In the words of Jon Snow, winter is coming. As we say goodbye to long days and hello to cold nights and Christmas lights, many businesses will be welcoming the festive season. Since our record-breaking summer of 2022, UK businesses have been holding their breath in anticipation.
After the whole world seemingly stopped and we had more physical contact with our sofas than other human beings, ‘normal’ felt like somewhat of a fever dream. But as the claps for the NHS died down and we were allowed out more than once a day, things began to feel like they were getting back to ‘normal’. But while Boris was holding parties at Number 10 and Hancock was familiarising himself with his new surroundings, ‘normal’ began to drift away again. Christmas was canceled and we were all ordered to stay at home thus restarting the ‘Happy Birthday hand washing. We had influencers telling us to keep our heads held high while sunning it in Dubai, detached from reality. Whatever reality was. But of course, with every cloud comes a silver lining. People had more time to spend on their hobbies or build their businesses. The time we spent with family, is unparalleled. The world did in fact, keep ticking over. Until, bit by bit, masks weren’t mandatory, hugs were allowed, and eventually, eating inside wasn’t a foreign concept.
Unfortunately, many businesses went bust with the rest barely hanging on. Almost two years later and the high street looks like the shelves of Woolworths on Black Friday many moons ago, gutted from the inside out. Empty shop after empty shop, windows covered in newspapers, ‘To Let’ on every corner. Costume jewellery designer, Simon Wilson is one of many who had to literally up shop. Once owning five stores spread across London and Glasgow, put all his eggs in one basket. The basket in question is his Flagship store on Fulham Road in Chelsea. Wilson creates costume jewellery that has clearly stood the test of time. “Times are hard, but things will get better” - says an optimistic Simon Wilson, as he reminisces over the ‘golden days’.
Simon Wilson is (by name) one-half of the costume jewellery company
Butler & Wilson. With over fifty years of experience and customer loyalty under his belt, Wilson has decorated both pop princesses and real princesses. Diana, Princess of Wales was a frequent customer and enjoyed wearing B&W’s costume necklaces, brooches, and whatever else made her eyes sparkle with excitement.
But how has he done it? How has Simon Wilson managed to keep Butler & Wilson afloat? Is it his designs? His loyal customer base? Or simply luck. I can imagine it’s all three. Having been a costume jewellery designer for almost fifty years, Wilson has produced timeless and iconic pieces that are collected by thousands. With a loyal customer base, which is very rare nowadays, people dedicate rooms of their houses to their Butler & Wilson jewellery and accessories. Keeping up with the times, while maintaining his unique sense of style, Wilson has managed to get through what was arguably the toughest times for businesses in recent years.