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This afternoon we are talking jewellery, as I invite Tony Pugh from Browns Family Jewellers onto the blog to tell us more about his business. Tony is the Operations Director and Watch Specialist at Browns Family Jewellers and it is clear from reading his interview that he has a HUGE passion for his work and really loves what he does. Browns Family Jewellers are a Yorkshire based jewellers with 6 shops spread across the whole of Yorkshire. However with their ever-expanding website, their clients are now world-wide, with customers as far away as Japan. Their ethos of ‘Providing the Highest Quality of Service’ with ‘honesty, integrity and trust’ has kept the business at the forefront of the jewellery world, and what sets them apart from others in their field. Read on to find out more from Tony.
‘When asked, our customers say it’s our unique approach to providing the highest quality of service, through our extensive knowledge and personal touch, which makes Browns Family Jewellers their first choice. Our online store has naturally inherited our core values to bring you the best experience of buying and selling jewellery online. Browns Family Jewellers has 6 well established stores throughout Yorkshire and, as a company, pride ourselves on the proficiency of our staff which have been with our company for many years.
The majority of our hard-working staff have served over 25 years in the jewellery industry, which means you can be assured that no matter what service you require, you’ll be greeted by a knowledgeable and reputable professional as soon as you step in store. Our duty of care doesn’t only apply to in store purchases, all of our customers online will be provided with a personal aftercare service – offering you any help and advice when you need it by contacting us to talk to a friendly and honest member of our team.’
What made you start your business?
I have always had an interest in Men’s Watches from an early age. Shortly after leaving school in Huddersfield, I was given the opportunity to start my career in the Jewellers industry. I started working for Browns Family Jewellers over seven years ago now. Simon Brown approached me to help run a new and exciting business.
When did you start?
I started working in the jewellery and watch industry in 1980s. I was involved from the very start at Browns Family Jewellers which was established in 2011. Browns family Jewellers was formed from a previous business dating back to the 1830s.
Where are you based?
I personally live and work in Harrogate town center with my beautiful wife and pets, which is lucky for me as our Browns Family Jewellers head office is based in the center of Harrogate. We also have six retail stores Harrogate, Sheffield, Leeds, Barnsley, Mexborough and Halifax.
What sort of geographical area do you cover?
We operate through 6 stores across Yorkshire, but our web department is operating on a global scale. We have sent our products worldwide and this is becoming a bigger focus for us as the business develops.
What were you doing before?
My twenty years previously before joining Browns was mainly in the retail jewellery industry. I worked for one of the big multiples for many years, both at store level and operations.
How would you describe your style?
Personally, I make sure everything I purchase is both high quality and ethically sourced. I am an absolute watch fanatic and love many of the brands we currently sell here at Browns. My collection is ever growing.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Apart from marrying my lovely wife and having one of the most maintained gardens in Harrogate, our Website is definitely one of our biggest achievements! To have grown from a tiny local operation to a large scale international website is rewarding. To think customers are looking at our Yorkshire products from Japan is mind blowing! Also we have seen a massive spike in trading over the last year and to achieve this which a with a loyal family business is what gives me the most amount of pleasure.
What makes you different to your competitors?
First and foremost, we offer top end products at accessible prices. But we are also friendly and approachable Yorkshire people. We don’t want people to feel they cannot pop into a branch for just a browse or inspiration. We also stock products that are popular on social media, which would be otherwise difficult to source from a reputable source.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy being part of the small family team here (but then I have to say that!) Every one of my colleagues brings a different talent to the table. My passion is seeing all the vintage and new styles of Men’s watches and looking inside the mechanical works of a timepiece.
What sort of couple do you think you attract?
As we sell jewellery for all budgets, we’d get couples of all ages and walks of life. With our business heading in a direction that allows people to custom build engagement rings, it’d be interesting to see people getting creative and designing really unique pieces!
What would be your ideal wedding to work on?
A 1950s style wedding with lots of dapper suits, Gatsby style fashion and of course lots of men’s watches!
Can you give me some information on your pricing structure?
We have jewellery and watches to suit all ranges and budgets. We have recently launched our “Engagement rings under £1000” section of the website
We also have finance options, 48months at 0% for our jewellery, so there really is no excuse not to pop the question!
What is your ideal way to spend a day off?
I enjoy gardening, long walks around Yorkshire and most of all I love watching Leeds United!
What can you never leave the house without?
My ipad and headphones.
Who would be your 5 dream dinner guests dead or alive?
Elvis Presley, Muhammed Ali, Paul Weller, the Queen, Winston Churchill. A perfect mix of personalities! *NB Tony tries to swap out Paul Weller a couple of times and can’t bring himself to do it.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
I’d go on an around the world cruise and of course I’d buy all my work colleagues a drink!
If you weren’t running your business, what would you be doing? Animal Charity Work. I have worked closely in rehoming cats for the Cats Protection. Of course, I’ve kept 3 of them!
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