Thursday, 28 April 2011

Fashion Rambler meet Jonathan Stoner, MD Phillip Stoner

As the now infamous JLo song goes (kinda), I was fooled by the rocks that Phillip Stoner's got, I’m still, I’m still, craving them alot. True to the song too is the story of the brand, first they had a little now they have a lot, but they certainly know where they came from (Bradford).

I met with MD Jonathan Stoner at the company’s new flagship on the Avenue in Spinningfields the other day. Jonathan (no, not Mr Stoner) is a lovely guy with a hands on approach to his diamond company, working 6 days a week on the shop floor (doing what, I am not sure) and rarely taking holidays. Jonathan took over the North West diamond and platinum specialist twenty years ago after his father built it up from a small independent to a chain of well respected jewellers.

When asked about the recent openning of their latest flagship in Manchester, Stoner said: “Manchester seemed like the right move.” Sitting alongside international fashion brands like Armani and Mulberry the Phillip Stoner store in Spinningfields certainly looks the part. However, how might a company specialising in diamonds survive the choppy waters of the recession? Stoners answer: “i took the company more upmarket”....Ok... Now sourcing direct from New York, Mumbai and Hong Kong the company can retain quality and remain competitive - method in the madness it would seem.

The company has grown year on year and serves as an example within the retail sector that whilst the highstreet drowns for the high end it’s plain sailing. Or not quite, as the case may be, Jonathan was quick to point out that the brand and the team have worked very hard “much more than we have had to in the past” to keep sales coming in and diamonds exchanging hands.

One of the ways that Phillip Stoner are working hard is with New and Social Media. A transactional website, backed up by a new Twitter feed and Facebook is putting premium jewellery on the Google map. I asked how sales of jewellery starting at £2,000.00 fared on the notoriously faster paced and lower priced world of etail, the answer: they don’t.  Phillip Stoner introduced the new Italian brand TiSento into the online mix to bring the price point down to meet with the virtual customer piggy bank.

A fabulous brand with a plan for the future, look out for Phillip Stoner.


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