The Village Goldsmith
As his company name suggests, Ian Douglas likes to keep his jewellery business on an intimate level. After 35 years in the jewellery game, Ian knows implicitly that jewellery is a very personal business and customer rapport has to go hand in hand with creativity.
"I actually get a lot of inspiration for my designs from my individual customers," says Ian, "and when I marry that inspiration with the distinctive qualities of the gems and the other materials I'm working with, the resulting piece of jewellery can be very special."
The desire to craft materials with his hands came early on for Ian. "I can recall being fascinated making models as a child and, in school, making little metalwork objects to impress the girls. The first day I walked into a jewellery workshop, it was a life-changing moment."
At the tender age of 15, Ian began his jewellery apprenticeship. In the three and a half decades since then, word-of-mouth recommendations have ensured that the distinctive jewellery pieces from the Village Goldsmith can be found on every continent. Just one of many highlights for Ian was being asked by de Beers to exhibit one of his design collections to them.
Not surprisingly, that collection mainly featured diamonds. But Ian is also very much at home with pearls. "I really like the organic aspect of pearls," he says, "no two are ever the same and the more you look at them, the more they reveal. The way they are created is also a fascinating process."
Ian feels that pearls, such as Avaiki pearls from the Cook Islands, embody a strong sense of romance and allure and have a great story to tell around heritage. For Ian, the best Cook Islands pearls like Avaiki reflect a special beauty and lustre.