What Lynn Rodgers doesn’t know about exotic, semi precious stones probably isn’t worth knowing. Over the course of the last 20 years, originally inspired by her travels to India, Lynn has built up an encyclopaedic knowledge of jewels and, with friends constantly telling her that she had an eye for something special, she decided to set up her jewellery business, Rodgers and Rodgers, with daughter Kate. Lynn’s previous career with an education charity must have seemed another lifetime when she and Kate saw their pieces featured in New York Fashion Week in September.
|Lynn and Kate started Rodgers and Rodgers three years ago from Lynn’s home in the Peak District. Now with five employees and a studio in the barn, the enterprise is going from strength to strength. Along with a team of experts, from an on-site silversmith and other craftsmen, as well as bullion and stone contacts across the world, Rodgers and Rodgers makes exquisitely designed and quality finished pieces.|
‘Kate trained in fine art painting at St Martins,’ explains Lynn, ‘and was previously working as a fashion photographer. She definitely has a strong creative streak, although we both do design work.’
The company recently opened a London office in Hatton gardens. ‘It’s nice to have a London address,’ says Lynn, ‘and it enables us to touch base with our London customers one to one.’
|This customer focus is one of the reasons that Lynn is a supporter of the Country Living Fairs. She knows how important both trade and consumer shows are to her business. ‘Country Living’s been great,’ she says, ‘both in terms of the Upper Street Events team and also Country Living magazine. The shows attract exactly the sort of people who wear our jewellery. We really focus on customer delight and our customers, many of them regulars who come back to see us at the shows, appreciate our quality, exotic semi precious stones and our design, which is constantly evolving.’|
It also, says Lynn, gives Kate the chance to work with new customers and regular clients who may want to put together an entire look incorporating key pieces from the Rodgers and Rodgers collection; something the St Martins’ graduate has an exceptional flair for.
With such a variety of beautiful stones to choose from, one couldn’t blame Lynn for being unable to pick a favourite – but there is one that, for her, stands out. ‘Labradorite.’ She explains. ‘It comes in so many different hues – it’s really opalescent – it shines in so many different ways.’
The challenges of a mother/daughter team are doubtless sometimes more noticeable than others but Lynn and Kate have always shared a love of good design and are completely committed to the business. And while they speak every day, Kate is based in London for the majority of the time while Lynn oversees the team at the Derbyshire headquarters.
Both Lynn and Kate will be doing all the Country Living Fairs between now and Christmas, starting in London, then going to Scotland, where they are co-exhibiting with Casseopia, and then to Harrogate.
‘It does sometimes feel as though we’re running on a treadmill!’ says Lynn, ‘but in order to keep expanding you have to.’
Stones from the Rodgers and Rodgers collection: