Chenevix Jewellery, a pretty boutique situated on Woodbridge’s Market Hill, houses the workspace of qualified gemmologist and talented jewellery designer, Susannah Chenevix-Trench
Well known for designing and crafting bespoke jewellery, often remodelling existing pieces, Susannah focuses on creating a collaborative relationship with her clientele, ensuring that the design meets their desired specifications. She succeeds in producing jewellery that are both practical and eye-catchingly beautiful.
Originally working as a senior executive in the UK’s top international relocation company, Susannah moved to Hong Kong in 1988 to pursue her lifelong passion for jewellery and design. She qualified as a gemmologist and jewellery designer in 1993, receiving prestigious certifications, including Fellow of the Gemmological Association and a Pearl Grading Diploma from the Asian Gemmological Institute.
Having set up her business in 1997 Susannah currently works from an airy and light design studio established in 2010, situated above her boutique, Chenevix Jewellery, which overlooks Woodbridge’s picturesque medieval Market Square. The well-travelled designer states that most of her inspirations stem from the ‘natural blends of colours found in Suffolk, whether it is in the fields, forests, sea or sky’; she has an admiration for all things beautiful, and this translates into her designs. However, her greatest inspiration lies in crafting pieces of jewellery that her clients fall in love with.
Having worked as a consultant gemmologist in the Far East, Susannah possesses an extensive contact list of trusted gemstone and pearl dealers. Due to the bespoke nature of her work, the gemstones sourced from these suppliers could be rare, unusual or even museum-quality, resulting in a truly unique finished product. When working with clients on bespoke pieces, Susannah adopts a very personalised, hands-on approach, all the while keeping her own inspirations in mind.
Customers may have an idea that requires recycling a gemstone from an out-dated piece of jewellery and transforming it into something more wearable or they may wish to design a piece from scratch. As great emotional and sentimental value accompanies each request, Susannah takes great care in reflecting these attributes during the design process. She ascertains her clients’ individual styles, taking into account the practicality of the jewellery in question, before creating scaled drawings and wax carvings to show the client a realistic image of the potential finished article.
The process of evolving a piece of jewellery from an idea to a finished product can be long and elaborate. Sourcing the right stones, such as a piece of opal from a specific region, can take time, but customer satisfaction is a very important priority. Most designs take five to six weeks to complete, allowing for the production and hallmarking procedure, but Susannah has been known to create pieces in just a week, whilst some designs have been on going projects that have taken months to accomplish.
Many of Susannah’s clients – an astounding 95% – return to Chenevix having been satisfied with their initial purchase, and it is obvious that a high level of trust exists between the designer and her customers, so time is not often an issue.
Susannah explains her business philosophy: ‘We aim to make buying jewellery a thoroughly relaxed, enjoyable and stress-free experience, providing a top quality personal service in an informal, calm atmosphere, making our customers feel special no matter how large or small the purchase.’ Susannah works with precious metals, including silver, gold and palladium, to produce her jewellery. This ensures that each piece is durable as well as beautiful and unique. Many of the pieces stocked at Chenevix are one-off designs, so customers have the chance to see for themselves the quality and craftsmanship that go into Susannah’s work. Chenevix also stocks a handful of carefully selected brand names with pieces ranging from enamelled cufflinks, to bridal accessories, to Tahitian and Indonesian South Sea Pearls.
A simple stroll past the shop window engages shoppers with a glimpse of the talented design-work available. Not one to shy away from ambition, Susannah has lots of exciting endeavours in the pipeline. Already this year, she has commenced the design process for several commissioned pieces including a pair of diamond drop-earrings, a silver opal and black onyx ring and a gold necklace with pastel-coloured stones.
Coming up this year is an exclusive red carpet commission; however, Susannah is no stranger to the world of celebrity, having had her jewellery worn by famous musicians and actors at prestigious events including a royal wedding. Her creations even made an appearance in the classic British romantic comedy, ‘Love Actually’ – so you know you’re in good company!
Susannah designs all types of jewellery, with her most popular items being rings and earrings. Upon attending a free consultation appointment, you will be welcomed into a relaxed atmosphere where you can discuss the prospects of making your vision a reality, whether it is a special diamond eternity ring, a set of classic cufflinks for a milestone birthday, or a stunning engagement ring for a special proposal.
Browse Chenevix Jewellery at 40 Market Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 4LU, phone for an appointment on 01394 384053, or visit the website at www.chenevixjewellery.co.uk