With over twenty years in the jewellery business, Clare Blatherwick is one of the most experienced jewellery professionals in the country. In 2017, she founded Clare Blatherwick FGA DGA, a business designed to offer her clients an alternative to the high street for all of their jewellery needs. Clare has selected pieces of jewellery for sale on her website and undertakes gem sourcing, jewellery commissions, remodelling as well as both private and corporate valuation work.

I WAKE UP…

needing a cup of tea to kick start me! At the weekend, that cuppa may be had in bed alongside the whole family (including our dog) who have piled in for a story and cuddles. But weekdays it is often had on the run as I get ready for action.

WORK STARTS…

by checking emails from clients, the gold price and trade news. I’ll try my best to follow a time blocking plan but often things will crop up that I need to react swiftly to, so flexibility is key. When a client contacts me, I will always try to respond the same day or first thing the following morning if the email or call has come in overnight. Good job I didn’t sit down with that cup of tea after all! 

HOW I GOT INVOLVED IN JEWELLERY…

Entirely by accident, I got a Saturday job at a good independent jewellers whilst I was still at school and carried on with them when I was home from university for holidays. I then worked for an international gemstone dealer and in luxury retail before being head-hunted by Bonhams auctioneers where I was head of jewellery for a decade. That Saturday job certainly changed my life!

A TYPICAL DAY…

is always atypical! I don’t keep a stock or run a physical shop and as I see my clients in their homes, offices or banks, sourcing pieces on a case-by-case basis this means I am a private jeweller – something my clients love for the bespoke service and discretion this offers them. A day could involve meeting with a client about remodelling some pieces of jewellery, valuing a collection belonging to an individual or institution for insurance purposes, helping a client from East Lothian sell a jewel in Hong Kong where I know they will achieve the best result, presenting to a trade conference, private bank or insurance company on the current state of the jewellery and watch market or writing a lecture on historic jewels for The Arts Society. I love the variety!

BEST PART OF THE JOB IS…

hearing how delighted clients are with their pieces. Whether it is the antique ring they have always dreamt of that I found for them, a new necklace they commissioned from me or a piece they weren’t wearing and was remodelled to their taste. A happy client means a happy jeweller and leads to long term relationships based around trust and discretion and knowing what pieces will appeal to, and most importantly, suit that client. 

AND THE WORST…

This is tricky as I really love what I do! Spending time sitting in a queue on the Edinburgh bypass is tedious and frustrating now the traffic is pretty much back to pre-COVID levels. Still, it gives me a chance to catch up with podcasts and offers head-space to think about future plans or where to source a particular jewel from for a client, so I guess even that cloud has a silver lining!

CAREER HIGHLIGHT…

There have been many. I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the globe for my career, particularly when I was with Bonhams and that was incredible, but I would say taking the plunge to leave the safety net of a monthly salary to follow the dream of running my own business has been the most exciting thing I have done.

AFTER HOURS…

Time off is a rare commodity so when it happens, I always make the most of it. That could be a long beach walk with my dog to breathe deeply and think, or it could be hanging out with my family and friends, ideally accompanied by a gin and tonic and some live music – Fringe By The Sea reminded me of how much fun there is to be had right here in East Lothian. 

IN TEN YEAR’S TIME…

Having appeared in a few documentaries as a jewellery expert I’d be keen to do more. I have a couple of ideas for books too. Ideally in the next few years a device that grants me several hours extra per day would be invented! But the main thing is that I’d like to still be doing what I am doing – helping my clients with all their jewellery needs.


CLARE BLATHERWICK
07967 380191
www.clareblatherwick.co.uk
cb@clareblatherwick.co.uk