Work & Life: Biagio the Jeweller
Biagio the Jeweller has been the go-to store for diamonds and beautiful jewellery in Oxfordshire for the last 20 years, and it’s easy to see why when your read how hard he works! Biagio’s energy levels are exhausting me. pass me a solitaire to revive my spirits, will you?
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BIAGIO
6.30 I’m up and getting my youngest daughter Ava ready for school. It’s always two espresso coffees – I’m just in the habit of not eating before 12 – and then head on to the Bicester or Thame store.
9.30am Once we open up the first thing I do is take a look at the New York diamond exchange and gold prices because I’m constantly buying for the shops and getting the best prices for customers commissions. I’ve just spent the last three days committed to looking for four specific diamonds!
10am I’m given updates by the the team on the jewellery currently being designed/made up for customers and repairs. I check on this throughout the day, talking to our diamond and mount setters, and sourcing loose diamonds and gemstones for customers to look at. It takes up a large part of my day, because we can be looking after up to 220 clients in any one week. I try to spend a lot of the time on the shop floor, meeting customers by appointment or often those who just call in. This is my favourite part of being a jeweller, seeing the customers come into my store. I’d never want to own a store and not be 100 per cent involved in it.
12pm If I’m lucky I’ll grab a sandwich for lunch. In Thame, it’s pretty easy – I walk down to Umberto’s deli which is just great (and of course Italian!) and literally four doors down from the Thame store. Other than that I’ll knock back about 50,000 cups of nespresso vulloto through the day. I don’t believe in too much coffee!!
2pm Generally afternoons are the time when I sit and study the jewellery designs we’ve completed, and then I’ll either invite the customers in to see them, email the CAD drawings or chat on facetime – whatever is more convenient for them really.
6pm I could work all day and night but I believe in separating work and family life so I always leave work at 6pm after the store closes. When I get home I like to cook – I find it relaxing and it takes me far away from the stresses of the day. I make my own gnocchi from scratch, and use fresh ingredients for all recipes. I cook Southern Italian – I love a fresh tomato sauce or a fresh minestrone soup, though often I’ll choose a Rioja wine.
7.30pm We sit down as a whole family, always – I have 3 children, Gloria and I always chat with them about their day rather than ours. I love eating together I switch off from work and focus on the most important thing which is my family.
9pm. I’m back up into the office to work. More of everything – designing, ordering, emailing abroad , calling the US. Anyone who runs their own business will know that there is always more to do.
I only truly switch off when I’m on holiday. My favourite place in the world is Venice staying at Le Cipriani – because you might as well do it in style if you’re going to do it! I also absolutely love Ischia (above) where my family comes from. It’s my home away from home.
Biagio The Jeweller, 2 Greyhound Walk, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3DY. Tel: 01844 217001; Pioneer Square, Bicester, OX26 6FA. Tel: 01869 25232. biagiothejewellers.com