By Leigh Dome.
Jill and Peter Cameron are excited at the prospect of taking their jewellery manufacturing business in a new direction with a fresh perspective. “Our loyal and discerning client base will ultimately benefit from our decision to start anew in six months time.”
Peter especially wants to rediscover his passion for his craft. “Over the years, our business has become increasingly market driven and commercial,” he says. “There is a lot of competition and many use the same wholesalers so you see a lot of the same jewellery in several shops around town.”
The Camerons are keen to ‘return to their roots’ and specialise in what they do best – designing and manufacturing unique pieces of fine jewellery.
Peter is looking forward to having the luxury of time to spend on commissioned works and hopes his wife can enjoy manufacturing jewellery in the workshop again after 17 years of being behind the shop counter.
The Camerons opened their first jewellery shop in Square Edge over two decades ago. Since then they have operated from premises in Coleman Mall and their present site in Broadway Avenue.
Peter has always put a high priority on passing on his jewellery making skills and has trained seven apprentices in the past 20 years.
He is keen to learn more himself and is looking forward to a future when he will have the time to attend workshops and share ideas with colleagues in the industry.
The decision to surrender the lease on the Broadway Avenue premises and take a well earned break from the demands of their retail shop was not taken lightly. “We’ve come to the conclusion that we should work to live not live to work,” says Jill. The hard working couple have been in business for 23 years and have not had more than ten days off in a row for the past seven years. Peter clocks up nearly 80 hours in the workshop per week, increasingly by less demanding projects. “If I had been an employee under these conditions I would have left long ago,” he laughs.
Once their decision was made Jill says everything started falling into place. “Our staff understood our reasons for change, we were able to forego the lease on our premises and it felt like the right thing to do.”
All remaining stock will be discounted by 40% from July 18 until the Broadway Avenue store closes on Saturday July 29 and the manufacturing plant will go into storage.
The Camerons will spend a portion of their six month ‘sabbatical’ finding the perfect premises for their new boutique workshop and a large amount of time just enjoying their new found freedom. They will attend a jewellery trade fair in Australia in August and plan to take small trips around New Zealand. The couple have rarely had the time to have hobbies or join clubs, “we work so dam hard,” says Peter.
The garden will get plenty of attention as will the couple’s family and friends.
“We are looking forward to having ‘spare’ time,” says Jill. “To enjoy quality time with our friends and family and regain new enthusiasm for our craft.”
Published: Ad Feature, Manawatu Standard July06