Now in its Eleventh year in the UK, Small Business Saturday has grown significantly year on year.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, and with the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis, businesses nationwide are grappling with economic challenges, emphasising the critical need the support of their community now more than ever.
As Small Business Saturday approaches, we want to celebrate some of the business in our local area.
Riordan Jewellers launched 1991. Specialising in fine hand made jewellery, repairs and renovations, all work is carried out on the premises.
We asked founder, Steve about his motivations, future plans and challenges facing small businesses today.
Who is the 'Riordans' customer?
Our customers vary, from those who need a precious family heirloom renovated to others who want to commission a piece for a special occasion.
What are your businesses specialities?
Our highly trained and experienced goldsmiths are able to offer the very best craftsmanship whether it is a modern, contemporary engagement ring, or the remodelling of a classic piece. One of our particular specialities is the re-working of old jewellery. This is where a customer will bring in any old items that are beyond repair, or simply unworn and we design something entirely new, melting down their gold, silver or platinum and re-using any gems in the new piece.
What motivated you to start your business?
My motivation to start the business was the potential to spend time making nice things exactly how people wanted them and offer a unique service. There was a lack of skilled and experienced goldsmiths at the time and that is still the case today. In fact there are even fewer of us around these days.
You have been established for over 32 years, in that time what has been your greatest achievement?
It would be impossible to say there was a singular achievement that could be described as the greatest. Over the years, I have been very fortunate to have made numerous beautiful items of jewellery for many people. Each one is very special in its own way.
The greatest strength we have is undoubtedly that we have a great depth of knowledge and experience which is very rare these days. It cannot be gained overnight and the service we provide very much relies upon a personal interaction that simply cannot be bought online. That allows us to offer our customers a unique experience.
What challenges do you see in the coming years?
The challenges facing small businesses these days are numerous. The high cost of running a traditional bricks and mortar store is prohibitive, which dissuades people, many who have great business ideas, from setting up shop. In our particular industry, the lack of available training and education is a serious issue. There is also a problem getting young people to consider a career in jewellery making as they are not willing to do the required 5 year apprenticeship. It is unfortunate that across the board, there is a lack of drive to put in some hard work and learn a skill for life. There is a perception that there are very easy ways to make a great deal of money with minimal effort in a short time. As we all know, that is not reality for 99% of people.
Visit Riordan Jewellers: www.riordanjewellers.com