Over 40 years designing and making Jewellery
1979 – Started a 5-year apprenticeship as a diamond mounter
1984 – Opened small workshop in Leagrave Bedfordshire
1984 – Opened my first Jewellery shop in Luton Bedfordshire
1995 – Opened second Jewellery shop in Radlett Hertfordshire
2000 – Opened third Jewellery shop in Loughton Essex
2019 – Opened Jewellery Workshop Radlett Hertfordshire
2020 – Opened Jewellery Design Studio Radlett Hertfordshire
I was born and grew up in Luton, in a time when Vauxhall Motors was the largest employer in the town, totally undecided where my future lay, I was introduced to a local manufacturing jeweller by a friend who had a large Jewellery shop in The Arndale Centre, it was February and I still had my exams to look forward to, interview done and a week later I was offered a 5 year apprenticeship.
After my apprenticeship I decided to set up on my own and I opened a little workshop in Leagrave, thanks to a friend’s dad who rented me a small workshop above his carpet shop, I remember hauling the safe up four flights of stairs, not a pleasant experience! Although quite busy, I didn’t have a full weeks work and entertained myself test driving sports cars on my quiet days off, much to the horror of my mother!
My dad took me in hand and together we found a small little shop in Alma Street, a short walk from the town centre in Luton, and so in November 1984 with savings of £6,000 and a small loan from the bank I opened my first shop with a workshop in the rear.
Nine years on and I wanted to expand and get a second shop, so I was delighted when an antique dealer mentioned a shop for sale in a little sleepy village called Radlett, the jewellery shop by the name of Lindsay’s was quite run down and in need of a good facelift, negotiations done and refurbishment complete, I opened my second shop in November-1995.
I decided to move out of Luton and look for another shop on a busier high street, friends in Loughton suggested Loughton high street it was known as the “Golden Mile” celebrities and footballers were a common daily site, low an behold there was an empty shop available that used to be a jeweller’s, I opened just in time for Christmas in 2000.
So, after a short break (14 years to be precise) whilst on holiday it suddenly dawned on me how much I missed designing and creating beautiful jewellery, within a week of being back home I found myself sitting at a bench, flame in hand ready to start my next creative journey, 2 years on and Laurence Ian Jewellers finds itself back on Radlett high street once again, albeit in slightly smaller premises.
A Funny thing happened!!
Over the past 40 years I’ve designed and sold jewellery to celebrities, footballers and royalty and of course there have been some very funny memorable moments – heres’s a few…
Imagine my reaction, when a lovely old man came into the shop, sat himself down made himself comfortable and said “I’m here about my eye-test” Needless to say, he really wanted the opticians next door!
I remember Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster popping into the Loughton shop, I was so excited that I was about to have a big sale, however all they wanted was a christening gift!
I remember a customer coming in to collect an engagement ring with a broken wrist which he said was a result of playing football, I joked and said he needed to find another sport, only to find out later he was the West Ham goalie!!