Hello, firstly I would like to just say thank you for visiting my website. I’m Paul Haywood FGA DGA, the founder and owner of Haywoods Jewellery.
That is me in the picture, I had just been awarded the Gwyn Green award (which explains the big grin!).
I thought I would use this page to give you a bit of background on me and also Haywoods Jewellery as I have always been fascinated by reading and hearing about how people and businesses got to where they are, so I decided to do my own history page!
Starting Haywoods Jewellery!
I don’t have a traditional story of how I got started in the trade as I never did an apprenticeship or worked for a jewellers, in fact how I got started was more good fortune than planning.
After a few years working in dead end jobs after leaving school, I decided to get myself a “proper” career and as I have always been pretty good with numbers, something in finance seemed like a logical option. So I went and studied business at college before I began specialising in accountancy.
While a potentially financially rewarding and stable career choice, I found it incredibly boring and in no way could I see myself doing this for the next 40+ years. So while I took a short break from my studies, I took a job at a pay day loan company (remember those?) and while the majority of the work was pretty tedious, once aspect of the job I loved was buying in gold. As soon as I had been trained, I developed gold fever!
This lead me to getting a job with a pawnbrokers as I hoped to learn more about jewellery and gemstones but we mostly dealt in electronics and while I loved the hustle of the job, I wasn’t learning what I wanted to, so I decided to go out there and start my own business and although my original goal was to become a pawnbroker in my own right, I ended up staying on the jewellery side of things.
Building an Online Empire
Ok, online empire might be a bit of a stretch but in 2012, I launched Haywoods Jewellery, an online jewellery retailer that specialised in gold jewellery and over the next 4 years, the business grew year on year and evolved from a small ebay store to my own ecommerce website.
In 2015, I started to expand the product range I was offering and started including Diamond and Gemstone jewellery as evolution is key to business growth but I didn’t like the fact that I only had a very limited knowledge about the stones that I was selling, so it was time to go back to school!
In the summer of 2015, I decided to that I wanted to learn more about the gemstones that I was selling, so I decided the enrol on the Gem-A’s (Gemmological Association of Great Britain) Gemmology Foundation course at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham.
I thought I knew a little about gemstones prior to starting the course but as it turns out, I knew pretty much nothing!
Over the next year, I would study and then pass the Gemmology Foundation course before progressing on to the full Gemmology Diploma, which I passed in the summer of 2017. Following on from this, I studied the Gem-A’s Diamond Diploma, which I passed with distinction in 2018.
Since attending my first Gemmology lesson at the School of Jewellery, I have achieved the following:
- 2017 – Gem-A Gemmology Diploma
- 2018 – Gem-A Diamond Diploma – passed with distinction
- 2018 – Recipient of the Gwyn Green Award for the finest results achieved in the Gem-A Diamond Diploma in the greater Midlands area.
- 2020 – GIA Applied Jewelry Professional
To the Bench!
Following the completion of the Diamond course in 2018, I knew that I wanted to learn more jewellery related skills and I was also getting a bit bored of just buying and selling jewellery and I found myself at a bit of a crossroads as to what I wanted to do with my life, career and business and I had two options:
- Go down the pawnbroking and possibly valuation route
- Start learning some hands on jewellery skills
Option 1 meant going back and working for someone else and after 6 years of being my own boss, this was a pretty challenging concept to deal with, so I decided it was time to get my hands dirty!
Now when it comes to practical hands on skills, the one that had always fascinated me was Stone Setting, this is the process of putting the stones into the pieces, so I decided to enrol on a short stone setting course to get started and while I found the challenge incredibly daunting, the process (after the initial shock!) was very fun and the more I did, the more I enjoyed it and started realising what the possibilities were.
Since finishing the course in 2019, I have continued to practice and improve my skills so that I can get to the standard that I want to be.
Following the stone setting course, I decided I wanted to learn CAD design, so that I can bring some of my ideas to life and enrolled on another course at the School of Jewellery, which unfortunately was cut short due to events that happened in 2020. However, this has not stopped me continuing to learn on my own and as with my stone setting skills, this is continuing to improve.
The Future of Haywoods Jewellery
In 2019, I decided to close down the ecommerce part of my business as I just wasn’t really enjoying it anymore and decided to focus on improving my skills, so that I can potentially start creating more custom jewellery in the future (fortunately, I have another business to keep me going!).
If you want to follow my progress, that may also include learning some more traditional goldsmithing skills in the future, then follow me on Instagram @haywoodsjewellery as that is where I post my most regular updates!