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It has been a stressful couple of days in the Lily Blanche studio as I try to fit in everything that needs to be done before I go on holiday to ensure the staff manning the studio while I am away are properly supported. There has been that familiar sense of rising panic and inevitably anything that can go wrong has gone wrong. I've felt like a rubbish boss, mother, wife... Even the dog is looking at me askance.
We all love a bargain. There is nothing nicer than finding something you've been hankering after on sale. I'm the same, but increasingly I've become sceptical about the endless discounting the big retailers engage in. It doesn't feel fair when brands boost the price by 25% just to be able to offer a 20% markdown to unsuspecting customers. The two for one offers in supermarkets are fuelling waste and endangering the health of our children. We've become so conditioned to gravitate towards the sale item, we don't always appreciate the psychological manipulation involved.
When I first established Lily Blanche I made a resolution. We would treat our customers the way I would want to be treated in an ideal world - with respect, with honesty and with integrity. I knew we wouldn't always get it right - and we haven't - but we would always strive to delight and surprise our customers and when we got something wrong, we would act as quickly as possible to make things better.
When it comes to pricing our jewellery, I have tried to keep our prices as low as possible for as long as possible. It is important to me that the price you see when you click on an item is the price you will pay at the check out. Everything is transparent. No hidden costs. I'd rather give all customers free chains, lovely packaging and free UK shipping than give random customers occasional discounts. I feel confident that our prices are lower than our competitors and our quality and craftsmanship is higher - often much higher. If we don't offer what a customer is looking for, we will point them to a competitor who does.
Having said that, I know that every pound or dollar or euro spent on a Lily Blanche product is hard earned and we are always grateful when customers choose to shop with us.
All VIP customers (those who sign up for the newsletter) receive a special discount code in the run up to Christmas and at another time of year. We also look to add value in other ways for VIP customers. They hear first if a highly popular, out of stock item is back and they hear about new collections and collaborations. If you would like to sign up to the newsletter, we promise not to bombard you with emails but we will try to make it worthwhile.
To become a Lily Blanche VIP, sign up here.
When we haven't been swooning over Rufus Sewell's world-weary Lord Melbourne or declaring "I am beyond peaches" with the back of our hand pressed melodramatically to our brow a la the wronged and dying Lady Flora, we've been star struck by the costumes and jewellery in the ITV mini-series Victoria. The imperious Jenna Coleman carries off tiara after tiara, Star of Empire brooches and gobstopper diamond necklaces with aplomb, not to mention the Imperial State Crown - all 7lbs, 6oz of it.