I have to pinch myself when I think it’s two years since Dad died. How time flies. I mean really how times flies! So much has happened yet it only seems like yesterday I can hear him buzzing with new ideas. It’s been a challenge to keep the business going but I've also really enjoyed it and I thank my lucky stars every day to be I’m doing what I’m doing. So, on this two year anniversary I thought it would be a good time to sit back, remember him and look how things have changed over the last couple of years.
THE PAST Clearly he’s not going to be forgotten easily as I've heard, and still hear, some great quirky stories about him. One of my favourites being from the Craft Shop in the RX Manchester when Gail told me how much she loved receiving the parcels he sent as there was always something quirky in them like lyrics to a song on shredded pieces of paper, a quotation or a poem of some kind. We recycled packaging to keep postage costs down and one day a parcel arrived in Manchester in a Weetabix packet with one Weetabix left inside. On the package he’d written “Jewellery with fibre”! I’d love to hear more stories if anyone has them.
I get a lot of comments on the name Very Colourful Jewellery, and that it’s exactly what it says it is. Dad started with the company, Michael Peckitt, and then introduced Very Colourful Jewellery a few years later. As he was setting it up we were racking our brains for a catchy name. Time was tight so as a temporary name (and with tongue in cheek!) we chose Very Colourful Jewellery deciding we could change it later. Of course time went by, the brand started to build awareness and before we knew it seemed like a good idea to keep it. I can’t think of a better name for it now and, like him, gets straight to the point. “VCJ” has a nice ring about it too.
THE PRESENT After getting to grips with running the day to day parts of the business I started exploring different designs. I think VCJ works so well and keeps its spontaneous appeal is because we've never worked to pattern or preconceived ideas. There are many influences of course and those of you who know me know I love creating the abstract designs and experimenting with colours. The majority of our work has always leaned towards the more abstract designs so it was with a certain degree of caution that I introduced some more feminine and delicate designs. Thankfully they have been a success and work well the traditional pieces as the painterly nature and visible brushstrokes keep them in line with the rest of the brand.
You may have also seen the recent introduction of scarves which have had great feedback. I’ve taken the jewellery designs from the painted aluminium sheet and digitally printed onto 100% silk or chiffon. As with the jewellery I’ll only be printing a small run of each design to keep them unique to those particular pieces. It’s important it fits with the philosophy behind VCJ that it is handmade, hand painted and exclusive. I’m delighted with how they’ve turned out and the new element it adds to VCJ.
I was always a bit sceptical of Twitter and Facebook and social media in general but it’s opened several doors to me and connected me with some brilliant and talented people I otherwise wouldn't have met. That can only be a good thing. If you’re social media savvy then you can see links at the top of the page. I’d love to hear from you.
THE FUTURE Who knows what the future will bring! Recognise opportunities, grab them and enjoy them!
As long as people continue to enjoy wearing brightly coloured things created by a brand that genuinely cares then I am more than happy to continue making them, and still would if they didn’t!
I appreciate all the support over the years, not just the last two but the last 14 when Dad started the business back in 2001. (I know, we’ve been around for ages!) His huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm are a lesson to live by and in the knowledge that the VCJ brand is strengthening all the time feel that it will be here for a long time to come.
Thanks for reading and if you have time I’d love to hear your thoughts on VCJ.
Miranda Peckitt, VCJ owner