Riddle me This… James Veale
Up close and personal with James Veale, the founder and creative designer behind Veale Fine Jewellery
If you knew then what you know now……….would you still do it?
Of course, it’s not been easy and in the jewellery trade you are always striving for perfection which means you are your own worst enemy. Despite that, I love what I do and there is no better feeling than having an email or card saying how much the client loves their piece!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Make friends along the way, it makes life a lot easier. This has always served me well. A lot of my suppliers are good friends now which creates an enjoyable work life for myself – not to mention the times they have helped me out with favours!
What’s the weirdest rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
This is tricky – I’m not sure. I was given the nickname Susan at university because the tutor couldn’t cope with the three guys in our jewellery class all being called James! Not really a rumour as such… but could have turned into one!
What was your biggest break?
One of my good friends at the company I used to work for left to join a top Bond Street jewellers when I decided to go self-employed. We used to regularly meet up and discuss really geeky jeweller stuff for hours on end. The things I learnt then were invaluable and gave me a really in-depth knowledge of how to make fine jewellery.
Do you consider yourself lucky?
I believe luck will come if you put yourself in the right situations. You’ll never get lucky if you don’t get yourself out there!
What’s most important in your life?
My wife, obviously (hopefully got a few brownie points there…)! Delivering the highest quality products to every one of my clients is also very important to me. I like to think every piece of my jewellery will one day become an heirloom and be treasured forever.
What brands do you admire?
From a jewellery perspective, I love Garrard. I think their designs are amazing, classic but contemporary. I love the way they incorporate colour and many different techniques all into one piece.
Do you have a guilty pleasure – if so what is it?
Salcombe Gin or Salcombe Dairy ice cream. I’ve always holidayed in Salcombe and it’s got a very special place in my heart!