A bespoke giftware business that exemplifies the unique nature of the Jewellery Quarter has been chosen to produce the trophies for the Birmingham Post Business Awards.
Gifts of Distinction, which is based in Warstone Lane, is run by David Louis Hendley, who said his company will use up to 10 different firms from the world-renowned Quarter to produce the 11 trophies for the event at the ICC in Birmingham on September 20.
“We design the item then it is a 10-step process,” said Mr Hendley. “Somebody provides the metal then a different firm will be involved in the various aspects of the production from the polishing to the printing to the packaging.
“For me it is a beautiful operation. There is me as the manager with two part time employees who are involved in everything from assembly to packaging and then we provide work for 10 other firms along the way. For us, the Jewellery Quarter is our business.”
Mr Hendley, who is originally from Arklow in County Wicklow in the Republic of Ireland, trained as a silversmith in the early 1990s and worked as a hallmarker at Birmingham’s Assay Office before joining Gifts of Distinction when it was based in Rugby. He then bought out the company and moved it to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter to help build the firm’s profile and during this time he won the Natwest Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Since then the company has gone from strength to strength and now produces cuff-links for firms such as Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin as well as a range of quality bottle openers and other corporate gifts from a variety of materials including sterling silver.
The final design for the award – which was chosen against a number of other pitches from firms in the region – will be a solid aluminium trophy that Mr Hendley believes will “feel like just reward for a job well done”.
“Upon reading the brief I felt the award needed to ooze achievement and reward for excelling at your chosen specialist area,” he said.
“I felt this emotional feeling of reward and accomplishment could be achieved by receiving an award that is both striking in its appearance, with a bright shiny finish to convey the future being bright, and dynamic. The strong branding also conveys the message to the recipient that they are recognised from outside of their business by your peers in the business community.
“I also wanted the award to be solid and strong, as well as weighty to show stability in the face of adversity.
“I decided to produce the awards from extruded lengths of solid aluminium and being cut from one length of material conveys the idea that we are all part of one business community, working together to achieve our own independent goals yet linked to each other through trade and social business networks.”