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Fifty years for G&T

Forget the G & T's, they will undoubtedly be cracking open the champagne at the London company, G & T Jewellery which celebrates its 50th anniversary in business in 2004.

G&T was founded in 1954 by Issac Tajtelbaum, although semi-retired, still takes a keen interest in the business today. The company, which is now headed up by his son, Mendel Tajtelbaum (or Mr. Tee, as he is known), has seen many changes in its long history.

According to an article in the November, 1979 edition of British Jeweller & Watch Buyer, a forerunner of this publication, when G & T began manufacturing its modest line of hand-set, marcasite brooches delivery dates in the trade were a good 12 months ahead. The company stunned its customers by offering (and keeping) delivery in four weeks! Fast for the times, but still a far cry from the just-in-time delivery service it offers today.

Flexibility and the willingness to adapt its production to suit the prevailing market is undoubtedly the key to G & T's longevity. Shortly after its inception it branched out from marcasite into 9ct. gold. Making brooches, earrings, charms and rings it rapidly increased its workforce to 30. The next move was into coloured stones and diamond jewellery, until in 1979 when it celebrated twenty-five years in business it was employing some 35 staff and many outworkers and offering its customers over 3,000 different products.

Another undoubted key to G & T's on-going prosperity is its loyal team of staff, several of whom, including sales executive, George Heller, foreman Frank Brookfield and order processing manager, Phodu Koulias, have been with the company for over forty-five years. However in line with many of its competitors G & T has gradually slimmed down its manufacturing base in the UK and now employs just a small and highly-skilled team at its North West London workshops.

New silver range

Whilst twenty-five years ago all G & T's production was in the UK, it has, in recent years, moved much of its manufacturing to China, where it is in partnership with a local and well-established factory. Its most recent venture is the production of a comprehensive range of contemporary and trendy silver jewellery, which includes rings, pendants, bangles and bracelets and will be shown for the first time at Spring Fair Birmingham. Another new line, also being produced in China, features mother of pearl. (Stand Hall 17 Stand J38)

So what is the secret of G&T's on-going success?

" We work very hard to treat our customers with respect. We are honest and reliable; we don't let people down and we aren't greedy - we have passed on our savings from producing abroad to our customers. But above all as our 50th Anniversary Brochure shows, we have moved with the times,"

says Mr. Tee.

This Article was written by Mary Brittain for the "Jewellery in Britain" magazine.

 
 

 
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