighton for bespoke jewellery. We attract customers who come from London and all over the country as word spreads of our work and unique service.
We just launched a new website last month and we also have a little one-off bespoke project running at the moment, as we speak I’m in the middle of making ten one-off pieces to showcase our skills for the shop window.