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Retailer Spotlight – Regina Rowe Jewellers

Regina Rowe Jewellers are a fine jewellery retailer based in Torquay, Devon. We spoke to Michelle Stoddart from Regina Rowe to find out a little more about them, their remarkable journey and recent store opening.

Tell us about what your business specialises in?

We are a fine jewellery retailer aiming to provide our customers with unique jewellery which they won’t find elsewhere on the high street. Our offering ranges from silver through to gold and platinum fine jewellery and everything in between.

 What is the best thing about running a family business?

There are so many things!  Carrying on the legacy of the family name in Torquay with a new shop has been extremely sentimental to me, especially as it wasn’t that long ago that I wasn’t remotely involved in the business and my parents had plans to close it all down once they fully retired. Now we’re entering the next generation and I couldn’t be more delighted. It’s fantastic working with my dad, David Rowe, learning from all his decades of knowledge and then mixing that with my take on business. We have an amazingly loyal team working closely with us which I think you get from being a family business.

Why was the decision made to open a new store?

For the last nine years, the shop had been operating as a Pandora Franchise Store. As the franchise was coming to an end, David and I had to make a decision as to what to do next. We had a high street store, and a fantastic team who we desperately didn’t want to lose.  Coupled with that, our sister store, Conroy Couch Jewellers which specialises in second hand jewellery, had a wealth of new fine jewellery which just wasn’t reaching its potential with the younger demographic. Putting all those factors together, and it just felt like a easy decision to make!

What would you like to achieve with Regina Rowe’s opening?

We want to provide our customers with a unique and personal shopping experience and to understand our ethos that beautiful jewellery should be celebrated every day. It is an extension of our individual personalities and style and, as such, should be worn and enjoyed on a daily basis. Our aim is to win over the younger demographic and as such we have designed our store to be inviting and welcoming in order to reduce any shop door anxiety!

Please tell us a bit more of your story and the meaning behind the stores name?

Whilst I grew up surrounded by the family business – my parents David and Regina Rowe owned Gordon Rowe Jewellers which had been founded in Torquay by my grandfather – it was never my ambition to follow them into the family business.  I left Torquay to go to university and ended up as a financial auditor based in Reading, living near Oxford with my husband and young children. Whilst I was on maternity leave in 2019, Regina was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away 6 weeks later. During that first month after diagnosis, I quickly agreed to step into the business and learned the ropes of the bookkeeping and behind the scenes work in order to keep the businesses operational. Fast forward 5 years and I’ve never looked back. When deciding on a name for the new store we pondered many different ideas, but when “Regina Rowe” was suggested, it was just perfect and I couldn’t think why we hadn’t thought of it sooner!

How would you like to see the business grow in the next 12 months and beyond?

We’ve only been open a month so we’re very much still working hard to grow our brand recognition in the local area and find our feet as a new store. Over our first 12 months we want to start to grow a reputation for providing excellent customer service along with beautiful and well-made jewellery. Our aim is to be THE place to go to for new jewellery.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the CMJ?

Being a part of CMJ makes running a jewellery business so much easier. We now have two stores who are members and the connections made are really invaluable. It’s a great way to find new suppliers and get to know other retailers with whom you can share tips and advice. With the launch of Regina Rowe, setting up accounts with CMJ suppliers has been such a quick and easy process. They’ve introduced us to suppliers outside of the purely product side of the business as well as providing some fantastic offers.  For example, we’ve connected with a social media management platform and a finance company for ITFC – areas which were completely new to us.

Would you recommend that other retailers should join the CMJ?

Absolutely! As well as the points I’ve noted above, from a purely practical point of view, as someone who looks after the finances of two businesses, having the bulk of suppliers grouped into one monthly remittance really does make the monthly payment run a lot simpler as well!

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