Nationally acclaimed jewellery designer Jeremy Hoye talks to Daniel White about his fresh start
After nearly two decades working in the same shop, selling the same products at the same till, going to work can lose its appeal.
For Jeremy Hoye, one of the UK’s leading contemporary jewellers, there is a simple answer, though.
“I wanted to reinvent ourselves because I think everything’s gone a bit stayed at the moment and I’ve had the same look and feel to the business for the last ten years or so,” he explained. “So it’s now going to be called House of Hoye and I’m going to do smaller collections but more avant garde pieces, so put the fun back into it.”
As part of the company’s reinvention, Hoye, who opened the jewellery shop on Ship Street in 1994, has completely restyled the interior of the shop as well as the brand and it has made him enjoy coming to work again.
“It’s brilliant!” he smiled. “I feel revitalised and I feel refreshed and you can see it coming out in the work now as well. So rather than doing things to fill gaps or to try and cover all basis in the shop, now I’m just making what I want to make.”
Despite the dramatic change in branding, he has built such a reputation and following during his years in Brighton that his customer base is not going anywhere else.
“I’ve had loyal customers who have been coming to me for 19 years, so I’ve seen them grow up and then I’ve seen their children grow up, then I’ve seen their children get engaged and married,” he joked.
“When people come here they come here because they like what we do. You can’t please everyone, it would be great if you could but I think by trying to please everyone I was making things a bit boring so this is getting back to why I originally started.”
Over the last decade Hoye has seen a remarkable rise in high street jewellers, building competition in the city. However, it is the basic principles, he feels, which has kept him at the top of the pile for so long.
“It’s down to customer service, finding out what the customer really wants,” he clarified. “A lot of the time they don’t really know when they come in so you’ve got to kind of nurture them. We’re only better if people like our style, I think we try and give the best service we can give and that’s it really.”
After working in London for many years, Hoye made the move down to Brighton not long before opening his shop and it is the broadminded culture of the city that makes his work so successful here.
“I’ve always liked Brighton so I moved here 20 years ago, I didn’t think there was anything like this at the time,” he explained. “It’s a friendly atmosphere and people are a lot more open. You don’t realise until you leave Brighton and go somewhere and realise how open-minded people are here to things that are just a bit more unusual. It gives you the chance to be a bit more creative definitely and, after going and working in other places, I think in Brighton we’re lucky.”
So after completely revitalising the brand’s image, Hoye has only one plan of action.
He said: “I think just being true to myself and making what I want to make and hopefully that’ll mean lots of happy, loyal customers. I think that’s the plan.”