Annie back in 1991, was travelling the world sourcing beautiful jewellery.Before long she realised that selling jewellery wasn't enough - she wanted to be able to make her own. So, she headed back home to Ayrshire and studied under a silversmith for a year, learning the intricacies and techniques of bespoke jewellery making.
"I'm a great believer in learning. The more you understand things, the more you appreciate them."
Most would spend years honing their skills, but Annie didn't have the luxury of time. She needed to get her business up and running to keep alive the dream of making jewellery for a living.
And so, the Annie Smith business was born. Bursting with ideas, she began creating her own jewellery and showcasing it all around the country at craft fairs and exhibitions. If she needed to use a technique she hadn't learnt from the silversmith, she simply taught herself - leading to a distinctive style that truly stood out in the world of jewellery.
Annie now work from her shop in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, relishing the space after years of making her jewellery sat on the floor of her Abbey Street flat. Most items are carefully designed, crafted and individually created in her workshop at the back of the shop.
"You always need to be sparkling, even after 23 years."
“With friendly, helpful and - perhaps, most importantly - knowledgeable staff, it's truly a delight to visit Annie in her Stockbridge studio. I remember visiting the studio and Annie offering to clean my jewellery while I browsed. You won't find service like that elsewhere."
"It's rare to find a shop like Annie Smith. I love the fact that each item is hand-crafted - and that for them, jewellery is their passion. You don't find that in the big shopping centres."
"I was visiting Edinburgh and popped into Annie Smith. After a conversation I realised that they are not only sell jewellery, they design and craft it. I love the way they have developed a uniquely personal approach to their craft."
"ABSOLUTE GEM" these people really care that you find your perfect gift, and that's a rare find.Really fab ranges with lots and lots of affordable items as well as more expensive pieces too.Many were just that little bit different. Great store and staff. I will be back!
Our Jewellery-making process
Within the authentic environment of the Annie Smith workshop, Annie capture the inspiration for a new piece with a design concept. Then the metal is cut and hammered into the shapes needed by hand - giving every piece a unique personality and bespoke feel.
Expert craftsmen, as well as artisans, the team then solder the pieces together. Valuable precious metals and eye-catching stones, sourced from specialist brokers around the world, are united to bring life to the beautiful and distinctive designs.
The pièce de résistance - the piece of jewellery is finished off by sanding and polishing, giving it the sparkle it needs to sit gracefully in the intimate setting of the Annie Smith shop - just a few feet from the workshop where it was brought to life.
Quality and materials
At Annie Smith the team work with only the best quality of precious metals - sourced from UK bullion merchants. Annie work in Sterling silver, 18 carat white and yellow gold, platinum and titanium.
Sourcing semi-precious stones and pearls from all over the world, all stringing is done by Annie in her workshop. All their precious stones and diamonds are personally selected and sourced from Hatton Garden, the world famous diamond district in London.
With over 25 years of experience in the trade, Annie ensure that all the materials meet their own exacting standards, so that all customers can be sure of the quality and provenance of the jewellery.
Annie has been a artist from a young age, crafting designs and Christmas presents for her family as a child. She studied Psychology and Law at the University of Edinburgh, but soon returned to her creative roots. Annie very nearly started a business designing jumpers, but suddenly decided to travel the world, and her passion for jewellery was ignited. It's a long way from the Law, but as the saying goes: "If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads."
Rocky is a 2.5 year old golden retriever and something of a Stockbridge celebrity. With a steady stream of visitors throughout the day, Rocky keeps things bright in the shop and always will give you the best welcome.