Ian Douglas announced Finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010

Ian Douglas says his greatest personal achievement is having a stable marriage with a loving and supportive wife and family.  No doubt the ring he created to consecrate the union must have been something rather special.

His two allied enterprises—The Village Goldsmith and Inspired Jewellery—design, manufacture high end jewellery for domestic and international markets.  His focus is on innovation, uncompromising quality and outstanding customer service.  His ambitions now are to take his creations to the world stage.

While Ian Douglas’s creations are enduring, his 29-year old business has also survived what is usually the death knell for luxury goods—namely two major recessions.

“Many other jewellers never survive one, let alone two, such severe downturns.  By staying true to our values, being quick on our feet and believing in our service and our innovation,  we kept going and growing.”

Initially Ian Douglas fulfilled all roles for all people in building his vision of creating ‘the best jewellery store in New Zealand.’  For 10 years he worked 70-80 hours per week as designer, craftsman, salesman and manager.  Taking meagre drawings allowed his venture to cement its reputation and financial viability. 

Today the Wellington-based operation has one store with nine staff and a dedicated office for Inspired Jewellery.  In the last 18 months of so-called ‘down turn’ turnover has gone up in a significant way. 

Similarly, going global has helped create golden opportunities to confirm both the world class qualities of design and manufacturing.  Initial discussions with the CEO of De Beers in New York proved the marketability of the jewellery—the ‘fine print’ detail on royalties stopped further progress.  Negotiations are underway internationally with other possible partners and, based on the De Beers feedback, prospects are shining.     

“Peer recognition and client feedback have certainly helped us achieve our goals in New Zealand.  The aim now is to build the brand to be recognised as the best jewellery store in the world.  Lofty but not impossible.”