Launched in 2016 by Elliot Bishton, Engravers Guild of London is a personalised gift retailer with a heritage going back to the middle of the 19th century. We spoke with him to find out more about the business, his inspiration and ambitions for the future.
While Engravers Guild of London represents a new beginning for Elliot, there’s no doubt that its success is rooted in a rich family history of producing high quality, luxury products. His family has been involved in the manufacturing industry for jewellery since the 1850s and he is the fifth generation to enter the giftware market.
Partnering this heritage with an understanding of the modern consumer and their appetite for a “heightened gift experience”, Engravers Guild has achieved some impressive success in just two years.
Ultimately, Engravers Guild was created to fill a gap in the personalised gifts market, bridging a demand for the value-added service from high-end brands with the value-driven approach of mass market online retailers. As Elliot explains: “We intended to breach this divide by delivering beautiful products through the convenience of an online platform.”
Today, with the rise of automation and swift technological development, the client experience has become an important consideration. Across the business world it is becoming clear that consumers now want tailored solutions, and bespoke services. Nowhere is this more true than in the luxury sphere, where the experience economy has become a dominant driver in the travel, tourism and retail sectors.
Elliot agrees, commenting on the effect of this trend on his company. “There is certainly a growing demand for experiences and for customisation. The ‘experience economy’ is one of the few success stories of the last few years and, while Engravers Guild would never be considered as a pure-play experiential business, we do take our cues from broader market trends. We don’t just think about the finish of the engraved item in itself, but the total gift experience. Each touchpoint of an Engravers Guild gift – from the presentation packaging, to the wrapping, to the personal gift card – is designed to create a moment to remember when opening. It’s something we hope to further develop in the coming months and years.
“Equally, there is no doubt that the trend towards personalisation is increasing across the board. Where a set of initials on a product was once so unique that it could sell itself, the customer is now looking for so much more. New technologies and techniques are beginning to come to market and we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible.”
Whilst technology has been a cornerstone of Engravers Guild, its ultimate success is built on a commitment to the highest quality of engraving to achieve a luxury gift. “Of all the thousands of gifts we send out every year, no two are the same. Each gift has to be individually engraved, and the degree of personalisation on each one brings its own set of challenges. Our website has been designed around the creation of the bespoke engraving, with all personal messages first previewed online before proceeding to purchase. A range of systems and custom technology then supports the fulfilment of the order ensuring the customer has a seamless experience from finding our website to receiving their item.
“However, there is only so far technology can go when dealing with such a bespoke product. There is no short-cut in hand-finishing every item and it comes down to our skilled engravers and dedicated packing team to make each gift beautiful for the recipient.”
Moving on, Elliot takes a moment to detail the role of his staff in forging the firm’s reputation in this notoriously competitive sector. “The aspiration to create the best personalised gift experience sits at the very heart of the company. This standard is held by everyone in the business. If there is anything that anyone feels can be done better, then we like to think we are agile enough to be able to incorporate that into our systems fairly quickly. We are a small team that believes passionately in what we do and we protect our reputation very closely.”
As Elliot concludes, this passion remains crucial to Engravers Guild as they look to expand their product line and grow into new markets over the course of 2019. “Being a young company, we decided to focus our efforts on a narrow product selection. However, going forward, it is a priority for us to expand our offering and add new categories of gifts. Hand in hand with this will be the development of the website and our technical capabilities so that we can try to position ourselves as an industry leader.”
Contact: Elliot Bishton, Founder
Company: Engravers Guild of London
Address: 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AX, United Kingdom
Telephone: 020 3488 0004