A jewellery business which started life on a market stall and now retails across the world has opened a new flagship store in one of central Newcastle’s most prestigious shopping areas.
Since being founded in 2009, Bcharmd has grown from its original home in Tynemouth Market to be sold in more than 500 top department stores and boutiques across the world and attracts customers from as far afield as Australia and Canada through its online platforms.
After occupying premises in Newcastle’s Shakespeare Street for the past four years, Bcharmd has now moved its boutique into a new unit in Central Arcade, an Edwardian shopping mall regarded as one of the city’s most sought-after locations.
The business – which is retaining its previous home as its headquarters and design studio – now employs nine people and is poised for further growth after significant investment in its revamped bcharmd.com website and digital offering.
Founded by fashion designer Stephanie Milburn, Bcharmd produces a range of jewellery made from semi-precious stones. Stephanie, who is creative director of the business, continues to hand-make the prototypes of each design, and her husband Lee heads the commercial arm of Bcharmd.
“We have grown so much since the days when I would be out in all weathers at Tynemouth Market, making every piece of jewellery myself, working every minute that I had to make a success of the business I gave up my job for – in the last few years, it’s taken on a life of its own,” said Stephanie.
“We are now stocked by more than 500 high end luxury stores across the world and have a very loyal customer base locally and internationally too.
“We reached the point where we were so tight on space in Shakespeare Street, it made sense to move the boutique elsewhere. I couldn’t think of a better place for us than Central Arcade. We aren’t really suited to being on a high street or in a traditional shopping centre, so this is ideal for us.
“It’s a really exciting time for all of us at Bcharmd. As well as the relaunch of the website and the opening of our new boutique, we continue to break into new parts of the world and secure new luxury stockists. We are a very proud North East business and it’s perfect that we can operate internationally from where it all began.”
The opening of the new Bcharmd boutique was supported by Newcastle law firm Sintons, who handled the commercial property work.
Cheryl Ball, solicitor in Sintons’ Real Estate team, said: “From starting out as a spare-time hobby for Stephanie, her hard work and determination to succeed has seen Bcharmd become one of the leading fashion jewellery brands in the UK. Bcharmd is a true North East success story and we hope their new flagship store in Central Arcade helps them to continue on their path of strong growth.”