Meet Honour Wainwright, the Fifth Generation Behind Boodles
Brown’s Hotel is delighted to partner with Mayfair jeweller Boodles for our English Garden Afternoon Tea. We caught up with Honour Wainwright, sixth generation of the Boodles family, for a quick chat about the collaboration.
How did the Boodles partnership with Rocco Forte Hotels and Brown’s come about?
“Boodles and Brown's are two peas in a pod, really. Our brands share a special friendship for obvious reasons – if you stand outside Boodles' Albemarle Street entrance, you'll be staring right at the entrance for Brown's Hotel. And our Chairman, Nicholas Wainwright, has been a huge fan of Rocco Forte Hotels for over a decade. He always stays at Brown's whenever he's in London. Not quite “part of the family” but he hopes he’s on at least a first-name basis with the staff by now!”
How does the history of Boodles mirror that of Brown's Hotel?
“I think it's the family thing, primarily. Obviously, the Fortes are all intimately tied up with every aspect of that brand and business. And Boodles is just the same: we’re a private family business with just four shareholders who make every decision in the best interests of the business.”
“To give you an idea of just how deep those family ties run, I’ll give you a quick breakdown of ‘who’s who. Two brothers, Nicholas and Michael Wainwright lead the company. Things really fan out into the next generation. Nicholas’s son, Jody, is Director of Precious Gemstones. Jody’s cousin, James Amos, is Director of Marketing and Sustainability. I’m one of Michael’s twins – the Marketing Manager – and my brother Geordie is working in the Bond Street store. A family approach is intrinsic to every aspect of both businesses, from the sense of warmth felt by members of staff, to the extended family atmosphere felt by customers and partners.”
What’s important to you about inheriting the Boodles name?
“As a sixth generational family business, the history of the company is integral to the brand and I feel it is a duty to look after it for many generations to come.
“It’s important to note that future proofing the brand is really all about future proofing the planet and the sustainability of the jewellery industry. People want to wear jewellery and know where it has come from, with the peace of mind that the planet hasn’t been destroyed to put that decorative ornament on their finger. I think these two concepts of sustainability and provenance are really moving to become our core concerts alongside branding and design.
“In 2021, we moved to using only Single Mined Origin (SMO) gold. Sourced from the Yanfolila gold mine in Mali, SMO certified gold provides an auditable chain of custody for the entire supply chain. With full segregation from mine to finished product, every gram of gold is documented and audited. This means the gold in all new pieces of Boodles jewellery is fully traceable and ethically produced. We also launched the Peace of Mined collection in 2022, featuring diamonds from the Cullinan Mine which are all thoroughly traceable, and until a few months ago, were still in the mine.
How will you mark the King’s coronation?
“Personally? Probably a street party and a glass of Pimms. We’re just a walk away from Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, so we can have a look and see if the crowds aren’t too big. As a family of jewellers we are, of course, very excited about the whole affair. What is a monarchy without jewels?
“Boodles is extremely excited to be launching an exclusive Gemini ring to mark the Coronation of King Charles III. The piece includes two very special diamonds from the Cullinan Mine which links the ring intrinsically to the Coronation event itself, owing to its royal bearings. Both heart shaped diamonds featured in the piece, a 3.20 carat diamond and a 2.15 carat diamond, come from the same origin as the Cullinan I and II in the Crown Jewels.”
The English Garden Afternoon Tea, served in the Drawing Room at Brown’s Hotel, is the ultimate way to celebrate the Coronation this summer. It will be served between 1st May - 31st August. For reservations, please visit here.