Founded in Liverpool in 1798, Boodles is entering its third century in fine form. One of the few remaining family jewellers on London’s Bond Street, its divine collections are all designed and made by skilled craftsmen in the capital.
The fine jeweller is now looked after by the fifth and sixth generations of the Wainwright family. At present, Chairman Nicholas Wainwright and his brother, Managing Director Michael, represent the fifth, while cousins Jody Wainwright and James Amos are the sixth. And the Boodles team has just welcomed its latest family member on board: Honour Wainwright, daughter of Michael.
But the new blood doesn’t mean Nicholas and Michael will take a back seat. ‘The old boys aren’t about to up sticks,’ explains James, director of Boodles, about their plans for this year and beyond. He continues: ‘What this does mean is we will have additional expertise in the business to focus on what’s important and exciting, such as spreading the word about Boodles further afield. While many people in the UK see us as the quintessentially British family-owned jewellery brand, there are many people across the world whom we haven’t met yet. We think there’s an opportunity there.’
Diamonds are at the heart of Boodles raison d’être. They source vivid coloured and rare gems from all over the world, as well as the finest diamonds on earth. Boodles’ ethos when it comes to its designs is firm: jewellery should take your breath away.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Boodles’ Raindance ring, and ten since it was chosen for the V&A’s permanent collection as an icon of British design. Featuring nine brilliant cut diamonds, the ring was inspired by a trip to Chelsea Flower Show by Boodles’ Head Designer, Rebecca Hawkins, on a wet summer’s day. Its design reflects light from every angle, reminiscent of raindrops glistening in the sun. To celebrate the anniversary, Boodles has just launched a new Raindance ring in platinum, with pink and white diamonds. Boodles also recently bought a pink diamond that Jody Wainwright, Director of Precious Gemstones, thinks is the most special stone they have ever had. The Boodles Pink was mined in South Africa, and has been transformed into a beautiful ring. ‘We love pink diamonds and the Boodles Pink is perhaps the most exciting diamond that we’ve ever owned,’ explains James. ‘Not only is it a beautiful colour, but it comes in at just over 10cts. It’s a corker!’
Next year, Boodles is also concentrating on building relations with its most loyal returning clients. ‘While 2020 was an unusual year, it confirmed to us how important our long-term customer relationships really are,’ explains James. ‘We will continue to build on these friendships, making “The Boodles Experience” so much more than just a transactional arrangement.’
Capturing our yearning for escapism post-Covid, Boodles is also launching a travel-themed jewellery collection in the early part of the summer, and hopes to return to a full events schedule later in the year.
Another core issue is sustainability, which it will continue to concentrate on in 2021 and beyond. ‘It’s something Jody and I are passionate about, and we know it matters to Boodles customers too,’ says James. ‘People want to know the jewellery and the gemstones that they’re wearing have been sourced ethically and responsibly and we take pride in providing that level of reassurance.’ To this end, Boodles uses Single Mine Origin gold, and all diamonds are purchased from legitimate, reputable sources and suppliers not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions.
With the latest generation on board, and exciting plans afoot, one thing’s for sure: Boodles’ future is sparkling.