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Diamond-Lyn, Pepsidoodle and Sammi were thrilled to win the chance of spending time with the staff of ColouredRocks HQ near the lovely market town of Henley-in-Arden in Warwicks last weekend. We stayed the night, as guests of Steve Bennett, in a pleasant hostelry a few miles from CR HQ.

Tony Poole and Katherine Stass, who had kindly given up their weekend for us, gave us a warm welcome and great hospitality. Tony explained the weekend’s itinerary: he had been tasked with giving presentations about the basic terminology of gems, how they are mined, recognising the different cuts and qualities of gems, as well as an overview of the operations of ColouredRocks and their forthcoming launch into live online shows towards the end of July.

The group’s mixed knowledge of gems and telly shopping made for interesting and lively discussions. Between us we had more years’ experience of gem-buying than we cared to admit!

We were given a tour of the building – a great manor house with conservatory, set in extensive grounds - learning how and where orders are processed. We also caught our first glimpse of Rocks TV studio and production gallery, which we were later to investigate more fully, to much fun and laughter. We were joined by resident IT guru Andy, who we believe would win a legion of fans should he ever step in front of the camera as a presenter!

We were treated to buffet lunches kindly prepared by Katherine, and also discovered a tempting display of jewellery items from the ColouredRocks website catalogue. Sadly, with it being the weekend, we were unable to gain access to the vault on this occasion, but this was probably as well, given Lyn’s insistence that she would want to examine each and every item in there - this would have put paid to Tony’s carefully crafted presentations for the whole weekend!

We thoroughly enjoyed listening to Tony’s immaculate presentations – his passion for gems was very evident, as was his interest in what jewellery customers have to say. Sammi had grabbed the opportunity of flashing her collection of loose gems which came in handy at times to highlight points of interest in the presentations.

On Sunday, Steve Bennett and his wife Sarah dropped by the office to see us, chat about gems in general and Sarah’s jewellery designs in particular. Again, it was evident that Steve really knows his gems and is keen to bring affordable jewellery to his customers. He was generous with his time, given it was a weekend, and we very much enjoyed having the chance to meet the man we’d seen on camera so many times, and talk to him about the wonderful subjects of gems and jewellery. Sammi was certainly in a blissful state by that point!

On Sunday afternoon, somewhat later than hoped after a nightmare journey from Blackpool, the forum’s own Graham and Daniel pitched up to meet us all and to spend some time with us. It was great to finally meet Graham after years of being part of the forum community. Our thanks to Graham for giving us this chance to visit the ColouredRocks team and operational HQ.

Diamond-Lyn, Pepsidoodle and Sammi would also like to thank Steve Bennett and everyone at ColouredRocks and the White Swan Hotel for their kindness, time and hospitality during our visit. Tony, Katherine and Andy’s patience in the face of our endless questions and ebullient behaviour was really commendable. We would definitely recommend a visit to CR Towers to anyone! We can also categorically say that the crew at ColouredRocks really rock!!
Oh I bet they loved you all. Glad it went well - it was a lovely prize for three gem fanatics xxxxxxxxxxx
It sounds amazing, would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the bar of an evening hehehe

I agree that Steve Bennett is a bloke who likes (or seems to like) to do things right, he brought up Snatch it (which was IMO the BEST shopping channel on TV) and then Gemstv which was fabulous and IMO only declined when Don etc. came onboard.

He appears a really nice bloke and i'm pleased you all confirmed this (Sammis stilll hot under the collar) hehehehehehe, it sounds like an amazing time was had by all.

Pleased for you all xxxx
Gems' wonderful customer service in the past was all down to Steve B's passion in that area so I'm sure that Coloured Rock's CS will be pretty special.

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