All That Glistens
For a bespoke designed wedding ring, a remodelled treasure or something beautiful off the shelf, this Preston jeweller is the place to go, writes Kate Ford. Photography: Robin Lyndon
Step into Guy Wakeling Jewellery in Little Hoole near Longton and you immediately get a really good feeling. Yes, the carpet is luxuriously soft and the gleaming glass cabinets which line the walls are filled with things of beauty, but it’s the warm, friendly greeting which really stands out and makes you feel instantly relaxed.
“It’s true, some bespoke jewellery shops can be a little intimidating,” says Katie Wakeling with a smile. “But we’re a very friendly, family business with a down-to-earth attitude and we love helping our customers find exactly what they’re looking for.”
Katie runs the business alongside husband Guy, a jeweller and goldsmith who has perfected his art over his 30 years in the trade. A true craftsman, Guy learned his jewellery skills from his own father, beginning even before he left school, and he has worked with jewellery and precious metals ever since.
Guy specialises in bespoke design, remodelling, renovations and repair.
Much of his work involves the remodelling of existing pieces of jewellery into something new and contemporary. This can involve simply replacing the gemstone to completely melting down a piece and recreating it as something new.
“Very often, someone comes to us with a piece of jewellery they’ve inherited from, say, their grandmother,” explains Katie. “It may be a beautiful piece with a great deal of sentimental value, but the customer doesn’t want to wear it because it’s simply not her style.”
“Working with the customer, we can come up with a new design, using the original metal and gemstones, to create something that she loves and wants to wear every day.”
The same attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction applies when Guy is asked to create a bespoke wedding or engagement ring.
“We take the time to sit down with the customer and, using existing examples and pictures, go through all the options with them, making sure we know exactly what they want,” says Katie.
“It’s very rewarding when we create an engagement ring, then a wedding ring and then, years later, they come back for an eternity ring. That suggests a very happy customer!” she laughs.
For many years, Guy and Katie worked from a small workshop in the centre of Longton but last year moved to their new premises on Liverpool New Road. This means that, as well as their design and remodelling work, they are now able to sell a range of ready-made jewellery, both Guy’s own creations and other collections.
Its shop at Bridge Court, just off the main road, is super easy to reach and has plenty of free parking available. Inside, the shop is bright, airy and very stylish, with a window behind the main counter offering a view of Guy’s workshop. The shop’s display cabinets are full of beautiful things to suit every budget. Everything they offer is hand-picked by Katie herself, who only buys from quality names and brands that she knows and trusts.
Its range includes a selection by Unique & Co, a leading family jewellery brand with designs for both men and women. The men’s range is extremely popular, including cufflinks and bracelets crated from fine leathers and metals such as titanium and tungsten.
One of its most popular collections is from British jewellery designer, Kit Heath, another trusted and respected family company. This award-winning brand offers delicate pendants and beautiful bracelets and earrings at an accessible range of prices. There is also a fabulous selection of Sekonda watches including the uber trendy, crystal embellished Seksy range.
“We try to offer something for everyone, from the most original bespoke designs to off-the-shelf pieces which are accessibly priced but still extremely high quality,” says Katie. “And we are always here to offer friendly, honest advice whatever it is you’re looking for.”
Guy Wakeling Jewellery
7 Bridge Court
Liverpool New Road
Preston PR4 5BF