Cleave & Company is a specialist in the world of orders, decorations, medals and court jewellery, historically creating these for royalty, heads of state, palace offices, government and civil and military institutions globally. It has forged a reputation for raising craftsmanship to the realm of art and is now attracting private individuals seeking out extraordinary jewellery, objets d’art or one-ofa-kind gifts. Commissions range from tiaras to full banqueting services.
Cleave’s designers and goldsmiths unite the finest, ethically sourced precious metals and stones with a contemporary vision. Cleave has headquarters a short walk from Buckingham Palace but has no shop and no stock, only making to order. It is not a standard business because it works purely according to its clients’ needs, travelling all over the world to meet them in the belief that the best way to understand a client’s requirements is on their home ground. Cleave also prefers traditional forms of communication, usually involving formal letters on proper letterhead. The pandemic has made all this impossible and necessitated improving the website and turning to email and WhatsApp. ‘With our reputation for privacy and discretion, it was hard to embrace social media,’ says managing director, Peter Scott, ‘but we’ve taken our first early steps, even if we are still unsteady on our feet.’
Rather than being diverted by these challenges, Cleave overcame them as a mere bump in the road and focused on continuing to build long-lasting relationships with its client and suppliers. Its workshop remained busy all year and Cleave has further expanded its capacity by investing in new CNC equipment.
In 2008 HM The Queen granted Cleave a Royal Warrant as Manufacturers of Insignia and, in 2009, HRH The Prince of Wales granted a further Warrant as Medallists. Being a proud holder of two royal warrants has motivated Cleave to reinforce its British origins and values in its practices and how it presents itself to clients. ‘British traditions are held in high esteem, so whatever the climate, we’re British to the core – classic dark suit, white shirt and tie, polished black shoes and always bearing a properly printed business card,’ Peter explains. ‘For all the curiosity among our overseas clients about Brexit, ultimately they want reassurance that we’ll remain the same.’
Cleave’s motto is: ‘When in doubt, default to excellence,’ and while this will never change, there is much that Cleave did to adapt during 2020. Apart from becoming necessarily more visible online, it is collaborating with Sabina Savage, designer of silk scarves and clothing, to design a beautiful pen. ‘We are very cautious about collaborations,’ says Peter, ‘as we need be confident that there will be zero compromise on quality and that we’ll be proud of the outcome. Sabina’s designs are all hand-drawn and every scarf is different. That true creativity inspired us and convinced us to work with her. When in doubt, we default to excellence – and that’s what we’ve done and will continue to do throughout 2021.’