Sitting on the bustling cobbled streets of the historic cathedral city of Canterbury, with it’s modern luxe, design-led interior and stunning collection of jewellery and watches, is Fitzgerald Jewellers. A Goldsmiths that is offering something very different and very unique. Just one look at it’s exuberant window displays will have you seduced! Far from your average high street shop, Fitzgerald are setting the pace for a new wave of compelling high street brands; one far more reflective of modern day style and customer experience. It’s therefore no surprise to hear that they have been shortlisted at the UK Jewellery Awards for Store Design of the Year. Their aim is to not only wow you with the jewellery they make, but also through the high-end experience you have with them. A lot of care and attention has gone into the design of their shop (can we talk about the botanical print in their cabinets? We’re obsessed!) which is testament to the passion they have for their business and the service they offer….
We like to think the Fitzgerald experience is unlike any other jewellers in Kent. We have strived to set ourselves apart with our unique interior and laid back approach. Buying jewellery is such a personal thing and even that one piece can signify such a huge part of someone’s life. We are always so honoured every day to be a part of something so special.
Fitzgerald Jewellers design and make all of their jewellery onsite in their workshop using traditional methods. Every single piece that they sell is completely unique and made with such attention to detail. They offer a bespoke design service and an upcycling service and, as everything is made by them, you can pick and choose your material and precious stones.
We asked Fitzgerald Jewellers all about the new refit of their shop, their 40 years experience in jewellery making and what they can offer you, our lovely readers, for your wedding day. Oh and ladies, you might want to read the section on mens watches which would make an AMAZING wedding present for your groom.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Fitzgerald Jewellers is a Canterbury based jewellers situated amongst the cobbled streets just a stone’s throw away from Canterbury Cathedral. Owner and Founder of Fitzgerald Jewellers, Trevor Fitzgerald has been a jeweller since the seventies. It wasn’t until early 2000 that he opened our now newly refurbished store but it really has gone from strength to strength.
For us, jewellery isn’t just about trends. We carefully design all of our jewellery in house and hand make it on site in our workshop. Our goldsmiths continue to use traditional methods of jewellery making. The brands we present in store are not necessarily based on a style but the story behind them. We choose brands based on their narrative and the designers. The collections have been carefully curated to appeal to our customers. We have a small but passionate team who love their job so every day is such a joy.
Next year, Trevor would have been in the trade for 40 years. He’s a bit of a legend in the business but don’t tell him we told you.
If you had the chance to go to any music festival, which one would it be?
Trevor has a big birthday coming up next year which he’s keen to celebrate at Glastonbury. That means that we all have to go, right? They say that Glastonbury should be treated like Tapas, you should try a bit of the whole festival. We’ve heard there’s always a great scene of traditional artisans and craftsman. Yes, Glastonbury is definitely the one for us.
What made you decide to refit Fitzgerald Jewellers after all these years?
We wanted to give Fitzgerald Jewellers a new lease of life. Before our refit in October 2017, the store was looking a bit tired with old fashioned gallery cabinets. It has had a couple of refits in its time but the store is practically unrecognisable now. The environment inside the store is designed to be reminiscent of a traditional jeweller’s workshop both old and new. We have mixed succulent velvets and solid oak floors with industrial materials such as concrete and copper. We won’t lie – we spent a lot of time on Pinterest. We like to think that shopping at Fitzgerald Jewellers now is more of an experience. Some people come in just to ask us about our light fittings! We’re really proud to say that the store has actually been shortlisted at the UK Jewellery Awards for Store Design of the Year.
To coincide with our relaunch we introduced collections from British designers Alex Monroe and Deakin & Francis. Although they are not exclusive collections to us, we are currently the only stockist of these brands in Canterbury. Their ethos really resonates with us and our customers.
Can you tell us a bit more about your handcrafted jewellery and what makes it so unique?
A jeweller has been on our site since the war. Nowadays, we have two goldsmiths who work onsite in our fully equipped workshop. They continue to use traditional jewellery making techniques. Of course, ‘traditional’ doesn’t mean the jewellery looks old fashioned. Our Goldsmiths have a unique way of designing contemporary jewellery whilst maintaining a very traditional ethos. They only work with precious materials including Fairtrade Gold. We’re proud to know that all of the diamonds we use are conflict free. We specialise in an ancient casting technique known as ‘Cuttlefish’ and it’s just that. The ring is cast in a cuttlefish bone giving a unique texture to every ring or piece of jewellery. It’s so popular but never looks the same. Everything is designed in house by our team of creative individuals. We also offer an upcycling service.
How would you best describe the style of your jewellery and the type of bride and groom it would appeal too?
