IN CONVERSATION WITH ANN – MARIE AT PHOTOGEM
Photogem is an exciting new range of bespoke jewellery that truly captures your special moments. Described as a modern take on an old-fashioned locket, Photogem offers a stylish and eye-catching way to keep your loved ones close.
Photogem wedding jewellery is a really delightful idea that enables a bride or groom to feel close to loved ones that can’t be with them on their big day.
Phogems can be incorporated into wedding bouquets by attaching them to base of the flowers or can they can be place centrally within a special flower, which we think is such a touching display of affection and remembrance. They can also be made into cufflinks.
We’ll pass you over to Ann – Marie at Photogem to explain more about her unique and delightful work.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
My name is Anne-Marie Randall and I am a portrait photographer in the Cotswolds. I have a wonderful husband two daughters, a dog, a cat and 6 chickens.
I made myself a piece of photographic jewellery containing images of my two girls. Photography clients kept asking me to make one for them and so a new business grew but using other peoples photos.
What motivated you to start your business?
My new business is called Photogem. The reason I made the first piece of jewellery was because my eldest daughter was growing up so fast and it felt like she was slipping away from me. Wearing her image made me feel closer to her and my other daughter and now my father too who sadly passed away last year.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
My Photogem day starts with checking email and downloading new orders. Being a photographer I am able to look at photographs that are sent in and then photoshop them a little to make them the best that they can be.
I print out the images and then set them with special resin into specially created pieces of fine jewellery that includes necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, lockets and keyrings. The jewellery has to set over three days in a dust free and very still enviroment.
Once I am happy that they are ready I wrap each piece up in a beautiful box and ribbon then send it off to my customer. In all it takes about a week to complete.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
When I receive an order I take the greatest of care with their image. I was recently asked if I could set some ashes into cufflinks for a wedding. The father died only a few weeks before their big day. You can imagine how awful that must have been. I felt an incredible sense of honour to be asked to do that.
The cufflinks had ashes set on one side and a photo on the other. I still can’t get over how special that felt. I know that the groom felt like his father was with him as he took his vows.
A lot of my wedding jewellery has been made to allow people to feel close to loved ones that can’t be with them on their big day. I have made lots of wedding bouquet photogems that are tied around the base of the flowers or can be attached to the centre of flowers instead.
These can then be used afterwards to attach to bracelets or as keepsakes. I have made necklace lockets for brides with their mother or father inside again to feel close to them.
I guess as a lot of wedding couples are getting married a little later in life it is only natural that some of our nearest and dearest will not be with us anymore. I feel that I am performing a very special and niche service.
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
I also make a lot of jewellery with new babies and small children set inside as beautiful gifts for birthdays and celebrations. I know some husbands have gained huge brownie points with their wives for surprising them with a photogem on a special occasion.
I am in the process of designing gift certificates too so that the recipient can choose their own image and that makes a wonderful gift.
What have you got planned for the next 12 months?
In the next twelve months I hope to create an in store product to allow my jewellery to be sold in a bricks and mortar store. It’s tricky because everything I make is bespoke but I have lots of ideas I am going to be working on them.
I hope to be exhibiting at a number of events and just making more people feel close to their loved ones through wearing my Photogems.
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by my mum who finally did what she wanted to do at age 40!