Indie Oxford Interview: Payne & Son
On the blog today we catch up with the team at Payne & Son to learn more about this family business that has stood the test of time.
Tell me about Payne & Son, and history behind the shop?
Payne and Son is an independent family business that was established in 1790 in Wallingford, and opened shops in Banbury, Abingdon and Tunbridge Wells, before opening the Oxford shop in 1889. The Oxford shop has stood the test of time and still has a presence on Oxford’s High Street today. Now run by the 7th and 8th generations of the Payne family, we sell a vast range of quality 20th century and contemporary silver, as well as unique and bespoke gold and silver jewellery.
Which members of the family now run the business?
Judy Payne currently runs the business alongside her son Max and daughter-in-law Anna.
Which collection or products in the shop are you best known for?
Historically we have been known for our silverware and especially 20th century silver, which includes our collection of Arts and Crafts items and bespoke pieces commissioned by the Oxford Colleges. However, nowadays we believe we are known for our wide range of rare and unique gemstone jewellery, such as engagement rings and dress rings, including stones not everyone has heard about such as the colour changing Alexandrite, which in different lights can appear green or a brown/red.
How have you maintained a loyal customer base over so many years?
Customer service is the most important factor. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with a friendly one to one service, from the moment they walk in the shop to the moment they leave. We like to take the time to help and advise our customers on their purchases and collectively we have a great knowledge of all our stock. We also make sure our customer service doesn’t just finish when you leave the shop. We provide aftercare such as repairs, cleaning and adjustments for all our customers that have visited us over the years.
Which ranges are you most excited about stocking for 2018?
This year is actually very exciting as we are holding an exhibition throughout September, in memory of Judy’s Father, Peter Payne. ‘The Loving Eye and Skilful Hand’ will be an exhibition with items made by silversmiths and metal workers from Keswick School of Industrial Art, including pieces made by Geoffrey Payne, Peter’s Uncle, when he taught at the school in 1908. Not only will we have items of Keswick silver but we will also have a collection of copper and brass pieces from this Arts and crafts movement which will be for sale.
What is the best kept secret about Payne & Son?
Combined, the eight staff members of Payne & Son have racked up over 150 years of service for the company. Having long serving, loyal staff members who have learnt their trade and gained years of knowledge to share, is what helps to make our business stay successful today.
Lastly, apart from Payne & Son, which are your favourite indies in Oxford
The Garden – Beautiful flowers which we like to use to decorate the shop and our window displays from time to time.
Iscream – Amazing gelato and the best selection of chocolates in Oxford!
Sofi de France – Our favourite coffee shop in the covered market. If you want a treat try their tasty Croque Monsieur!
We love the history and heritage of this company and are so excited to have them as part of Independent Oxford. Be sure to head to this beautiful shop, and check out their unique collections – we know we will be, so see you there!