It all began with a love story and a frustrated groom to be.

 

Durham Rose is unique even among a new breed of jewellers. The company was started by Manu and Pip in 2011 out of a deeply personal experience. Manu is a mechanical engineer by trade, and through his work he gained extensive experience using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. Before proposing to Pip, 

 

Our Full Story

The beginning was Hot Pink

Literally. Before we were Durham Rose, we were Hot Pink. As our company grew, we decided our name should evolve as well. As our offer is a bespoke service like no other, and our client interactions are really personal, we felt our new name should reflect that level of intimacy. We chose Manu and Pip’s middle names and were renamed Durham Rose.

Manu’s Quest

After visiting over twenty jewellers and trawling online sites for several weeks, Manu found that most jewellers used very rudimentary hand sketches to demonstrate what the ring he was commissioning would look like, and many were very vague about what the finished piece would really cost.

Manu’s request to add finer design details was deemed unachievable. Most of those were traditional jewellers who used hand tools to create their pieces but could not refine their sketches to reflect such details with precision. All but a few demanded payment upfront, and he would not even be able to see the final piece until a number of weeks later, giving the jeweller a fair amount of leeway in interpreting the ring design.

Manu did find a few jewellers in or around London who were able to use 3D design programmes, but the costs were very high and he was unable to change the design himself. Any changes deemed possible would incur extra labour charges and most definitely be frowned upon.

A bit of an a-ha moment

Feeling quite deflated, Manu took it upon himself to design the perfect ring using CAD software, a process that took over 60 hours. And yet after all that effort, he found only a handful of goldsmiths who would take on his design to manufacture.

There was a silver-lining: as he had done all of the design work himself, the goldsmiths would only charge for their time and materials. This allowed for a huge cost saving, which meant he could now afford to have an open bar at the wedding! Manu proposed to Pip in 2010, with the help of 400 metres of fairy lights, a collection of (unsuspecting) friends and some of London’s finest landmarks.

They started a life and a company together

Not long after their wedding, many of their friends started to ‘pop the question’, and an element of competition sprung up amongst them to see who could out-do Manu’s elaborate, bespoke design.

Fun and games turned into a solid business idea as their collaborations became real engagement rings, computer designed by Manu using advanced CAD software but expertly handmade by traditional jewellers. A few months and several wedding receptions later Manu and Pip officially launched Hot Pink, the bespoke ring company that Manu would eventually take to the BBC’s Dragons’ Den (business seeding competition similar to Shark Tank in the USA)

Although the Dragons did not invest in Hot Pink, the company continued to grow, and as it did, Manu and Pip discovered they were not alone in their desire to create a bespoke ring that would be as unique as their love, and not break the bank. The rest is Durham Rose history, CAD designed one love-story at a time.