There’s a new name in town in one of Chester’s most photographed buildings, and while C W Sellors may not yet be very well-known, the fine jewellery store is aiming to become part of the very fibre of Chester.
You really can’t miss it – it’s at the very top of Eastgate Street, on the corner of Bridge Street, right at the heart of the city and as close to The Cross as a business can get. It’s where Waltons used to be. But when the iconic Waltons decided to close after 112 years in the city, C W Sellors stepped in and stepped up, bringing its own, distinctive style to one of Chester’s main shopping streets.
The prime position of the shop and the footfall potential were two of the main factors that brought the Derbyshire-based business to one of England’s tourism hotspots.
The Chester shop officially opened at the start of June, with manager Taylor Tiplady at the helm. Working with her is repairs manager Mandy Ingleby-Jones, sales assistant Lorraine Phillips and supervisor Adam Burn. Before they were taken on by the family-owned firm, Mandy, Lorraine and Adam were employed by Waltons, so they are all familiar faces to the shop’s former customers, with almost 100 years’ experience of and knowledge in the jewellery trade between them.
Taylor has transferred management skills honed in the cosmetics trade to the jewellery industry, and along the way, they have all received training for nationally recognised qualifications.
C W Sellors started in 1979 in the Derbyshire Peak District and its firmly-established shops in Derbyshire and Yorkshire are now part of the shopping experience in both counties. Its boutiques are located in some of the most scenic towns in England – places like Ashbourne and Bakewell – and the family-run business prides itself on having a team of knowledgeable and friendly staff who focuses on first-class customer service.
The Chester store is its first in Cheshire and they have opened another store in Ludlow, Shropshire. In Chester, the owners have ambitions to fully immerse the brand into the shopping minds of residents and visitors alike, with the aim of becoming as synonymous with the city as Boodles and Mappin & Webb.
“If you think of Chester, we want you to think of C W Sellors,” says Taylor. “We want to be more involved with the city and with places like Chester Races,” she adds. “We want to be integrated into the whole of the city centre.”
In the first few months of opening they have already welcomed a broad range of customers, of all different ages, and the shop is a hot spot for tourists who gather at The Cross, then wander over, attracted by the sparkling displays. Walk-ins are welcome: there’s an open-door policy and the pace inside is relaxed, a space where customers can take their time.
“With jewellery it’s a lot more leisurely because customers are buying something they are going to keep forever – it means something to them, which is lovely,” says Taylor. “You get to know your customers on a personal level, too,” she adds.
Step inside and you’ll find cases of international, branded jewellery from France, Italy and Denmark as well as British watch brand Bremont. There are Clogau designs in rare Welsh gold as well as Mikimoto Japanese pearls and exquisite pieces by Danish designer Georg Jenson. They also have pieces by Shaun Leane, a British designer who created couture jewellery for Alexander McQueen for more than 20 years.
“His pieces are unique,” says Taylor. “Cutting-edge and modern.”
Alongside a great selection of branded jewellery, luxury watches, engagement rings and wedding bands, C W Sellors has its own British-designed and manufactured gemstone collections. There are handcrafted creations from in-house designers and craftspeople and you’ll also find unique jewellery designed by family member Rebecca Sellors.
And if you see anything you fancy online, it can be sent on approval so you can see it for real before parting with any money.
Customers can also have existing jewellery remodelled, or repaired.
“If anyone wants anything remodelling they come in here and I can sort things out with them,” says repairs manager, Mandy. “We then send it on to our workshop in Ashbourne.”
The repair team can handle jewellery of any age, style and type and if you’re after something bespoke, the in-house design team can oversee all types of design requests to bring your ideas to life, to create something truly unique.
“We deal with a lot of precious stones as well,” says Taylor, “like amber, turquoise and opal – so it’s not just diamonds.”
And let’s not forget Derbyshire Blue John and Whitby Jet. The company is a specialist in both. Derbyshire Blue John is the UK’s most colourful gemstone and one of the world’s rarest minerals, found only in the caverns below the Peak District village of Castleton.
“We are also one of the few stockists in Chester of Faberge,” Taylor adds. “We have some beautiful pieces. We did a collection with Faberge for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”
C W Sellors is also the city’s primary stockist of ChloBo jewellery: bracelets, anklets, rings and necklaces that are designed by Chester’s Chloe Moss (and made here, too).
So from ChloBo to Faberge, prices range from £54 to £56,000, meaning there really IS something for everyone and at a price to suit everyone’s budget.
- C W Sellors, 2-4 Eastgate Street, Chester CH1 1 LF
- Tel: 01244 255087
- C W Sellors