Kiwi goldsmith cuts deal with Chinese jewellery giant
A goldsmith has made a big leap from the village to signing a deal with a major Chinese jewellery company.
The Village Goldsmith, run by Ian Douglas, opened in Kelburn, Wellington in 1981.
Now, Douglas and his five jewellery designers are capitalising on the rapidly growing bridal market in China.
"Because China is westernising, the bridal market is just exploding," said Douglas.
The deal is with giant Chinese jewellery company Hiersun, which has more than 200 stores and plans to open 100 more in the next year.
"For us to have forged the link with this particular company, and with their strengths and their power in manufacturing and distribution, it's a superb link for us," Douglas said.
"We're bringing some product to the table that's very different to what other jewellery designers are doing around the world. And strangely enough, that's the last place we thought we'd get that recognition, from China, but that's what's happened," he said.
Douglas said the Village Goldsmith will design for the firm and get paid in the form of royalties - a scheme that "put us on the map".
And China is not the last stop on the map Douglas will go to for growth.
According to Douglas, he is also in talks with companies in Britain and North America.
"We can't trade amongst ourselves here in New Zealand, that's not going to do anything. We need to engage with the rest of the world - I think that's the key. I don't think it matters what scale or size your business is, you need to be thinking globally."
Douglas currently employs 14 staff, which he expects to double by next year.