Resort jewellery brand takes off with Virgin Atlantic
DOLLIE'S ON THE TROLLEY: The Cleethorpes jewellery brand, modelled right, has been taken on by Virgin Atlantic. Top, Karen Webb-Meek and Katie Webb-Jones, the mother and daughter team.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 14 Feb 2018
CLEETHORPES’ Dollie Jewellery is flying high after securing a listing with Virgin Atlantic.
Richard Branson’s airline is to stock the brand alongside the likes of Pandora and Thomas Sabo.
And for managing director Karen Webb-Meek, it is a second business venture with an enterprise from one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, as she earned her first big break with Virgin Sun supplying swimming lessons at the holiday resorts they served 17 years ago.
It went on to employ hundreds of staff, teaching more than 40,000 children under the Swim Kids banner.
Mrs Webb-Meek said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with the Virgin brand, its an honour to work with such a fabulous forward-thinking, global company, I’m definitely a big fan of Richard Branson!
“It just goes to show that a mighty company like Virgin is definitely adept at spotting a mutually beneficial business opportunity – no matter what size you are, you just have to share a similar business ethos.”
Dollie Jewellery is manufactured in North East Lincolnshire, and while it was Mrs Webb-Meek's brainchild, it was launched by the Company of Master Jewellers in 2016 under a licence agreement. It was moved back into independent control in June last year.
“We have taken Dollie in a new direction since re-taking over the band,” Mrs Webb-Meek said. “We have a fresher and lighter feel, and we are working hard to make sure retailers and consumers realise we are a British, ‘home grown’ brand. We don’t try to be something we are not, we are proud to be a small independent brand, made on the Lincolnshire coast, and once people find out about our heritage, we have found customers actually warm to that. There are few brands that can say they are actually made in Britain. We have some really great UK retailers who are doing very well with the brand, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also explore other markets at the same time – Dollie is definitely going global!”
Sold from her In The Pink jewellers in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, as well as Nathaniels in Ashby, Scunthorpe; Colonia in Bailgate, Lincoln, and other stockists nationwide, sales director Katie Webb-Jones said: “We use local craftspeople to make all of our bracelets and rings, and source our bespoke charms from casting houses in Birmingham. We have learned a lot over the last few months, particularly the requirements of the airline industry, and we continue to try to use UK companies to source all of our supplies.
“We continue open new accounts weekly, we have a super agent, Martin Lovett at Magnify brands, who has lots of interest for our brand globally, so while trading in the UK has really only just started, there is no reason we can’t look further afield at the same time. We have lots of interesting things in the pipeline!”