Fabulous Futures Award | Birmingham School of Jewellery | Fabulous

Birmingham School of Jewellery has an excellent reputation for producing highly employable graduates with the skills needed within the jewellery industry today. We, at fabulous are thrilled to support this degree course for the last few years, as it offers students a sound training in the industry and helps developing their technical skills within a commercial framework.

We work 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.

Jo Stroud, Managing Director and Sinade, Brand & Buying Manager here at fabulous – who is a graduate of this course herself were a part of the end-of-year judging panels, selecting one or two students to be the recipients of the annual ‘Fabulous Futures’ Award.

We are delighted to announce the ‘Fabulous Futures’ Award winner, in conjunction with the Birmingham School of Jewellery.

The winner is (Drum roll please) Rhiannon Rodgers.

Birmingham School of Jewellery, Fabulous Futures Award, jewellery award, students, fabulous collections, Jewellery and Silversmithing Design for Industry, degree course

Jo Stroud, fabulous owner with Rhiannon Rodgers, winner of Fabulous Futures Award and Sinade Prosser, brand & buying manager at fabulous

Rhiannon’s stunning final year collection takes inspiration from the architectural and natural forms of Birmingham’s historic Botanical Gardens, with their elegant Victorian glasshouses and collection of exotic plants – a haven of peace and tranquility in the middle of this bustling city. Rhiannon has designed beautiful open-work lockets, inspired by the Art Nouveau metalwork of the glasshouses, complemented by silver discs featuring palm leaves, pineapples and other natural motifs.

The winner receives mentoring sessions from us, designed to help them with their target market, pricing of their pieces, the way their jewellery is presented and packaged, their branding and naming the collections and ways to showcase it themselves online.

They are given an opportunity to showcase their skills at our ever-popular Annual Garden Party, where they meet some of our regular customers and other designers. A small bursary is given to help set them up for their first collection.

British designers are very important to us at fabulous. With collections from Vivienne Westwood, Lulu Guinness, Chloe Moss and Daisy London Jewellery being very successful for us over the years, 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.

Birmingham School of Jewellery, Fabulous Futures Award, jewellery award, students, fabulous collections, Jewellery and Silversmithing Design for Industry, degree course

fabulous owner, Jo Stroud, with Claire Price, Course Director at Birmingham School of Jewellery and Sinade Prosser

We have worked with the Birmingham School of Jewellery’s Course Director, Claire Price for many years now. “We love working with fabulous throughout the year on this course, especially at year-end with these Awards. Jo and Sinade bring real-life commercial expertise to our students and offer genuine mentoring to support to new graduates. We are also thrilled that an alumnus of the School is so closely involved.” says Claire.

Sinade graduated from this course in 2009 and has worked her way up here at fabulous since joining in 2007, as a part-time retail assistant. While studying, to being a core part of the senior management team, with responsibility for own-brand development, buying and creative work.

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.

– Jo Stroud

Want to know more? Click www.fabulouscollections.co.uk or visit our stores in fabulous – Royal Leamington Spa Stores or Solihull.

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School of Jewellery fabulous Futures Awards!

Last night saw the end of year show from the graduating students of the School of Jewellery in Birmingham. Fabulous works with students on the Design for Industry BA(Hons) course, giving retail and commercial input at various points throughout the course. As well as supporting the course with tutorials and work experience, and being on the end of year panel, Fabulous awards up to two ‘Fabulous Futures’ awards every year, choosing the designer or designers who show the most promise, and whom owner Jo Stroud and Creative Manager Sinade Prosser feel that Fabulous can help the most.

The winner of this year’s Fabulous Futures award is Suzannah Key, a young designer from Devon who has created a beautiful range of Spinning pendants. Susannah is a talented artist who draws extremely well, and is able to follow through her sketches all the way through into casting them into her jewellery collection. Suzannah will showcase her designs at the Fabulous Garden Party; have mentoring sessions with Jo, Sinade, Rhian and the team to help her develop her proposition, pricing, branding, website and business plan; and receives a £400 bursary to help with materials and general expenses as she gets started.

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“Suzannah’s designs are just perfect. They have been beautifully cast, and have a lovely weight and quality to them. We are really looking forward to helping Suzannah bring them to market,” explains Jo.

This year was very tough, with so many talented designers graduating from the programme, but they decided to focus all their efforts on Suzannah this year, rather than splitting the award. Other highly commended stars this year included:

  • Rebecca Wilkes, who gorgeous flower rings are set to become huge. “I can see them on the pages of Elle and Vogue,” says Jo. “Rebecca is very creative, and her designs are a perfect fit for high fashion.”
  •  Katy Tromans also really impressed Jo and Sinade, with her intricately-realised fairy tale creations, “Like nothing else I have ever seen – beautiful!”, added Sinade.
  • And Charlotte Rowenna’s gorgeous stone-set rings looked like they had come out of the sea fully formed, inspired by barnacles, mussels and driftwood.

“I really wish all the young designers well going forward – I wish we could help all of them! There was so much talent this year, and they were really focused on their target audience, branding and brand story, as well as the jewellery designs – so we were incredibly impressed with them. The School of Jewellery is doing a fantastic job at training these young designers to be ready for the real world.”

Fabulous Futures Award: The 2015 Winners!

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.

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Left to Right: Sarah McCraken, Janet Royle, Jo Stroud

Sarah McCracken

“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!

Janet Royle

“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!