Meet Craig Brown of Browns Jewellers in Camberwell
Article posted: December 13, 2018
Among the trendy cafes and chic boutiques of Camberwell, an old classic proudly harks back to times past.
Browns Jewellers is one of the area’s oldest businesses but confidently faces the future offering traditional values with a modern product.
Store owner Craig Brown, the third generation of the jewellery-making family, said while the methods of designing and manufacturing pieces had changed over the years, genuine old-fashioned customer service and building trust between the business and the customer were still at the heart of Browns Jewellers.
“So much has changed in terms of technology but our customer service is still the same as it ever was,” Mr Brown said.
“We are creating something special for people and we want them to feel special. There is a bond and a trust between us and the customer.”
A proud history
When the business began in the 1920s everything was done by hand. Now designs are created on computer, but the beautiful jewellery is still handmade.
And while, unlike three generations ago, people may have done some internet research to make decisions about what they want before they come to the store, they still get a completely bespoke service.
Mr Brown, a designer, has been in the business for 44 years and loves his job.
“There is great satisfaction in designing a special piece for someone. I love to see people’s faces when they see the finished product. I enjoy designing engagement rings, but a dress ring is very satisfying to design,” he said.
“Usually they are a little more colourful and bold. I love coloured stones.
“Diamonds are, of course, beautiful but it’s great to work with colour.”
In his career, Mr Brown has designed a $150,000 ring and, just recently, a pair of $60,000 diamond stud earrings.
A reputation for quality and trust
Brown’s Jewellers is a little like an old bank – generations of families come to the store to buy that perfect piece or to have a special item repaired.
“We have customers whose parents and grandparents shopped here,” Mr Brown said.
“They trust us. We get people having their wedding or engagement ring made here because their mother had hers made here.
“We have a reputation not just for quality but for service and trust, and that is rewarded with loyalty.”
Mr Brown said he knows the names of most of his customers and their families.
“And a lot of their family stories. We aren’t just jewellers but the local psychologist,” he joked.
“Seriously, though, there is a large degree of trust and intimacy and that’s why people come here.”
The store repairs jewellery too.
“People leave valuable – not just expensive – things with sentimental value with us, and the fact that we are a long established, trusted business allows them to do that with peace of mind,” Mr Brown said.
“That’s a nice feeling.”
Visit the store
Shop 8, Camberwell Arcade, 600 Burke Rd, Camberwell
Phone: (03) 9882 4366.