Jessica McCormack is a globally recognised luxury fine jewellery brand that offers diamonds for the modern woman, and their magnificent heirlooms for future generations are meticulously crafted at their London Townhouse. Here, RLI spends some time with company CEO Colleen Caslin to discuss their approach to creating pieces that will stand the test of time.
A British luxury brand with an international clientele, the luxury experiential environment of Jessica McCormack at 7 Carlos Place reflects the lifestyle of their clients. The space connotes a forgotten era of luxury in the most breathtaking way, and offers clients the chance to curate their own collections that reflect their individual style through Georgian techniques and modern and antique diamonds with a contemporary design.
Known as the ‘Disruptor’ in the fine jewellery space, Jessica McCormack is an early adopter of using Instagram and social media to connect with clients and has waiting lists for iconic pieces. Their approach to jewellery focuses on craftsmanship and authenticity and their pieces extend past the traditional parameters of fine jewellery, utilising Jessica’s four C’s which are Collect, Craft, Curate and Community.
Discussing the market conditions since the onset of Covid-19 back in 2020, Jessica McCormack’s CEO Colleen Caslin highlights that there is always market share to be captured in challenging market conditions – however they are brought about.
“The luxury market has been shifting so rapidly since the pandemic first hit – but we have pushed ahead with our brand developments by building out a bridal space within our Townhouse and growing our workshop. In the first lockdown we also pivoted our approach to digital when we couldn’t physically see our clients. We continue to bring newness to the marketplace, and that is key because brands that do not have something really unique will struggle to succeed post-pandemic.”
Personalised identification and a multisensory experience are paramount to captivating customers in the luxury segment, and 7 Carlos Place, the home of Jessica McCormack, is a truly unique example of this.
Through Jessica’s keen eye for interior design, the retail space feels like a home for employees and clients where contemporary art fills the walls, sharing the space with jewellery, antiquities and objets. It is a boldly experiential space which the company sees as the future of luxury retail.
Recent additions to the site include a built-out bridal salon, which was completed in a suppressed market in which most marriages were postponed during the worse phases of the pandemic. The company took this opportunity to complete this salon to ensure they were ready for the return of customers who were eager to get their marriage preparations back on track.
Meanwhile, earlier this year they partnered with Citizens of Humanity to retail jewellery within their Aspen concept store – Humanity and in April they launched a pop-up space with Matches.
Away from this current flagship site, the business does have one eye on global expansion, and they are aiming to achieve this by focusing on their growth engines – their digital channels, their community and their innovations within the product and sustainability sectors.
“Right now we are taking an omni-channel approach to retail with a focus on our e-commerce and digital platforms, and how this works in tandem with our experiential bricks-and-mortar store. We are also activating pop-ups and planning global trunk shows with retail partners to connect with clients in strategically selected markets,” explains Caslin.
The Jessica McCormack brand has always been a design-led company and creatively they are always pushing the boundaries and recognise that in luxury – clients want newness alongside signature pieces. “It’s about trying to connect with, and relate to a community in unique ways, which we do here by merging art and interiors with jewellery. Given the close ties Jessica and the team have built with customers, our bespoke commissions remain a huge percentage of the business.”
Having built the business on social media, this platform allows the business to engage with their close-knit, real-life community on a genuine level, offering them an incredible platform for brand storytelling. Being connected to their clients instantly through social media has meant they can build brand awareness and extend their reach and audience at an exceptional rate, meaning it has been a pivotal factor in the company achieving their growth plans for the future.
Sustainability is a major topic in the industry right now, and Jessica McCormack is creating a new business model that addresses this importance. At the heart of this plan is their repurposing work where they take jewellery from clients and breathe new life into it.
“We have launched a Fairtrade gold wedding band collection and we will continue to use Fairtrade in new collection moving forward. In addition to this we are closely monitoring and finding ways we can reduce our business’s carbon footprint,” highlights Caslin.
Looking to the future, the business has ambitious growth plans, so their biggest challenge currently is maintaining their 45 per cent growth year-on-year. Over the past five years, they have grown 800 per cent and in 2021 they increased business by 62 per cent versus the prior two years. “Our challenges, like most luxury houses are capacity and supply chain. The supply chain disruptions still continue today due to Covid-19, which is impacting our 2022 deliverables. Some immediate solutions to this are to build out our workshop, increasing to 14 bench jewellers to increase productivity as well as recruit talent,” says Caslin.
At its core, Jessica McCormack is a brand that designs jewellery for the truly modern woman. Conscious of the demands placed on women, their focus is on wearability, and giving their clients ‘day-diamonds’, bringing luxury to their everyday life, whether that be in the boardroom, at the school gates, in the gym or out to dinner.
“Our pieces are future heirlooms that both reflect style now and carry echoes of the past. The approach we take to our stone sourcing – placing emphasis on selecting stones intuitively and based on feeling – is the same approach we take to connecting with our clients – with warmth, with an understanding of what really matters and with a desire to deliver memorable, recognisable Jessica McCormack style and pieces. We aim to deliver unparalleled customer service, whatever the purchase,” concludes Caslin.