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Founders Diaries: Introducing Rocks & Co owner Debby Cavill

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Rocks & Co is a UK-based high fashion jewellery shopping channel broadcasting 15 hours a day on Freeview 40, and is the English subsidiary of elumeo SE, the European leader in electronic retailing of fine jewellery.

My name is Debby Cavill, a business builder who is widely regarded as instrumental in the development of jewellery TV in the UK and mainland Europe. I recognised many years ago that high street jewellery retailing was changing with consumers looking for a different experience and better value. I also saw that buying habits were changing and that women were increasingly wishing to purchase their own jewellery.

Latest industry figures show that buying jewellery through TV shopping and online rather than through the traditional high street has grown by 15 per cent in the past 12 months. While online sales of fine jewellery currently only account for between four and five per cent of global sales, this figure is expected to grow at a more rapid rate and reach ten per cent of the global market by 2020. Online fashion jewellery sales are expected to grow faster and reach 15 per cent of global sales total in the same time frame.

Rocks & Co aired in 2008 and has developed a significant TV audience and online retail outlet. Sales have increased year on year (sales in summer 2016 were up 45 per cent on the same period the previous year).

Today, Rocks & Co is the leader in luxury jewellery through TV shopping and online retailing. The company offers exceptional quality jewellery at competitive prices, achieved by Rocks & Co handling every stage of production – from mine to consumer. The company has its own design and manufacturing facilities in Chanthaburi, Thailand – a major hub in the gem trade.

Having people on the ground in multiple locations and the company’s established trading partners has meant that Rocks & Co has direct access to the finest gemstones without having to buy through intermediaries. A certificate of authenticity is provided with every item with all precious metals being hallmarked at Birmingham Assay Office.

The overall jewellery sector is enormously competitive, subject to changing fashion trends and dominated by weddings, anniversaries and Christmas. It has also to contend with fluctuating precious metal and gem prices, international trade regulations and currency exchange rates.

I was born into the jewellery business, with my father a jewellery agent and mother working for a well-known independent jeweller. Weekends and school holidays were spent working in jewellery workshops – where I gained knowledge in all aspects of the industry including design, manufacturing and retail. When older, I attended jewellery shows across the country – taking note of what interested buyers and which designs were most appealing.

A break away from the jewellery sector saw me working for Birmingham’s first independent radio station, as airline cabin crew, running my own gift store (later sold), establishing a catering business (also sold) and investing in a wellness centre. I tehn joined an online retail outlet to better understand digital marketing before helping conceive the concept of jewellery TV shopping.

It was then about making a return to jewellery design whilst maintaining a close interest in Rocks & Co, where my son is managing director and daughter a regular presenter.

This article is part of a wider campaign called Founders Diaries, a section of Real Business that brings together 20 inspiring business builders to share their stories. Bringing together companies from a wide variety of sectors and geographies, each columnist produces a diary entry each month. Visit the Founders Diaries section to find out more.

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