A jewellery designer who has created custom-made pieces for HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as celebrities such as Catherine Zeta Jones, Sting and Andrew Lloyd Webber, has opened a new gallery in Llandeilo to showcase her latest bespoke designs.
Mari Thomas, founder of MT Jewellery, has utilised £362,000 worth of funding from NatWest to purchase and refurbish the gallery space in The Old Castle Hotel on Rhosmaen Street, a far cry from her early days when she operated out of her parents’ garden shed.
The gallery will house Mari’s jewellery collections alongside a rotating showcase of more than 35 of the finest award-winning Welsh and international designers. It will also provide a consultation space for design commissions, as well as a fully-equipped jewellery workshop area. Customers will have the chance to watch the qualified jewellers, including Mari, design and make the collections on display. It has already been visited by Dame Judy Dench who received an exclusive first look.
A contemporary jewellery designer and goldsmith, Mari established her first workshop in 1998 and, with her work proving ever popular, launched MT Jewellery in 2012. During her career she has won numerous design awards including the Gold Medal for Craft and Design at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, and her work has appeared in Vogue, Tatler and Hello! magazines.
MT Jewellery now turns over more than £287,000 a year, employing six members of staff, and Mari hopes to add a further two employees to the team before the end of the year.
“The new gallery provides a unique space in which to showcase our unique jewellery designs, as well as the craftmanship which goes into every piece.
“Without the funding from NatWest I would never have been able to secure this space. They were extremely supportive and really understood what we are trying to achieve as a business. The whole process has been so simple and so quick – I never dreamed we would be officially launching the space already.”
Paul Dunne, relationship manager at NatWest, said: “Myself and the team at the bank wish Mari all the luck in the future of the gallery. It was great to work alongside such a talented designer.”
NatWest Broker Business Development Manager Mark Dobson supported the deal activated which was referred from Omega Commercial Solutions Ltd.