Handmade? It’s unlikely

Top 5 Questions to ask before your hard-earned cash for (potentially) dressed up imports!

With the growing popularity of boutique brands, many proudly brandishing their “Handmade in the UK” credentials, there’s a steady supply of locally-produced gifts to choose from for Christmas.

But are they as home-grown as they claim to be?

Ana elaborates:

“As a fan of handmade jewellery, I’m sure you’ll agree that one of the reasons you love to buy it is that you’re investing in a beautiful object that a lot of time, skill and creativity has gone into, that should stand the test of time and should be guaranteed by the maker.”

She’s used jewellery as an example below, but it could apply to any accessory or brand of clothing. Here are her top 5 questions to ask before buying your ‘handmade in the UK’ gift.

To make sure you’re getting the genuine article, try asking the following questions:

How is the jewellery made? Is it really handmade in the UK? Where? And what’s the process?

So much jewellery is now designed in CAD (Computer Aided Design) and made in the Far East. Some of it is beautiful. But it’s not handmade in the UK. If it claims to be, find out for sure! Dig a little deeper.

Does the jewellery come with a guarantee? How long is it valid?

You’re investing in an object of beauty to treasure, and while silver does naturally tarnish and gold-plate is subject to wear, this should come with a guarantee. Find out if the piece is guaranteed and for how long.

Can I return the piece for an exchange if I change my mind?

Make sure you get contact details and an assurance that an exchange will be acceptable. It’s no fun realising you’ve made an expensive mistake and you’re stuck with it.

Can you re-size my ring or bracelet if I realise afterwards that it doesn’t fit?

Your finger size will vary with the weather, if you’ve been walking etc. And sometimes it becomes clear after a few days that the ring just doesn’t fit right. Make sure you’re able to exchange it, even if it means making a brand new one. This should also apply to bracelets and other accessories.

How do I keep the jewellery looking as good as possible? Do you offer a free cleaning/ upkeep service?

When you wear a piece of designer jewellery, you’re a Brand Ambassador and the designer should want to help you keep it in as good a condition as possible, including re-finishing, gold-plating and cleaning.

Keep these in mind and you’ll not only make sure you’re getting what it’s claimed to be, but should also get to know the designer better and leave with a handful of stories about them to tell your friends.

Which is what buying from a boutique brand is all about!



Ana Verdun is a fan of all things elegant and tasteful and is a lady who prefers to curate her own collection from individual designers rather than going for a High Street “Bland” as she calls them.

She designs and makes all her jewellery at The Barley Mow Centre in Chiswick, west London. You can also find her distinctive handmade collections at www.anaverdun.com

Ana Verdun Jewellery, 10 Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4PH, 020 8995 4722 ana@anaverdun.com