Azendi marks its 30th anniversary with Heart of Yorkshire collection
- Credit: Archant
How a beautiful York Minster window inspired a best-selling jewellery collection
Couples have flocked to York Minster for years to test the veracity of a romantic tale that claims they will be together forever if they kiss beneath the Heart of Yorkshire window.
Now, when they promise their hearts to each other, they can pop round to neighbouring Low Petergate and actually live up to their lovestruck pledge.
Renowned Yorkshire jeweller Azendi, which is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary, launched its unique Heart of Yorkshire collection last year and has seen its customers falling ever more deeply in love with it ever since.
‘Our store is in the shadow of the Minster,’ said chief executive Lynsey Cooke, ‘so it seems only right that we have a collection that reflects our close relationship with this amazing landmark.’
The Heart of Yorkshire collection, inspired by the Gothic cathedral’s beautiful stained glass and originally sketched by Lynsey herself, was initially devised as a set of three pendants, each carefully crafted from Azendi’s signature sterling silver.
But it has proved so popular that it now comprises 15 highly covetable pieces, including rings, bracelets, pendants, earrings, a charm and a brooch, some with delicate touches of rose gold.
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‘We have a lot of tourists coming in to our York store and they love the idea that they can take home an extra-special memento of their visit,’ said Lynsey. ‘But the Heart of Yorkshire collection has not just proved popular with tourists – locals love it too. There’s a real sense of pride in the Minster, the window and in Yorkshire.’
It helps, of course, that the jewellery itself is stunning. But that should come as no surprise as Azendi has built an enviable reputation since its launch in Headingley, Leeds, in 1989 as a specialist in quality contemporary classics crafted from sterling silver, gold vermeil, precious stones and genuine freshwater pearls.
It now has three stores – in Low Petergate, York, King Edward Street, Leeds, and Station Square, Harrogate – and its collections are available nationwide through independent jewellery retailers, department stores and online at azendi.com.
And, as it approaches its milestone birthday, it is also venturing down new retail routes inspired by its successful collaboration with York Minster.
The Heart of Yorkshire collection has proved so popular in the cathedral’s own shop that it has commissioned Azendi to create two new designs inspired by its iconic Rose Window and the symbol of the cross keys, emblematic of St Peter’s keys to heaven (the minster is actually called the Church of St Peter).
This highly productive partnership has led to a host of similar projects in the pipeline for 2019 which are, as yet, strictly hush-hush.
‘It’s a very exciting time for us,’ said Lynsey. ‘With more major collaborations on the way and lots of new ideas for our own inspiring collections, we’re very much looking forward to a wonderful anniversary year.’
Azendi refreshes its range at least six times a year, so there’s always something new to see alongside best-sellers like the Heart of Yorkshire collection.
‘People often buy one piece, either for themselves or as a gift, then come back for more to add to their collection,’ said Lynsey. ‘They obviously like our focus on design and quality, but I think our award-winning customer service also draws them back.
‘A genuine smile and a cheerful “good morning” go a long way, especially if you want to develop a trusting relationship. Our staff get to know our customers very well and ensure they feel welcome and valued every time they visit us.’ u