Over 100 years ago, Ian Rosenberg was a small time jeweller with a young family to support. A single parent struggling to make ends meet, Rosenberg sold hand crafted jewellery door to door. Surprisingly, for such a well respected name, he first found success not in jewellery making, but by supplying quality silverware to the finest restaurants in Manchester.
Day after day, Ian would visit the biggest names in the industry, determined to show off the quality of his products but with little success. Then, by chance, one of Rosenberg’s jewellery clients, a man who had bought a pair of diamond earrings for his wife, approached him with an offer.
The man, a world famous chef, was in the process of opening a new restaurant in the capital but his cutlery supplier had pulled out at the last minute. Unimpressed by the designs he had seen in his competitor’s restaurants, the man wanted silverware which was elegant, classically designed and wouldn’t look dated in a year’s time.
Ian Rosenberg Jewellery was asked to produce 200 sets of handmade silver cutlery in just four weeks, a scale on which the company wasn’t used to operating. Desperate for money to support his family, Rosenberg accepted the contract. He and his family worked tirelessly night and day to meet the challenge. With even a little help from his small son, Kevin Rosenberg, the company managed to not only fulfil the order but to make a name for itself in the process.
The restaurant instantly became one the most exclusive and desirable places to eat in the north of England. Diners came from around the world and tables were booked months in advance and the elegance of Rosenberg’s designs proved to be extremely popular with restaurant owners and diners alike. Rather than poor quality mass produced cutlery, Ian Rosenberg’s jewellery making skills and attention to detail had given him the edge in a competitive market.
In fact, three months after the restaurant had opened; it placed an order with Ian Rosenberg for an order twice as big as the first. Some of the diners had taken such a liking to the cutlery that entire sets were going missing each week. The restaurant even started checking the pockets of staff if their tables were looking a little bare at the end of the evening’s service.
The success of his cutlery business allowed Rosenberg to hire more staff and enabled him to focus more on his passion for jewellery making. The company has moved to several premises over the years but Rosenberg continued to refine his craft as a jeweller in the workshop behind the family home in Manchester, until his death in 1984.
As a boy, Ian Rosenberg sat for hours watching his father, a keen watchmaker, working in silence with the wireless playing in the background. He would watch his father’s hands, amazed at the skill and concentration required to make something so small and delicate. The range of products his company offers may have expanded in recent years but the appreciation of simplicity and skill are still the trademark characteristics for which Ian Rosenberg Jewellery is famous today.