Souvenirs and surgery inspire gem of a business

2015-09-02 06:00
Gillian Roffe’s jewellery collection Bijou Exquisite goes on sale this month. 
Photo:
CHANI KRIEL

Gillian Roffe’s jewellery collection Bijou Exquisite goes on sale this month. Photo: CHANI KRIEL

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WOMEN’S Month may be over, but a woman’s work is never done. Gillian Roffe is one such woman to prove this sentiment to be true.

Roffe, the owner of Port Elizabeth travel agencies, Uniglobe XLBay Travel and Club Travel, who underwent two knee replacement surgeries last year, has just expanded her brand.

Although travelling is close to her heart, while on bed rest the business woman had plenty of free time to take up reading.

However, when her husband, David, purchased books about gems for his wife, he never knew she would use it as research for her new business venture.

“My body may have been restricted, but my mind was sharper than ever.”

Using her sharp mind, Gillian decided to open her own jewellery collection, making use of the gems and stones she had purchased over the years.

“I have always loved travelling and at least twice a year, we visit overseas countries and islands and I always have to bring a souvenir with me.”

Gillian could not pinpoint the reason for her souvenir always being a gem or a stone, said she found them fascinating.

“After reading the books, I took a look at my private collection and was truly shocked at how much stones I had acquired over the years.”

Gillian decided to approach the then unemployed goldsmith Marnic Tate, to partner with her. The two have been talking jewellery ever since and their dream has now become a reality.

The jewellery collection, which will be open for public purchase from this month, has been named Bijou Exquisite.

In her private workshop Tate explained how grateful she was to Gillian for including her in this venture.

“I can now let my creativity flow. Gillian has been very accommodating,” said the goldsmith.

“She is very supportive and when she does something, she does it right,” said Tate.

For more info about Gillian’s collection, send an email to gillian@xlbaytravel.co.za.

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