Matthew Calvin’s Stockist Spotlight – Varoshe in West Malling, Kent

We’re lucky enough to meet a lot of wonderful stockists who are based not only in London, but all over the country. The next to feature in our spotlight series is Varoshe, a great store in West Malling (Kent) run by the lovely Clare. We haven’t had the chance to visit yet, but it’s top of our lists to go and have a look around!

How would you sum up Varoshe in 3 words?

Jewellery with a story! (Sorry, I know that’s 4!)

How does a day for you usually start?

The alarm goes off at 6am and after a quick coffee (which Paul makes for me while I groan myself awake) we leave so I can get to the shop nice and early.

Apart from having to dress the windows (while I listen to a podcast or two), I like to catch up on my admin, spend half an hour doing my morning yoga and have a cup of herbal tea before opening the shop at 9.30. Some might think this sounds like a long morning, but I love the peace at the start of the day before work begins.

3 other must-visits in your area?

West Malling is such a lovely market town, full of independent businesses, it’s really hard to pick just three, but here goes…
If I ever need a card or a little gift (that isn’t jewellery!) I love to pop around the corner to Down Swan Street. They have a huge selection and the ladies are always super friendly and helpful.
Our neighbours Stacey and Zinny are newbies too, opening their gorgeous studio a few months after us. They specialise in semi-permanent makeup and cosmetic tattooing, and have recently added eyelash treatments to their offering. I can’t wait to get booked in to have mine done before we go on our next holiday.
The Malling Jug is a micro pub tucked down one of the walkways, off the High Street and is a great way to finish your working day! It’s a little gem of a place with a great atmosphere, serving real ales, craft beers and ciders, as well as a mean pork pie!
“We are very much a comtemporary space, showcasing the more unusual and unseen; I love it when customers comment that the jewellery is ‘a little bit different’!”

What do you look for in a designer that you’d like to stock?

I try to showcase a variety of styles so that each jeweller’s work stands alone.

We are very much a contemporary space, showcasing the more unusual and unseen; I love it when customers comment that the jewellery is ‘a little bit different’! I start by looking for any gaps that I may have, whether it be a colour or design, and go from there.

Although I try to showcase different styles, I want the collections to work as a whole too so that the gallery space remains curated rather than confusing.

What is usually playing through the speakers in the shop?

I actually listen to a playlist that I started when we first planned to open the shop. I have tried listening to random albums but so often a track is too ‘dancey’, or just not that appropriate, so I filter out the ones I like and add them to the playlist.

It’s quite eclectic, with anything from Tasha Sultana to London Grammar, Fleurie, and even a track by The Rolling Stones.

What’s your favourite local brunch place and must-have dish?

I don’t often get out of the shop, but when I can sneak away I love to go to The Hungry Guest on the High Street; their pancakes are delicious!

What do you like to do to unwind after a day at the shop?

I’m definitely a simple creature, loving nothing more than snuggling up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a good film!

When we do go out, it’s often for a meal at the Farmhouse pub across the road, or if we really want to treat ourselves; dinner at The Swan.

What’s one thing that you’d like to accomplish in 2019?

When we first opened I knew I wanted to offer workshops (like ‘Make Your Own Wedding Rings’) alongside the bespoke service and the independent designer jewellery, but I thought this would have to wait a few years until we were more established. Our first year has been amazing and it would be great to continue the momentum by introducing the workshops at some point in 2019…

What are your favourite 5 Matthew Calvin pieces?

My absolute favourites (and our best-sellers) are the Meteorite Textured Round Studs. They’re such a simple shape but I love the softness that the melted finish gives; they should be a staple in everyone’s jewellery box!

The Dipped Wire Studs are a nice ‘day-to-night’ design as they literally go with any outfit because of the mixed metals.

The Double Meteorite Ring Pendant is another favourite of mine, especially the rose-gold colour way. I love the interlocking ring design, and the looped chains make a really simple but elegant attachment. Mums seem to love them too; I like to think that the two rings signify them and their little one!

I also really like the Thin Wire Studs. They’re just a little different but are simple enough to wear every day, which makes them the perfect choice for a gift.

And finally, the Mini Point Studs. These were the first thing I ever sold when we opened the shop last year so they will always have a special place in my heart.