Anna Seelye, Hamilton-based creative designer and owner of Frances Adrian Jewellery Design, founded her business thanks to Covid-19.
The jewellery expert realised, in the wake of Covid-19, there was a need to offer a jewellery design experience beyond the traditional “bricks-and-mortar” store model.
“This business is something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a long time and my experience in the industry in both New Zealand and London has taught me a lot about what people are looking for when having a special piece of jewellery made.
“Following the birth of my son and the Covid-19 situation last year, my circumstances changed, as they did for so many others. I made the decision then that this was something that I wanted to do and I did it.”
In June 2020, Seelye built a website, set up a few social media platforms, and the word about Frances Adrian Jewellery Design began to spread.
When choosing the name for her new start-up, Seelye kept it sentimental, much like a lot of her now customers did.
“The names Frances and Adrian are both family names and are very special to me,” she said.
Seelye has over 16 years’ industry experience working as a jewellery designer and valuer, she is also a UK qualified gemmologist and diamond grader.
“My passion for all things gems and jewellery runs deep, with my business focusing on providing a totally personalised one-on-one experience, from initial contact to final product.”
Her services include bespoke commissions, engagement and wedding jewellery, remodels, jewellery restoration, and valuation services. All her pieces are New Zealand made by a team of highly experienced craftspeople.
“I have witnessed first-hand the frustrations felt by many struggling to find what they are looking for in ready-to-wear ranges found in traditional jewellery stores.
“My aim is to remove that initial barrier and put people at the centre of the experience right from the outset,” she said.
One of the things that’s important to Seelye, when it came to her business, was being assessable beyond a store.
“People have busy lives and busy schedules, so being able to work in when is best for them makes the process nice and smooth.
“The way we work has changed since the outbreak of Covid-19. We are now used to conducting business via email and Zoom or Skype calls and that’s often my first contact with people. It’s a model that works well for both my clients and I.”
Seelye said she loved remaking jewellery for people who had something they once loved and wanted to keep, but found it was in need of a new look. “I recently had a lady come to me with her existing ring and an idea to give it a more traditional, timeless look. So, we went over some designs to give it a refresh and we had it remade. I love that process and the emotional impact it has too, it’s nice for people to use what they already have, it keeps its sentimental value and gives them something they love.”
To find out more about Seelye and what she offers you can visit her website: https://www.francesadrian.co.nz/