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Made by hand from the heart

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“We are well aware of what goes on in fashion, and we are very proud of our products,” says Lone Vestergård, Country Sales Manager DACH. “We always have a motto for our collection. This summer it is ‘be true to yourself’. That is very Scandinavian.”

Pilgrim recently refocused on its core business of jewellery and watches, and the collections again show a distinct Scandinavian influence. The new strategy is very successful. “The general popularity of Scandinavian design has been good for us,” Ms. Vestergård adds.

The company expects a nine-digit turnover and a 17% growth rate this year, and 29% next year. Pilgrim launches four new collections a year, with 350 different items in each, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets and watches.

Each collection consists of two lines. The classical line offers items that never go out of style. It targets the more mature wearer, while the more fashionable line is meant for younger girls. Gold, silver, rose gold and black are always the main colours, and all items are handmade.

Pilgrim was established in 1983 by music and jewellery lovers Annemette Markvad and Thomas Adamsen. From a home-based business, it has developed into an internationally oriented company with a 40% export rate, 1,200 points of sale, 63 Pilgrim stores and 300 shop-in-shop outlets.

The collections are also available through the company website, Amazon, Zalando and ASOS. Marketing activities include magazine advertising, visiting trade fairs and publishing a customer catalogue. There are PR agencies in Germany, the UK and Denmark.

Today, Pilgrim is still family owned and operated and has strong values. The company wants to give back to the community. “Every year one piece of jewellery is dedicated to Doctors Without Borders. The entire income from that item goes to that organization,” Ms. Vestergård explains.

According to her, most people have a positive experience with Pilgrim products. “When I tell people that I work for Pilgrim, they smile. That is one of the things I enjoy most about my job.”

For the coming years, Pilgrim will focus on developing relationships with both smaller shops and leading retailers around Europe. In addition the company will attend more trade fairs. Ms. Vestergård: “We are constantly looking for new ways to build a strong base for the future. We are growing in difficult times, and that is a good feeling.”

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