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  1. Welcome to Fanday Friday.  Today Yours Occasionally brings you a great interview with Michael Frank Jewellers.  Over the years I have gotten to know the Michael Frank team on a professional and personal basis.  It's clear to see that they love what they do.  Jewellery design runs in the blood, I really hope Michael & Amanda's children will keep up this tradition. Not only is their jewellery of outstanding quality, so is their customer service.  Choosing an engagement or wedding ring should be a joyous occasion and that joy will only be there when you chose the right jeweller.  I wouldn't recommend any one else but Michael Frank, read their interview to find out why they're my only choice. 

     How long have you been designing and making jewellery?

    The Michael Frank Story started in 1990…Michael started his love affair with jewellery whilst working in the family jewellery business as a young boy. His father, also a jeweller passed his love of design, fine jewels and passion for luxury onto his son who after a successful career in the British Army met his wife Amanda. Together they established Michael Frank Jewellers.

     wedding dayAmanda and Mike Stapleton

    Where did you learn your tradecraft?

    Michael learned his craft from his father (also called Michael) who has been a jeweller for over 50 years.  As did his older brother who is also a jeweller. Making jewellery clearly runs in the blood!

    Michael Stapleton

    Do you only make wedding rings, or do you make other types of jewellery and if so what?

    Michael and his team at Michael Frank Jewellers specialise in bespoke engagement rings, bespoke wedding rings, bespoke jewellery and diamonds.

    They also carry out jewellery repairs, watch repairs and valuations. As well as the restoration and repair of antique and vintage jewellery. Michael and Amanda are very proud of the jewellery they design; everything they create is exceptionally made to the highest standard to ensure it lasts a lifetime setting them apart from the rest.

    Michael Frank Jewellers has a shop and consultation suite based in Essex and also stock branded and non-branded jewellery, watches, pre-owned luxury watches, pre-owned and antique jewellery and a wide selection of gifts

    Michael Frank Jewellers

     What kind of rings do you like to design?

     Michael’s craftsmanship and creativity provides clients with items of excellence and exceptional quality. He truly enjoys to design rings that stand out from the crowd, unique and usual reflecting his client’s personality and ensuring heirlooms for future generations to come.

    Michael Frank Jewellers (7)

    What’s your favourite jewellery piece you’ve designed to date?

    There have been many beautiful pieces from engagement rings to art-deco pendants. His wife’s Amanda’s own engagement ring is a personal favourite of his! There is a particular gentleman’s engagement ring that Michael talks about with great enthusiasm. It was completely encrusted with diamonds with diamonds even set in the claws holding the central stone in place. It was a definite show stopper and one of a kind and one that Michael still holds close to his heart.

    What advice would you give to a couple trying to choose their jeweller?

    Designing and commissioning engagement and wedding rings should be a wonderful experience. Full of emotion, joy, excitement and signifying a new chapter in your life. Therefore, always feel comfortable with whom you choose. Feel free to laugh and get excited and enjoy the whole experience. Let the jeweller inspire you not just ‘sell’ you a ring. And definitely never feel pressured into buying something you are not sure about. When couples decide to have their wedding rings made by us we like to say thank you by giving them some free gifts.


    Michael Frank Jewellers (4)


    How many wedding rings do you make a year?

    We are extremely busy and make numerous rings on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. That’s why we always suggest clients come for a consultation sooner rather than later so that we can make their rings in time for their big day.  


     Do you advise on what type of style would suit someone?

    Clients are invited to come for a jewellery consultation when choosing engagement, wedding rings or bespoke jewellery.  In a relaxed and private environment clients are able to view our extensive range or have jewellery designed for them personally. During this time we can discuss their ideas and what they want to achieve, how much time we have to do it and how much they want to spend. The rings are designed with the client’s lifestyle and personality in mind and what will suit them.

     Michael Frank Jewellers (6)

    Did you make your own wedding rings?

    Yes of course! My wife would have never forgiven me if I didn’t! But I did leave it till quite late as I was so busy making other peoples! Thankfully they were finished in time for our big day!

    Do you hold consultations so that the couples can get to know you and your work?

     I believe that couples should have a personal and exciting experience when choosing and designing their wedding or engagement rings and be able to talk face to face with a trained and experienced jeweller who will guide them through the process with enthusiasm and ease. That is why we also offer free consultations and the process is not rushed. If clients are undecided they can return and see me as many times as they like until they feel confident with their choices. This is one of the reasons we ask clients to book appointments. It ensures that I can dedicate my time to them and everyone is made to feel important, confident and benefit fully from the time they spend with us.

    Michael Stapleton (2)

  2. I had the most amazing wedding day and for that I am truly blessed, however, I spent the day feeling a little like a fat Katie Price.  Why?  I didn't source the right hair and make up professionals.  You really get what you pay for.  Whilst at the time I thought I'd bagged a bargain, I'd actually bagged inexperienced suppliers.  My hair was OK for about an hour then it started to drop drastically and my fake lashes fell off in the car from the to church to the reception.  I wish I'd known Dawn when I was getting married because I can 100% guarantee that neither of these things would have happened and I would have felt far more likea bride than a fat Katie Price. 