To be honest, it’s difficult to put a label on our jewellery because in theory we can make anything to appeal to anyone. The thing is that we use traditional bench work techniques to create unique pieces of jewellery that you won’t find anywhere else. Summer is coming which means you’ll start attending lots of your friends weddings. If you’re a couple who is looking for something completely different to what your friends have, a couple who wants something unique to you, then you’ve come to the right place.
You mention you offer an upcycle service. Can you explain how this works?
We all have those odd bits of jewellery lying about which have either been passed down to us or we just don’t wear anymore for whatever reason. Upcycling is a great way of making use of these precious bits of jewellery without losing any sentimental value they may hold. We understand the importance of keeping any sentiment so we try our best to use as much as the existing material as we can. There are, of course, endless possibilities when it comes to redesigning preloved pieces of jewellery. We always encourage our customers to look for inspiration from anywhere and bring that inspiration with them to their design consultation along with the existing pieces of jewellery.
Do you also offer a bespoke service where couples can design their own wedding rings and jewellery?
Yes! The idea of ‘designing’ your wedding rings can sound daunting but you know best what you want and whether it’s a simple Platinum band or an 18ct Yellow Gold Sapphire set bubble ring, we’ve got your back.
We pride ourselves in hand making wedding rings and jewellery in our onsite workshop. Essentially, this means that we’ve cut out the middleman meaning that our Goldsmiths are able to work with you on a one to one basis designing jewellery to suit any style and any budget.
We see you supply some amazing watches. Can you tell us a bit more about them and the designers you stock?
Mondaine is an iconic watch brand which takes its unmistakable, easy-to-read face from the Swiss Railways Station Clock. They’ve just bought out an eco-friendly range called ‘Essence’ which has been developed using renewable materials. It’s definitely our go to range for the eco conscious.
Amongst others, we also stock Henry London. The watches vintage inspired style takes inspiration from a timepiece found in London’s Portobello Market engraved with the name ‘Henry’. Not only are these watches a great price point but they can also be engraved with a message on the back. With this extra special touch, they make a great wedding gift.
We also stock vintage Rolex and Omega watches. We’re always on the lookout for more models to add to our growing collection.
We’re so excited to be welcoming Leff Amsterdam into store very soon.
Do you offer a buyers guide to help couples choose their engagement and wedding rings?
We don’t offer a buyers guide as such. It’s really important to us that we meet the couples who choose to buy their engagement and wedding rings from our store. We love meeting new people, it’s one of the perks of the job. But we also love to know the character behind the jewellery. Matching someone with an item of jewellery isn’t so easy when you haven’t met them. Especially when it comes to your engagement or wedding rings; it’s something that you’ll wear for the rest of your life so we want to make sure that it’s perfect.
If you can’t make it into store, it really isn’t a problem. We’re always super speedy at replying to emails.
If our couples were to buy their wedding rings or jewellery with you, what sort of service can they expect?
We want couples to be as involved in designing and making their jewellery as we are. If it’s something that involves stones, we encourage couples to see them loose. It adds something quite special to ‘meet’ them before they are set. We generally ask for 4-6 weeks to make a piece of jewellery but if there’s a particular date in mind, we can do our best to cater for this. We encourage couples to pop in during this time to see their jewellery as it’s made. If you’re not completely sure with your decision, we’re always there to reassure you and it’s ok to change your mind (providing we have enough time).
Your finger is measured when you place your order with us but in the event that it’s feeling a bit loose or a little snug, we offer a complimentary sizing service. If you do choose to buy your wedding jewellery from us, we also offer a free personalisation service. We are able to laser engrave practically anything on your wedding jewellery from fingerprints to your other half’s heartbeat.
If this isn’t what you’re after, our Goldsmiths are able to hand make something to compliment any wedding theme or outfit! Of course you’re always welcome to try anything on in store, it definitely beats window shopping.
What’s your best piece of advice for couples when it comes to choosing their wedding rings and jewellery?
If we could give every couple we meet just one piece of advice, it would be not to limit their options when it comes to designing their wedding rings. We know it’s cheesy to say ‘the world is your oyster’ but when it comes to making jewellery, it really is. There are so many possibilities from metal to width, stones to textures – think outside of the box. At the end of the day, it’s you that has to wear it for the rest of your life and if you’re not happy with conventional then that’s ok.
For more information on Fitzgerald Jewellers and the gorgeous jewellery and watches they stock, please visit their Facebook Page.
Fitzgerald Jewellers is part of our Festival Wedding Directory and is a preferred Festival Brides supplier. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Festival Brides wedding supplier, please email us for a media pack.
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