Diamonds are forever
Consumer buying patterns in the jewellery market have changed dramatically in the aftermath of the economic recession. There is also a cultural shift, which is seeing more of us buying online. As consumers we want products that satisfy us and are sold to us innovatively.
It is this new mode of informing and inspiring the market that led Maria Doulton to create and launch her own jewellery website, thejewelleryeditor.com
Maria is an editor and journalist based in London who specialises in jewellery and watches. She is a regular contributor to the Financial Times, The Telegraph, The Times, GQ, Esquire, and specialist watch publications around the world.
Having accumulated so much knowledge and experience, Maria recently launched the website, offering her own unique and valuable insight on the latest designs and creations from the world of luxury jewellery and watches.
“I set up the website this time last year,” Maria says. “The idea came from the fact that I’m a journalist and I specialise in watches and jewellery. What I realised as a journalist is that content is going to be delivered online more and more so I decided that rather than being taken online I would opt to go online myself.”
The success has been instant, with the website providing a renowned commentary into the high-end jewellery market and promoting the work of independent designers and jewellers worldwide.
Often seen at important watch and jewellery shows, Maria has travelled extensively and interviewed many CEOs from prestigious brands such as Patek Philippe, Chopard, Cartier and Dior.
“I get contacted by a lot of brands and you hear things through word-of-mouth,” Maria explains. “I go to smaller and independent brands at various fairs and events and talk to them about their work and find out as much as I can that way.”
Maria’s journey into the fascinating world of watches began when she lived abroad. “I first became interested in watches when I was living in Mexico and my son was born,” Maria remembers. “I was working for an English company who worked to very tight deadlines with a lot of meetings and with a small baby I didn’t want to be pressured all the time.
“I had a friend there who was going to start a watch magazine in Mexico, and I went to help him. I started organising the press packs and I just couldn’t believe I didn’t know more about this world.”
Naturally, Maria soon learnt more about watches and the watch industry. “I became fascinated with watches and as there were just two of us working on the magazine, I was doing a lot of the writing even though I wasn’t trained as a journalist, nor did I know that much about the subject, so I just learnt as I went along,” Maria expresses with amusement.
“About a year and a half later my husband was offered a job in London so we came back here and I soon realised that there weren’t any women who were specialist watch writers in the magazine and newspaper industry. So I contacted a few people and that’s how I got started with the watches.”
Maria quickly developed as a watch specialist writer, although jewellery was not something she was seduced by at this time, and she had no intentions to write about it.
“At first I was not keen as I questioned what on earth I would write about jewellery,” Maria ponders. “With watches I was intrigued as you can write about the technical side as well as the heritage side. The topic of watches as a whole is like wine in that it is very rich. I thought jewellery would just be superficial, until I started finding out a bit more and learnt that it is also a fascinating subject.”
Maria found herself being asked to write about jewellery as a subject more often as her work became increasingly prominent. This led to her taking more interest in jewellery in the same way she was interested in watches.
“Jewels come from mines, so every piece provokes different questions,” says Maria. “It goes right back to where the materials came from and how they were processed, and then there are the topical things like ethical issues.
“It then goes right through to talking to the designers, which is fascinating as well. Getting an insight into the thoughts of some of the greatest jewellery designers and getting into their thought process is really intriguing.”
Maria has developed a pure love for jewellery and watches, and been able to carve a career out of writing about them to inspire and inform other people. She puts her own interest down to the aesthetic of jewellery and watches, a major reason that led to The Jewellery Editor being launched last year.
“Other than my specialist interest, the reasons for me starting the website is because the online jewellery market is very unpopulated as a segment,” Maria states.
“Although there is quite a lot about watches, there is very little about jewellery and there are very few places that you can actually go if you want to see current jewellery collections, especially the high level ones in a luxury atmosphere rather than a selling atmosphere which tends to be a lot more catalogue-orientated.
“We all like to know about fashion, we like to know about wine, and it is the same with jewellery, but there is not that much known about it at the moment, so it is about helping to give people a wider choice to find out for themselves what their taste in jewellery really is about.
“I see beautifully dressed woman obviously spending a lot of money, but wearing and displaying choices of jewellery that reflect the fact they haven’t put much effort into it, or they wear something that a lot of other people are wearing.”
Maria has made it her mission to eradicate this and provide a detailed running commentary of the latest jewellery and watches on the market. “If you were to find out a bit more you would realise how much you can express yourself through jewellery and your watch,” she says. “If you are spending that much money, that much time and are that interested in how you look then you shouldn’t forget those little details that could really complete your appearance and compliment everything about your look,” says Maria.
The website was designed by an agency with Maria’s help, and has got plenty more to look forward to. “The site has only been going a year so it is still early days and we hope to increase what it does financially,” Maria says. “We sell banners and advertising, and sometimes someone asks us to do a video on a specific subject. In the future the website will be orientated at buying jewellery, but at the moment it will continue to focus on promoting different ranges available on the market.”
The site has links through to other relevant websites where you can buy jewellery, with high-end products being the main vocal point, which Maria puts down to the allure this brings. “This is the area where there is the most interesting information, the most fascinating things to know,” she explains. “But I also cover how to buy an engagement ring, lower-priced pieces and promote independent designers and one-man-band jewelers with much more reasonable prices than bigger companies,” Maria continues. “The website is simply for anyone who just loves jewellery, anyone who loves looking at it and wants to know about jewels and watches. Not everybody has to have the same designs, there are lots of different ones out there, so we don’t all have to be similar in our tastes.”
Maria feels the website has endured a successful first year in existence partially due to London’s influence on the jewellery and watch market. “London is a real hotbed for talent in jewellery design due to the number of great colleges we have got such as St Martins College of Art and Design. The graduates from these colleges who do jewellery design courses will find that the whole world is watching them because the jewellery industry is waiting to see where the next talent is and a huge number of them are English and are situated at the colleges here. That is why jewellery is so relevant to London.”
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