After getting a “D” in his Geography O-level – only to receive a “U” after intensive tutoring and a retake – Stephen Slade realised that a career in town planning might not be his best bet. And thank goodness, because his true love is and always has been jewellery.
So at the age of 16, Stephen became an apprentice diamond setter in his dad’s jewellery factory. And after many years working in the jewellery industry – first as a diamond setter and then as a salesman – he decided to set up Smooch. He was well aware of the problems couples had with buying wedding rings from jewellery shops (inflexible opening hours, harassed salespeople, overpriced rings and a small variety to choose from), and he thought he had a better solution.
As his wife and kids will tell you, Stephen is rarely right. But 15 years and 50,000 happy couples later, they’ll admit he was right about this one.
Smooch continues to go from strength to strength. It started as a one-man-band in 2000, with Stephen driving to visit couples around the country and operating from a child-size desk in the playroom. Six months later, Stephen hired his first two Smooch Advisers and the three of them travelled the country, making couples very happy but the planet a little bit sad: the mileage was pretty insane.
Fast forward 15 years and Smooch now has almost 50 regional Advisers who operate within a roughly 25-mile radius. Stephen’s wife Floss (aka The Real Boss) also came on board as co-director.
As well as the Smooch Advisers, there are now 8 much-loved and much-cherished admin employees, who work with Floss and Stephen from Smooch HQ in Harefield. The best bit is that they get to work on proper, adult desks and can use computers rather than crayons.
A few Smooch-wannabes have cropped up over the years – the sincerest form of flattery. But Smooch is still the best:
The best coverage around the country (we’re certain there’ll be an Adviser in your area to visit you)
The best selection of rings
The most flexible options for customising those rings
The fairest, most transparent prices
The best guarantee – a Lifetime Guarantee – with all rings