Dec 2 2011

Made in the Jewellery Quarter – Exhibition Feb ’12.

After several months of work, collaborating with local businesses, negotiating exhibition space, tapping local universities for help I am very pleased to announce the launch of the Made in the Jewellery Quarter Exhibition Feb ’12. and three other local businesses have teamed up to display to the public a selection of our wares during February 2012, the exhibition will be held in the Gallery Space known as Art at Artful inside Artful Expression and The David-Louis Project.

at 23 Warstone Lane, The Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham B18 6JQ.

The exhibition will showcase designs by Cufflink Couture, LJ Millington, David-Louis and Alabaster & Wilson, between us we have approx. 300 years of jewellery and product design knoweledge so the show case will be varied and beautiful

We have also launched a website with full details of the exhibition which can be visited by going to

Jan 14 2009

David-Louis – word from the street, or rather Warstone Lane.

Well the New Year has arrived and we have all crossed over from the fantastic frenzy that is the Christmas rush.

I wanted to look at how creative enterprise and entrepreneurs can avoid the dreaded credit crunch and somehow come out stronger when it passes, which it will eventually. It does call for action though and simply doing the same thing year on year especially when moving into quieter times will not create growth in any business.

In my own business (es) we have come up with a few commercial strategies to combat the potential fall out from the dreaded credit crunch, the words on all entrepreneurial lips at the moment. Some of these are real world bricks and mortar strategies and others are online – where the potential for growth is incredible.

How can a creative enterprise flourish in this climate? Well, I believe the answer is to target you product online to people that adore what you do.

This is a valid strategy as far as sustaining the Jewellery Quarter and holding onto heritage. The income streams comes form both local people, just down the road who find you online and indeed order both online and visit you in your workshop and also from global customers that are looking for high quality individual work.

The key is to actually get very specific, sell specific products online and target specific niche markets by using strategy, the generic term or keyword ’silver ring’ will get you nowhere on the internet, you must describe the attributes of the ring that the customer will use when enquiring about a desired item. Text based content is king.

At the moment I am working in several ways to encourage new, emerging and existing makers to think strategy not just ad hoc responses to enquiries.

I am currently writing a business course for the BA Honours Design for Industry course at the School of Jewellery and will deliver it over five days in January and February 2009.

Update: here is a news artice about Rachel Briggs from the BA about her designs going on sale in Jewellery Quarter after winning competition:

The business content of the course I am writing gives an overview from the initial stages of concept development all the way through set up of the business to delivery to market using current trends in distribution and marketing while supporting traditional routes – the emphasis is on strategy and sustainability – we want designer makers to succeed in business and to stay in business as a career and life long makers and designers (Lifers) not simply to open what I will call ‘spring flower’ businesses that explode in a burst of colour only to fade away after one season.

I am emphasing the fact that the bottom line is… the bottom line, in other words a creative enterprise should capitalise on low cost systems to attract a new audience to the business in question.

Sustainability is achieved through strategy and foresight this takes planning, January is a great time to look at your strategy for the next year and I would encourage all designer makers to sit down for one day and think as opposed to do. It will reap rewards.


Oct 28 2008

David-Louis referred to by Trend Spotter website

I was delighted to see a website that I much admire, Springwise – Springwise and its network of 8,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds from San Francisco to Singapore. , refer to a competition entry I made a week or two ago on the Releasedonedotzero web site.

The competition itself is quite exciting and is using what is now being referred to as crowd sourcing and can be summarised as using your clients to supply designs and product for brands they aspire too. Although I don’t think that is exactly what is happening as I and the other entrants do seem to be career or budding career product designers it is some way to the truth as it is open to concepts as well as products.

Although it does reinforce what I would consider to be the an ultimate truth, creative people buy cretive products from creative people, I find that creative individuals  can be the first port of call for launching a niche product and then brought toward the mainstream as the product begins its life cycle, of niche, wider audience, less expensive and ultimately entering the mainstream culture where it can become ubiquitous.

The winning products in the releasedonedotzero competition will be sold at design museums around the world alongside the affiliated web site and be paid a royalty over the years which is quite a nice prize – so keep an eye here and if I never mention it again – I didn’t win…. hee hee.

Some other nice thing going on too, went to the bloggers meet yesterday and met some new faces, debated some finer points of Blogging and nicely submerged myself in a cross culture which sits between, pub, blog, innovative business practice and of course some banter so it’s well worth going.

A discussion I did have with Nick Booth was based around establishing a creative Blogging community within the Jewellery Quarter and also the use of word press to build web sites which would be really useful to emerging artists and creatives so I will be championing this approach over the coming months to all and sundry - lets see what happens. I was hoping to meet Chris Unitt of Created in Birmingham there but didn’t get a chance, I will look harder next time.

I would hope eventually makers, retailers, School of Jewellery students, design space members, Centerpiece exhibitors, Brilliantly Birmingham and other businesses would blog about their approach to business, their products and create a scene online that will filter to the real world and back again. 

Finally, to begin that type of activity I am pleased to say I have been handed the keys (at least the spare set) of the blog for the new upcoming, much lauded Jewellery Quarter website which will be launched late November – just in time for Christmas, I suspect I will be promoting makers, events, heritage and little known niches of the Jewellery Quarter on the blog with a view to raising curiosity levels and dragging all and sundry to the Jewellery Quarter, from near, far and wide just to see… just to see….