GoJD plan to run a series of Meet the Artist and Artist of the Month interviews and we had a great deal of discussion around who should be first.  Eventually, (almost) unanimous agreement was reached; it made sense that the very first interview should go to Alan Hadley - aka Geti - who has been a major impetus behind the founding of the Guild.  In fact, he is Sales Director of the GoJD...

 

Okay, Alan, time to flex our nosy-muscles. We’ve put 50p in the meter and plugged in the lamp; now it’s your turn under the spotlight.
How did you get into the jewellery business?


My background since leaving school has always been in engineering. I had a company that made precision fasteners for the Ministry of Defence and shopfittings, then all of a sudden about 10 years ago, my wife at the time decided to bale out and I got divorced.

This happy incident started a chain reaction and, after meeting a jeweller in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter who asked me to make him a few rings, I set up production of Titanium wedding rings and proceeded to sell them to the masses.stingray-titanium-ring

This was incredibly hard at the time because Titanium as a metal for making jewellery out of, although not completely unheard of, was still relatively unknown.

However, I persevered and grew that side of the business enough to be able to say goodbye to the engineering components and concentrate fully on the rings.

We now produce 10,000 rings/year - the majority of which are sold as wedding rings.


So, have you had any specific design or jewellery training then?


Very little. Most of my training is engineering/toolmaker based - I use very few traditional jewellery techniques, diamond setting is the only one that I have had to go out and learn due to necessity as I like to ensure that everything I do can be achieved in-house.


We know, because you constantly tell us, that you love titanium. Can you tell us what it is you love about it?

I love all metals but Titanium is one of the most challenging to work with and brings the most satisfaction when it goes well.


Leaving Titanium out of the question for a moment or two, do you have a signature style; something that makes people look at a piece and immediately know it’s a Geti?


Well the logo on the inside of the ring might give it away :-) but, after that it has to be the quality of the manufacturing and finishing.


Well, show us your logo then!



Very nice too, clean and crisp.  To be honest, Alan, I think you aspire to the same things most of us do.  Is there part of your work that you find more challenging than others?

The most challenging part of my work now, after years of getting 'down and dirty' making jewellery and before that fasteners, is the marketing side of the business and getting the GETi brand noticed so that I can eventually take over the world :-)

Somebody once told me that marketing is 50% of a business - and I now believe that to be true. The internet has opened up whole new avenues for promotion and getting your name out which can be achieved at a low monetary cost. A little knowledge can get you a long way in this area.


What is your proudest achievement in terms of jewellery?

Seeing the company and brand name grow brings a warm fuzzy feeling to the nuts! Making bolts never gave me any great satisfaction, but making and selling your own product that is worn and appreciated by thousands hits all the pride buttons.

Are there any designers/makers whose work you particularly admire?

Erm....No.


Is there any specific technique that you’re keen to learn?

I'm always keen to learn anything new but nothing in particular - it's all on an 'as and when' basis really. If I create a design and it needs a specific method to produce it that I haven't done before, I'll learn how to do it either by trial and error or by asking somebody else.

 

Where would you like to be in, say, 5 years time?

5 years isn't a long time - I'd still like to be in business creating and innovating new designs and I'd like to see the GETi brand grow at a rate that doesn't become so domineering that it becomes boring.


What inscription would you like on your gravestone?

I wouldn't want a gravestone. I'd like to be just put out with the bins one Tuesday and perhaps fitted to the front of the dustcart like an old teddy but with a big GETi logo above.

Finally, Alan, where can we see your work?

My work can be seen in around 200 independent retail jewellers in both the UK and the USA and on many high ranking jewellery websites.

 

Not like you to hold back!  Don't you have a website?

Oh, yes!  http://www.geti.cc/

 

Thanks for your time Alan.  See, now that wasn't too difficult was it?

44 Hockley Street

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