Find out more about our Director and her passion for jewellery

Wed 28 Nov 2012

Find out more about our Director and her passion for jewellery

Here, behind the successful Norfolk jewellers, Donne Kidson shares her special memories of her special pieces.

Donne Kidson, Director of Francis Wain

“My fascination with beautiful jewellery was inspired by my wonderful grandmother. She is a very determined, hard working lady who never fails to surprise us. I have always looked up to her and admired her passion for life. She used to let me play with her collection when I was a small child. I remember being captivated by two rather exceptional diamond cluster rings in her jewellery box and, cheekily, asked if I could have them when she died! Granny was of course flabbergasted and a little surprised I dare say, but nevertheless promised me that one would come to me and the other my cousin. Although she threatened we would have to wait many years for them, and I am most grateful we have! There began the family joke and the threats we’d be written out of Granny’s will if we misbehaved.

To my small child's eyes they were simply beautiful, sparkly playthings but as an adult I now appreciate how such pieces become family heirlooms to be passed from generation to generation to wear and to treasure.

So, having sparked my love of jewellery, my dear Granny has continued to feed my passion over the years. When I was a teenager, she gave me my first job as her “secretary” and opened my eyes to the world of business. Every morning at 11am we would break for tea and toast and have a natter about what she expected me to do that day. During one of these morning meetings she presented me with a yellow gold pearl ring– it was one of the ones I had sat and played with as a child. She had a wonderful philosophy of work hard and enjoy the rewards. When I finished my A levels and was faced with the daunting question of “what do you want to do ?” and “Which university“ – I had absolutely no idea. Being the driving force that she is, Granny then presented me with an airline ticket and told me to go to the University of Life. After much saving, and endless waitressing hours that’s exactly what I did.

During my travels, I met up with her in Gibraltar. At this stage I had not seen her in sometime and it meant so much being able to catch up.

I have so many memories from that trip but one of the most treasured was my lesson in buying jewellery. We couldn't resist the temptation to pop into a beautiful little jewellery shop. I decided I was going to treat myself and so spent ages pouring over the lovely pieces trying to decide what I wanted to buy – and what I could afford! I eventually choose a three stone sapphire and diamond cluster ring – Everytime I wear it I remember that day fondly. That's the beguiling thing about jewellery – every piece has a story or a memory behind it which makes it so special to wear.

Growing up with an inspirational woman like my Grandmother behind me, taught me to set my goals high and never stop working for them. I noticed so many similarities of character and flamboyance between her and Edward, when I first started work at Francis Wain,. It made working with him great fun, as well as a constant learning curb.

On one of my first buying trips, to Italy with Edward, I fell in love with a Picchiotti Diamond band. I saved for three years to buy it. It did not take long for Edward’s passion to inspire, determination and dedication to his business to well and truly rub off on me.

I cherish the thought that, if ever one of my sons comes to marry, that band may start its family journey from my finger to their wives' or daughters' and be as treasured by them as it is by me. And when one of Gran's superb diamond rings finds its way on to my finger, it will be a precious reminder of a remarkable, generous and extravagant woman who will be remembered with love for generations to come.

The stories these pieces hold only empowers their beauty and our love for them.”

  • I just wanted to say a very big thank you on behalf of both Debbie and I for the race day on Saturday. I thought it was such an excellent day and we had such fun. We both thought how very well planned and organised it was and a credit to the business. Read more

    Debbie & Simon Wilson

  • A Perfect Superb Fantastic day out. Well done to you all. Wishing you success in all you do. Thank you so much for the invitation.

    Joseph & Maralyn Gromett

  • Thank you! Lovely day with lovely people. Exciting to go racing, all good fun until the coach got moved and we waited and walked everywhere to find it. Never mind - great day off! xx Read more

    Roland & Jane LeRoy

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