    Read more about why Dawn is my go to Hair and Make Up Artist every time. 


    How long have you been a Hair and Make Up Artist?

    Forever, and ever and ever!!  Seriously, I set up my business in 2009, however I have probably spent the last 25 years doing make-up for friends and family and that is actually how I started.  It was a hobby, something I loved to do and it has grown from there and I love doing what I do.

    Have you always wanted to be a Hair and Make-Up Artist, if not, what else did you want to do?

    It wasn’t something I thought I would ever do as a job, it was something I loved.  Previously, I worked in the City and then more locally as an Office Manager

    Do you do hair and make up for weddings only, if not what events do you cover?

    Weddings are my core business and what I most like to do, being part of someone’s special day and making them feel amazing is the biggest buzz.  I also do proms and special occasions.  In fact, a lot of my brides use me for special occasions after their big day.

    Dawn Taylor Hair and Make Up

    What is your overall favourite style for a wedding? 

    I do love to create a beautiful sleek updo, but that doesn’t suit every bride.

    Styles tend to trend year from year, and for the last 18 months or so the influence has been from Russia/Eastern Europe with the soft boho styles.   The best thing is being able to create a style for a bride that suits her and her style.

     What is the average start time for you when you are working on a bridal party?

    An arrival/start time differs from bride to bride and also you have to take into account what time your venue (if you are getting ready there) will allow you access.  I always discuss a timeline with my bride at their consultation/trial as most brides will not think about the lead up time to their service, which includes them getting dressed, any photographs they may be having of their wedding prep and with family before the ceremony and obviously making sure they are dressed and ready for their interview with the Registrar.

     The size of their wedding party is also important as if it is a large party and there are time constraints then, I can arrange for another hair/make-up artist to attend also.  There is nothing more stressful for a bride and their stylist to be rushing and hurrying. This is something I always discuss with my bride in order to make their wedding prep run as smooth as possible.

    Dawn Taylor Hair and Make Up

     What advice would you give to a couple trying to choose their Hair and Make Up Artist?

     Always hire a professional, they will know what to use, how to make you look your best and to make sure it lasts you until your last guest leaves!  They will know how to enhance your best features and camouflage those that aren’t, what colours to use and guide you, taking into account your comfort zone and to make sure it suits you personally as well as complimenting your dress style.

    Ask for recommendations; view their work in depth and look for a style of work that you love and then make sure that you “click” with your artist.  It’s so important to have that rapport with the person trusted with making you look amazing for your big day.  You will be spending a big chunk of time with that person on your big day so it is so important you get along.

     Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for references; you want to make sure that their portfolio of work matches up to the quality of the products that they use.

     Have a trial; all professionals will charge for a trial and it is money so well spent and importantly, this is your time to discuss any issues you may have.  They will also be able to help and advise you with skincare leading up to your big day. 

     My biggest tip; don’t skimp on the budget for your hair and make-up.  Yes, it can be expensive, but so worth it to have someone that has the knowledge to make you look your best and make it last all day as well as helping you to keep to schedule on your big day.  Never hire a “friend that’s good at make-up”, it puts pressure on you not to offend if you don’t like it and you will have to live with it all day.  The same goes for going to a make-up counter.

    Dawn Taylor Hair and Make Up

     Would you ever work on two wedding in the same day, and if not why?

    This is something I would not do as a rule, however if I have had a very early wedding which leaves me free and time in between for another bride who is having, for instance, a twilight wedding then yes, if she particularly wants to book you.

     Booking in two weddings that run from one to another is a “no-no” in my book.  Anything could happen, you could end up doing more people in the wedding party (I would not want to disappoint a bride by saying “no, sorry I have another booking to get to”.)  Traffic could be bad making you late for your next booking, all very stressful for you and your bride.  I want to make sure I am unhurried, and calm for my bridal party.

     Dawn Taylor Hair and Make Up

    Do you have make up that to suit the most common skin allergies and do you advise the client on what’s best to use if they do have sensitive skin?

    I carry a huge range of product, including those for sensitive skin however, anything can sensitise the skin at any time.  This is a good reason for your trial, where you can discuss any skin problems your client has and give her advice on what to use and how.  The most common issues are breakouts in younger clients, dehydrated skin, rosacea and red veins in more mature skin and its more about corrective make up techniques to disguise.  If a client is super sensitive and she has already found products that suit her and she knows will not cause a problem then it’s  good idea to go with these. 


    Do you have a favourite brand of makeup that is your go to?

    I don’t have a favourite brand, I have favourite items from different brands that I know are going to do the very best job for my client and her bridal party.  I carry a huge kit which has products to suit every age and skin

     Dawn Taylor Hair and Make Up

    Do you hold consultations so that the couples can get to know you and your work?

    I always like to talk to my brides over the telephone, and then if they want to have a consultation before trial they can; however most consultations are carried out at their trial appointment which is where you get to know your brides and their bridal party.  I always suggest that perhaps they tie up their trial appointment with a first dress fitting to give them an idea of how everything will look together 

    Dawn Taylor

    Dawn Taylor portrait image courtesy of 

    Chanon Devalois Photography