Mayfair jeweller Hirsh London responded to the challenges of the lockdowns by delivering innovative customer service, including an “electric cab” taxi operation for customers, and has recently launched a refurbished showroom in a Georgian townhouse on Conduit Street, Mayfair, which includes a workshop for handcrafting jewellery above the premises.
Hirsh London, which offers exquisite coloured gemstone-set jewellery and a bespoke service, has a new location for customers: a refurbished Georgian townhouse showroom on fashionable Conduit Street, just around the corner from Bond Street. The Conduit Street showroom is a carefully designed showcase for Hirsh London jewellery and will be a magnet for luxury shoppers when international travel picks up again.
Jason and Sophia Hirsh pride themselves on having similar tastes in the rare and beautiful coloured gemstones that they source, ranging from exquisite pink diamonds to vivid red rubies, neon blue Paraiba tourmalines and apple green peridots.
“Colour is very important to what we do,” Sophia said in a recent interview at the jeweller’s New Bond Street boutique.
“We are now seeing more demand for coloured, gem-set engagement rings. People are open-minded about having something a little more unique. The market for colour is going from strength to strength.” The husband and wife team have embarked on journeys, together or separately, to faraway places to research and source gemstones, such as a recent trip by Jason to the world-famous Muzo region of Colombia, origin of some of the world’s most magnificent emeralds.
India is now in their sights for a trip to explore diamond cutting and to visit the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS). Hirsh London seek gemstones that make their way from mine to customer along a sustainable, responsibly managed supply chain, finishing up in their atelier on Conduit Street where all pieces are handcrafted by expert craftsmen and women.
The refurbishment of the Conduit Street showroom coincided with the lockdown restrictions during the pandemic, and led to even more meticulous preparations for the launch. Now that renovation works on the roomy townhouse have been completed, Hirsh London can entertain its loyal customers at cocktail and dinner parties in a luxuriously appointed ground floor showroom, extending to a private living room upstairs. The well-equipped atelier, where at least three craftsmen and women work side by side, is above the premises, benefiting from copious natural light. These days such artisanal skills are in short supply.
“We are choosing to craft jewellery as it was done 100 years ago,” Sophia said.
Customer service During the lockdowns in the UK retailers were shuttered, leading high-end jewellers like Hirsh London to adapt their customer service to a “new normal” when customers could not travel easily. However, bespoke orders have continued steadily with the craftsmen and women working under officially approved, socially distanced conditions, while Sophia and Jason meet with clients in-person or communicate with them further away, using FaceTime and other digital tools.
Hirsh London have also stepped up their social media and video photography to respond to a rapidly changing marketplace. One innovation was the provision of a special “electric cab” taxi service, bedecked in the company’s royal blue branding, to deliver pieces of finished jewellery to customers in the UK, and to offer them private rides to visit the showroom. “We have been very lucky during the pandemic that we have so many loyal, local customers ,” Sophia said. “We are also very much looking forward to international travel picking up so that we can welcome new clients to our new townhouse.”
The workshop in Conduit Street is one of the very few areas in the Bond Street high jewellery quarter where artisans carry on the practice of handcrafting jewellery. For the most part these days, even high end jewellery is made by using CAD (computer aided design.) Yet, studies have shown an ever growing appreciation of craftsmanship by jewellery buyers around the world. The artisans who work for Hirsh London have a lengthy experience hand creating intricate gold and platinum mounts that the exquisite gemstones are then set into, all to the highest standards.
When a customer makes a bespoke order, they may have certain ideas about what they are looking for.
Sophia can then take that inspiration and, with hand drawn designs in pencil and in water colours, translate it into a stunning piece of gemstone-set jewellery that will appeal for a lifetime.
“A customer might have an idea of what they would like, and after talking with us they might find something completely different,” Sophia says.
“We always encourage our customers to keep an open mind and to choose a gem that brings them the most joy.”