We’re delighted to announce this year’s winners of our ‘Fabulous Futures’ Award, in conjunction with the Birmingham School of Jewellery, Sarah McCracken and Janet Royle.
Fabulous have been working closely with final year students on the ‘Jewellery and Silversmithing – Design for Industry’ degree course, to give students a retail perspective before they go on to become designers or pursue a career in the industry.
The School of Jewellery, which is part of the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design at Birmingham City University, has been located in the heart of Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter since 1890, with a portfolio of courses from jewellery design to silversmithing, to horology and gemology.
“Birmingham School of Jewellery has an excellent reputation for producing highly employable graduates with the skills needed within the jewellery industry today. We have chosen this particular course as it offers students a sound knowledge of the market, developing their technical skills within a commercial environment,” explains fabulous owner, Jo Stroud.
Jo Stroud, together with Sinade Prosser, Retail & Buying Manager at fabulous – herself a graduate of this course selected two students to be the recipients of the annual ‘Fabulous Futures’ Awards.
The winners will receive mentoring sessions designed to help them consider their target market, the pricing of their pieces, the way jewellery is presented in-store and packaged for the consumer, and the ways they can showcase themselves online. They will receive a week’s work experience at fabulous, as well as winning the chance to appear at the fabulous annual Garden Party, where they will meet top customers and other designers. A £200 bursary for each winner will cover any expenses incurred during placements.
Jo continues, “British designers are very important to us at fabulous, with collections from Vivienne Westwood, Lulu Guinness, Chloe Moss, James Boyd and Chris Lewis all helping make us the go-to place for must-have brands. We’d love to see the next big thing in the industry come from home grown talent.”
Acting Head of School, Gaynor Andrews, says “We are delighted to be working with Fabulous on these Awards, and look forward to developing an exciting and positive relationship with the Fabulous team. We are also thrilled that an alumnus of the School is so closely involved.”
Sinade Prosser graduated from this course in 2009, and has worked her way up at Fabulous since joining in 2007 as a part-time retail assistant while studying, to being part of the senior management team with responsibility for buying and marketing.
“We chose Sarah because she had a real enthusiasm for fashion accessories. For her final project she had demonstrated good use of trend research and had incorporated many different textures and materials into her jewellery, in addition to precious metals. Sarah has a placement coming up at Vivienne Westwood and wants to develop a career as a designer within the fashion jewellery industry. We feel a placement at fabulous and some support from us will help her get started in her career!
“We chose Janet because she had a completely different style of jewellery to everybody else, utilising a mix of vintage and new pieces. She carried out a lot of research into the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter and Arts and Crafts Jewellery and had taken inspiration from this. She has a clear plan to create her own jewellery in a unique way combining vintage elements with new components she is designing. We feel exposure to fabulous’ stores and customers, will give her a clearer insight into her potential target market.”
Congratulations to Sarah and Janet, we’ll see you at the Garden party and look forward to seeing you for work experience in the next few months!