David Coe Jewellers – Bringing Sparkle Back to Life
Business name: David Coe Jewellers
Location: Norwich, Norfolk
It is easy to picture this scene: a craftsman stuck in a small, dark workshop; so focused on the task at hand, he has nowhere to expand the business and grow to its full potential; there is simply not enough room to shine.
Goldsmith David Coe was working in an environment just like this, before he was offered an opportunity to start afresh and bring his expertise into the 21st century. Richard Albrow, from Albrow Jewellers in Norwich, invited him into larger premises at his shop; David could finally think about expanding the business.
“Although the banks saw great potential in my idea, they were not prepared to support me. But one of the managers suggested I tried Foundation East. “It was a real leap of faith for Foundation East, but they saw the potential” – says David. “The cost of the move, new benches and the laser was high, but the extra help from the loan from Foundation East helped make it possible.”
Valerie Jarrett, Business Loans Manager for Foundation East said: “David needed to provide a solid business plan and cash flow projection and this looked achievable. I then recommended his application to the loans panel. Foundation East is not a computer, but rather a committee of business people and professionals who have invested their own money in Foundation East and understand what it is like to run a business. They approved the application and we are delighted to see that David has gone from strength to strength.”
The funding enabled David to invest in the latest technology, including a computer-generated design programme and a laser welder which allows for a much more intricate work than older methods. Consequently, he was able to substantially increase the range and amount of work he does for clients, which include antique shops and high-end shops in London and the Midlands. This has a significant positive impact on his turnover.
David currently works alone, but business is now doing so well that he is looking to take on an apprentice. He hopes the extra help will enable him to concentrate on a relatively new interest – designing jewellery using computer-generated images.
Where they are today
David is still working with Richard Albrow and he is developing a strong reputation on the London jewellery scene, particularly since doing work on a broken early-Victorian necklet. Once restored using the newly acquired laser welder, its value rose from £3-4,000 to a price in the tens of thousands.
He said: “I am excited by the future now. I have got my old enthusiasm back for work and life.” Then added: “Most people who start their own business struggle, but, with Foundation East on your side, whenever you need help you only have to ask. They are always there on the end of the telephone.”