Those looking for the perfect gift or an item to mark a particular milestone in life, anything from a wedding to a birth or a graduation, can never go wrong with an piece of jewellery, and for close to 150 years JJ Barber Jewellers, situated on Patrick Street in Fermoy, has been a source of inspiration for those searching for the perfect item.
For the past 11 years the business has been run by Simon Barber, who recently spoke to The Avondhu about the wide range of jewellery and watches available in store, as well as about his own unique enterprise, Findings Jewellery, a fascinating collection of handmade and original pieces made by Simon in his workshop.
The range includes rings, broaches, earrings and pendants, all created from old or broken pieces of jewellery and a variety of metals, often fused together to create something new and inspired by old memories and personal stories.
“We’d always been looking for something a little bit different for the shop, I enjoy making things anyway so it went from there. The shop has been there for nearly 150 years so we’ve got an amount of old broken clocks and watches, interesting old tools and bits of metal, things that have been amassed in the building forever.
“It’s nice to try and use those in different ways. You never know until you start looking at things and starting laying them out how they’ll look,” he said. As well as Simon’s own unique creations, customers are welcome to bring old pieces of jewellery to be reborn as something new.
“We do a lot of commissions where people might bring in an old ring or an item that means something to them, then we’d try and incorporate it into a new piece and give it a new lease of life. We’ve turned rings into pendants and pendants into rings. We’ve developed our own styles and ways of doing things. People like to get something that’s a little bit different, something that’s not mass produced in a factory.”
As well as in store locally, Findings Jewellery is available in Cork Craft and Design in Douglas. “It’s something that’s been growing steadily, it’s nice to see customers returning and recommending other people. There’s a lot of word of mouth and people coming back, looking for an item to match something they got before.”
JJ Barber Jewellers is the oldest retail premises still operating in Fermoy, established along what is now O’Neill Crowley Quay in 1869. Simon, who in the past studied horology, is the fifth generation to run the store, having taken over from his parents in 2005. Three ‘diligent, hard working and attentive’ staff work alongside Simon, including one who has worked for no less than three generations of the family in Fermoy. “There’s a lot of people coming into the shop who remember my dad, there’s still a few people who would mention my grandmother,” according to Simon.
Alongside the unique Findings Jewellery collection, jewellery and watches for all occasions are available in store. Engravings are available on items in store, while Simon said customers are beginning to make their preparations for Christmas gifts already. For your chance to win a €150 voucher for JJ Barber Jewellers, simply visit the JJ Barber Jeweller Facebook page for more details and your chance to win.
If you have an idea for a commissioned item in the Findings Jewellery range, call in store to meet Simon and his team or contact them on 025-31214.
Contact Details: JJ Barber Jewellers, 6 Patrick Street, Fermoy, Co Cork. 025-31214. Facebook: JJ Barber Jeweller | Facebook: Findings Jewellery Fermoy