Ian Douglas Featured in 'Exceptional' as a Finalist in the 2010 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year.

"Fifteen exceptional entrepreneurs from diverse industries have proven that dreams are achieved, and success won, through vision and determination. A central theme runs through their stories — all have the desire and tenacity to create exceptional businesses and are passionate about the future.

Ian Douglas

The Village Goldsmith Limited 

The business

His two allied enterprises — The Village Goldsmith and Inspired Jewellery — design and manufacture high-end jewellery for domestic and international markets. His focus is on innovation, uncompromising quality and outstanding customer service. 

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

Today the Wellington-based operation has one store with nine staff and a dedicated office for Inspired Jewellery but global opportunities are starting to sparkle.

The thought

“I believe in creating opportunity and not waiting for it to come to us. For instance we’ve won the national Jewellery Design Awards for the last two years running. We did this by providing our jewellers with two extra weeks of leave in which they could design and create their own pieces, fully funded by the business.” 

“I realised my jewellery had true global potential. The key was to turn a successful domestic custom operation into an international manufacturing and distribution business.” 

“A dilemma facing jewellers worldwide is the commoditisation of the product. Our designs transcend the common ‘discount’ approach to retailing. Our product sells on its design and quality with clients not questioning the price. This results in greater volume and higher margin.

Worth its weight in gold

Ian Douglas says his greatest personal achievement is having a stable marriage with a loving and supportive wife and family. In all life and business dealings integrity and honesty prevail."


Source: Ernst and Young - Exceptional 2011