With over 30 years in the jewellery industry Allen really is a master of his trade. From a farmer’s son who helped milk the dairy herd with his parents on the farm in Staffordshire, to the successful business owner he is today. Learning the basics of jewellery making whilst at King Edwards School in Lichfield in a general studies class, to progressing to an Art and Design course at Stafford College to a BA course in three-dimensional design with an emphasis on jewellery and silversmithing from Sheffield Hallam.
Allen then went from having a workshop made out of an old chicken pen on the farm to acquiring a unit at Ridware Arts Centre. At that point, Allen also lectured part time at Burton College and went on to employ one of his students who showed he had a natural talent – he still works for Allen 28 years later!
In the early 1990’s Allen moved to Heart of the Country at Swinfen where he has remained ever since.
“Heart of the Country has been a perfect location for my business, creating a stylish and relaxed environment for our customers.“
At our gallery located within Heart of the Country we specialise in the unusual. Allen’s bespoke collection pieces are real showstoppers as well as being timeless and classic.
Experienced in the Exceptional
Since 1986, Allen has lead a team of designer-makers who all work on the jewellery collections and commission pieces. This allows us to give design and technical advice to customers when they are visiting us, advising them on the suitability of stones and settings to help their ideas become a beautifully-crafted piece of bespoke jewellery. With our onsite workshop viewing gallery, we give our customers the opportunity to view firsthand our jewellery being made on the premises. The jewellery within our gallery starts from £45.00 upwards and therefore our jewellery collections here at Allen Brown Jewellery do cover a range of budgets and styles for our customers.
Our upstairs workshop is where our bespoke and commission pieces are made. It is a hive of activity everyday with our team busy designing, and making and making our bespoke collections, creating commission items for customers, or remodelling and repairs.
Our talented team all specialise in different parts of the business and bring their own talents.
We start the week with a workshop meeting discussing the jobs in hand and deciding whose skill set is best suited to do which jobs. We work very much as a team with two full time employees Charlie and Harriet and two part time employees Helen and Lynn. Charlie has been with us for 28 years, Harriet 18 years, Helen 18 years and Lynn 15 years. Our newest member of the team is Justine who makes sure the shop runs smoothly.
Allen loves stones especially coloured diamonds. The stones, often lead to Allen’s design ideas. Often as soon as he sees a stone it suggests a design. He loves liaising with the customers, working with them to develop an idea, create a piece they are going to love and enjoy wearing. More frequently now, we reuse some of their old or inherited items to create a new contemporary piece that carries forward all of the sentiment from the loved one they inherited it from.
As well as the pieces Allen and the team create for sale at our gallery, we can also create bespoke commissions working to your brief and budget. Maybe you have a favourite stone or birthstone you want using or want a piece made for a special occasion.
For each bespoke item and collection piece, we sketch and develop several different ideas, taking traditional techniques and settings one step further to discover the most appropriate piece for each stone so that its shape, facets and colour are displayed to the best advantage. The result is stunning pieces of precious jewellery both beautiful and practical, making them timeless favourites for our customers.
Often it’s hard to image and visualise what we can do with old pieces of jewellery. We have lots of before and after examples to show what we are able to do. We also try and make the process as smooth and easy as possible for you.
A customer will visit our jewellery gallery with inherited jewellery and we can discuss with them the possibilities and the type of jewellery they would like from the remodelling process. From there, we discuss what is possible with the item. Normally customers then leave it with us and over the next 2/3 weeks we produce drawings with the customer then revisiting the gallery to look at the sketches produced by Allen and discuss the various options.
At this stage, the customer chooses the sketch they prefer and are welcome to make any amendments and then we can quote on an exact price for the works to be undertaken. Once the drawings and quote are approved and agreed with the customer, it is only at this stage that any jewellery is very carefully dismantled. It is very important for us to be aware of the sentimentally involved within the jewellery and wherever possible we use materials from this in the new piece.
For the entire process, from the customer walking in the door of our jewellery gallery to collection of final item, it typically takes between 6-8 weeks, 2/3 for the drawing creation and around 6 for the making depending on the work involved in the remodelling process.
Feel free to bring in any items of jewellery you would like repairing and we can do this onsite in our upstairs workshop.
If you would like your wedding rings or any jewellery items cleaned and refinished we also offer this service and can normally do it whilst you wait. Many of our customers take a walk around the village or have a coffee whilst they wait.