Donna Hogg is buying director at ROX jewellers, which is known for its diamonds, luxury watches and jewellery collections, and is based in its head office in Glasgow. With the brand from 2001 when it was established by Kyron Keogh and Grant Mitchell, she has seen it expand from its first store in Glasgow’s Argyll Arcade to six stores and boutiques stretching from Aberdeen to Leeds. Hogg is responsible for developing the ROX collections and has her finger on the pulse of the latest jewellery trends, from rose gold, platinum and the return of yellow gold, to halo rings and stacking. She counts herself lucky to work with some of the best diamonds in the world every day.
What’s a typical day for you?
No day is the same. I could be looking at diamonds one day in our workshop, developing our ROX jewellery range the next or meeting with one our luxury watch brands. We’ve just received production samples for our new AW collection for Miss ROX so the majority of my time today was spent reviewing the samples and working with our creative teams on launch plans.
What is your training and how did you get interested in jewellery?
I started my career in the luxury jewellery industry working on the shop floor and worked my way up to buying director. I’m a strong believer that working in sales from a young age helped shaped my passion and understanding of jewellery and gemology.
What is the first piece of jewellery you remember owning?
A pair of yellow gold diamond earrings that were a gift for my 18th birthday.
Why did you want to work for ROX?
I have been with ROX since day one. It has been an amazing journey watching the brand grow from strength to strength to become one of the UK’s leading independent jewellers. Our core value is all about sourcing and creating the highest quality products. It’s a pleasure to work with some of the best diamonds in the world on a daily basis.
What is your aim when you are buying?
My aim is always, does this say “ROX”? I want each and every piece of jewellery to look and feel of the highest quality. I never compromise on this.
What’s different about ROX diamonds and why do you take only 1 per cent of the diamonds you see?
We look at each diamond individually and take our time to hand pick the most beautiful from all the stones, giving the customer the best possible diamond for their budget.
What is the fun part of your business?
Travelling to the trade shows. Even after a decade I still love this and it’s where I get so much of my inspiration from. I love sitting in the meetings looking through all the beautiful pieces and developing our new collections.
How have tastes changed in jewellery?
When I first starting buying, yellow gold was the desired metal. This then changed to white gold and platinum in recent years, but we are seeing yellow gold making an appearance again. Rose gold continues to be a massive trend, especially in the luxury watch sector. Halo settings have become very popular in our engagement and bridal collections. These designs feature a central stone held perfectly in place by the ring setting surrounded by a “halo” of diamonds.
What have you learned?
Not to get too emotional or sentimental over a piece. Although I loved the item when I bought it and thought it would be a great seller, if it wasn’t, then don’t hold on to it.
What are your most popular products?
Currently neck wear and wrist wear for ladies as layering and stacking is a huge trend. Our Miss ROX and ROX silver collections are perfect for this as they are affordable and designed to be worn stacked up for a really trend-driven look. I love seeing diamonds mixed with metals to give this look a touch of luxury.
For gents bold watches are still big news and brands like Audemars Piguet and Hublot continue to be best sellers for ROX. Coloured dials, blue for example, are big for SS19.
Who are your customers?
The ROX customer is wide and varied and we try to appeal to everyone. You can see that from our collections. But our customers are definitely into style and appreciate superior quality.
What do they want?
The highest quality jewellery from a trusted brand. They want something stylish that makes them feel amazing.
Which items do you have at home from your range?
Lots! I have pieces from every collection. ROX diamond jewellery, Miss ROX and everyday ROX silver pieces and of course my engagement and wedding rings.
What are your goals?
To continue to position ROX as one of the UK’s leading luxury jewellery brands.
What’s your style philosophy?
I like timeless and classic pieces. I love high quality tailoring for day and night. I’m a big believer in a hardworking capsule wardrobe so I invest in great basics like a tuxedo suit, great white shirts, cashmere and evening wear that are easy to pack and simple. Then I just let the diamonds do the rest.
Where are your products made?
The majority of our pieces are made here in the UK as well as in Italy and Canada.
Who has influenced your style and what are your inspirations?
For style inspiration I love Victoria Beckham and think Coco Chanel was a creative powerhouse. I’m always drawn to monochrome and love how Chanel made costume jewellery acceptable.
Who are your jewellery style icons?
There are some amazing women working in jewellery. Caroline Scheufele is the artistic director of Chopard and she expanded the business into the jewellery sector. She has helped Chopard become one of the first luxury jewellery and watch brands to grow the market in sustainable luxury goods and ethical gold. I also love designer Carolina Bucci and how she collaborated with Audemars Piguet on a range of limited edition watches featuring her signature frosted gold finish.
What is your favourite item of jewellery?
My diamond earrings. I love the classic six-claw setting. My husband bought them for my 40th and I wear them every day as they can be dressed up or down.