Cindy Dennis Mangan, founder, JeDeCo

“ I believe in the necessity of creative collaboration, in collective strength and knowledge,” states Cindy Dennis Mangan owner of a self-titled silver jewellery brand and fine jewellery company Dennis & Lavery. “Building a business in the creative arts is beyond tough if you are alone.”

With this belief powering her, Cindy founded jewellery collective JeDeCo in 2009, a group that was designed to offer a supportive community to the designers attached to it and to bring affordable, stylish jewellery made by those designer-makers into the limelight through collaborative group projects.

JeDeCo found its feet during London Jewellery Week of that year, so when it returned to the Week in 2012 it was a milestone for the collective that it marked with the opening of its first retail space, a glass-fronted shop inside London’s iconic Oxo Tower.

The opening of the Oxo Tower retail space was the result of two years’ discussion and was one of the biggest projects that Cindy has undertaken to date. She describes the challenge to find a space that could be both creative and retail oriented while fitting in the 10 JeDeCo designers that have taken space there as a tough one, but adds that it has ultimately strengthened the collective. “We had to write a business plan that was more a process of strategy refinement. It forced JeDeCo into a second period of introspection, and we have emerged stronger and full of plans.”

The store has also enabled her to showcase her and her husband Mark Mangan’s own platinum jewellery brand Dennis & Lavery, which to date had existed mostly online and through a bespoke service. “Adding bricks to our clicks offering has revolutionised the Dennis & Lavery offering and our turnover and margins are both significantly up year on year,” Cindy reveals.

While Cindy remains the figurehead of JeDeCo, she shared some of the load this year by hosting the group’s inaugural management elections at which jewellery designer and JeDeCo member Annika Burman was elected chairperson in place of Cindy who had held the role for three years.

This extra help will come in handy in the coming months as Cindy is currently pregnant with her second child. Despite a baby on the way, Cindy says that the work of JeDeCo will not slow down in 2013. She describes herself as always looking for the next opportunity and says that the next 12 months will be spent building clientele and running events in the new JeDeCo showroom.