Henley is set to welcome two new retailers to its high street with the addition of the independent jewellers, David Rodger Sharp, and British clothing store, Whistles.
David Rodger Sharp, on Duke St, has taken over the former Henley Goldsmiths. The independent retailer is aiming to bring an element of luxury to their customers, combining high quality products with stand-out service. Owned by David Sharp and his business partner, Andy Byerley, the store will be the pair’s first business venture. However, both have previous experience in the jewellery industry, and are thrilled to become a part of the Henley community.
Andy, who grow up in Buckinghamshire, explained, “When you look at the high street, there’s lots of different independent boutiques, lots of people who are selling unusual items, like antiques, luxury items, and that kind of thing. The jewellers that we envisage, we thought it was a great fit for the community. It’s all about stories and relationships with us.”
David, who is hoping to become ‘Mr Henley’ after having moved from Edinburgh, added, “There’s lots of jewellers in the town but they’re all making jewellery, which is great, we don’t want to take away from that. It’s nice to be able to open a store that is a retail jewellers, still selling really high end luxury items.” The shop will stock brands such as Shaun Leane, Yoko London pearls, and a variety of great watch brands. The jewellers are also hoping to stock local luxury watch brand, Bremont, and are awaiting confirmation of their alliance with the company.
The duo took over the Henley Goldsmiths premises after its previous owner decided to downscale. Andy explained, “He’s got another store that he wants to concentrate on in Witney. I guess he’s moving towards retirement potentially but wants to downscale and slow down a bit. He’s a lovely gentleman and long-term in the industry. He was a bit like David 35 years ago, starting out as his first independent. In a way it’s passing down a generation of jewellers. It’s nice to see that the shop is still a jewellers, and he wanted to maintain that — not have someone rip it apart and make it another cafe.” David and Andy have been able to keep all the existing Goldsmiths staff, in addition to three new employees. They are hoping to open their doors at the end of this week, or early next, and are looking forward to meeting the town!
Meanwhile, the former ‘East’ shop, 34-36 Bell St, is undergoing construction before it reopens as Whistles. In a statement to the Herald, Whistles representative Leonora Skull said, “Contemporary British fashion brand Whistles is pleased to announce the opening of its latest UK store located in Henley. The new store opened its doors on the 21st November 2018. This will be the 46th standalone Whistles store.” The retailer will be open between 9:30am – 5:30am, Monday to Saturday, and 11:00am – 5pm on Sundays.