Rockman opens up
Last updated: 2004-11-08
"Unique, identifiable jewellery, created through passion and intuition. These are the words of 26 year old South London entrepreneur and gemologist Gary Rockman who has just opened ROCKMAN, his first shop in North West Londons Mill Hill.
Was it something in his name that led Gary to be a gemologist? For the boy named Rockman with an Ology in precious gemstones Jewish life has always been important. Born and bred in South East London, affiliated to Catford & Bromley United, he had the usual childhood - a stint playing for Catford Maccabbi Football team and of course the obligatory FZY Israel Tour. Now a resident of West Hampstead the journey across the river has been one akin to a Barbara Taylor Bradford novel.
Gary Rockmans love of trading begun at an early age in the markets at Woolwich; working at his Grandfathers confectionary stall at weekends. It was here he developed his love of people and the gift of the gab. Mix in his fathers penchant for jewelry design, a natural creative flair of his own and the ability to listen to what people want he soon progressed to the Birmingham School of Jewellery and qualified as a gemologist and jewellery designer.
Fast forward a couple of years to Knightsbridge, land of the Absolutely Fabulous and Gary was rubbing shoulders with some of the most beautiful women in the world. Kylie Minogue, Liz Hurley, Christina Ricci, Heidi Klum, Carol Vorderman and Zeta Graff are just some of the divas he has dressed for the BAFTAS and celebrity appearances under the guidance of Gavello, jewellery designer to the stars.
Match this with a progressive list of jewellers he has worked with including Malcolm Betts, Tom McKenna, Steven Webster at The Talisman Gallery Harvey Nichols and a host of private clients he designs bespoke pieces for, including textile designer Natalie Hambro and the next logical step was to open an emporium of his own.
So what brings this chatty, quick talking, people loving 26 year old across the river?
According to Gary - There are very few independent jewellers anymore that offer a unique service based on their customers knowledge. I will provide a friendly service in an inviting atmosphere that is not intimidating and get to know my clients individually Mill Hill was the logical answer for two reasons. Firstly I know that clients will understand and appreciate the range of designers Ill be showcasing, and secondly the shop will fit in with other boutiques in the area. I welcome the opportunity to really get to know my clients and hope to provide them with the quality and service they are used to getting in the West End.
ROCKMAN has unique pieces from a host of top name designers as well as renowned jewellery companies from the UK and Europe, in particular Spain, Italy and Germany. Some are exclusive to ROCKMAN and others are only available in central London.
Designer pieces from Lola Rose and Babette Wassermans Swarvorski crystal sit amongst unique items made of precious gemstones, titanium, steel and rubber. Classic and timeless pieces through to contemporary and cutting edge are showcased with prices ranging from £20 to £2500. All you need to ask yourself is to bling or not to bling there is something for everyone and every occasion from sapphire and diamond magen davids to mother of pearl cufflinks engraved with usher and contemporary platinum, silver and gold.
With the opening of ROCKMAN on the horizon, Gary toured Asia, South America, South Africa and New Zealand in search of unique gems, exploring different uses of colour and clarity. The shop is a kaleidoscope of colour with pink sapphire, tourmaline, tanzanite and coloured diamond gemstones.
Clients are seated on bar stalls or the 50's style Barcelona chair and served drinks. Theres a book shelf where anyone can research jewellery designs or techniques from any period as well as answer any question regarding a particular gem species. Jewellery is displayed in glass cubes and frosted perspex and the whole shop with its ambient music, natural flowers, shells and candles is contemporary, individual and a welcoming haven.
For those that want the personal touch there is also ROCKMANS own collection. Gary also provides a commission service and he will happily design a bespoke piece either from scratch or from an existing piece. Other services include rhodium plating, hand engraving, watch repairs and gift wrapping.
ROCKMAN, The Broadway, Mill Hill.
Telephone: 020 8959 5821