About Essential

Essential was started in 1990 by Clare Andrew in a tiny tucked away shop in Southampton’s Bargate Centre. It was carefully designed by Clare to allow as much jewellery and accessories to be viewed as possible and arranged in blocks by style and colour. The store soon built up a regular following of lovely customers who returned to seek out its colourful and exciting jewellery at good prices.

Clare has a background in photography, fashion sales and management. So she used her experience to build her exciting merchandise and good customer service within the store. Despite shops all around closing down during the recession of the early ’90s Essential continued to gain momentum and so Clare opened another tiny store in Guildford’s Swan Lane and the following year in The Arcade in Bournemouth.

Her husband Martin joined the business at this point and Essential’s continuing success allowed them to open more stores in better positions in the south of England over a period of years.
Over thirty years later Clare and Martin still run the seven store business, continuously seeking out new and exciting products at good honest prices. Their very loyal band of sales staff, store managers and head office staff ready to assist you every step of the way in your visit to an Essential store or to our website.