We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaycee and Mark Burgess and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jaycee and Mark, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
The most important thing we’ve done as parents I’d say was investing in ourselves before starting a family. Eating right, educating our minds and feeding the soul with all things inspirational are the core structure for stability, love and happiness.

Being a parent really has changed our outlook on life. We think about our child’s future based around our own life experiences, like the house he’ll grow up in where childhood memories are made. We often wonder if what we do will ever be enough.

We feel like newbies to the world of parenthood and our little boy is now at the stage where he is absorbing everything around him. Watching him grow and flourish in the early years are precious. When other parents say ‘this is the time you’ll never get back, enjoy every moment with them as they grow quickly’ – this statement couldn’t be any truer!

Before the business, we both had worked in companies where paternity leave was not long enough and maternity pay was not enough to help get by. We would have been capped in what society says you are worth and with that in mind our goal was to build a business that would allow us to live a lifestyle of flexibility that suited us and earn to give our family the quality time together- and of course be surrounded by stunning jewellery every day.

In 2014, we formed Burt and Gurt Jewellery creating one-off pieces for friends. Very quickly, we found ourselves assisting men with creating the perfect engagement ring and taking on commissioned pieces for anniversaries and other life events.

Like parenthood, there are no manuals to running a business. You are faced with unexpected challenges and google becomes your go to for advice and tips. Throughout this we learnt that taking action no matter how uncomfortable your situation may seem results to a beneficial outcome for the long run.

People have often asked ‘what working together is like as a married couple?’. As cheesy as it sounds, we feel like it’s the best team to work in but recognise that it may not be an ideal work situation envisioned for everyone. Finding balance is key and an exercise that takes years of practice and setting boundaries takes discipline.

If our little boy can see how we are as parents working together in business and as a family we hope it will inspire him to follow his passion and be fearless, build quality relationships, stay disciplined but most of all be happy and content throughout the journey he chooses.

Family comes first and we are fortunate to have given not only our son but ourselves that flexibility to work and play. It’s hard work but so worth it!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Have you ever heard of ashes into Jewellery or turning old heirlooms into new modern timeless pieces? – we do just that. Our Jewellery journey started in 2014 and have never looked back, we both have a creative imagination and after I was made redundant then going into panic mode that I was jobless with no income (not to mention a wedding to pay for) this was the moment Mark said ‘now is the perfect time to start the business’ and he was right.

Mark had a tradtional jewellery apprenticeship where everything is handmade he learnt the skills of a true craftsman.

Making jewellery for people is so personal, an accessory holding so much emotion and is an absolute pleasure to work with. Hard work pays off when you see the smile on our client face, the beautiful emails received and the comments from those who received their custom made piece.

We cater to individuals looking to take their relationship to the next level of either a proposal or getting married – to making special pieces with loved ones ashes. Both sides bring comfort to the wearer and it is our duty to deliver a service to our clients to make them feel comforatble and looked after. We pride ourselve in our customer service and ensure our jewellery pieces are made to perfection and quality.

Getting where we are now hasnt been easy, no one tells you the lonely journey and you are faced with challenges and quick decisions making taking you out of your comfort zone.

Without these challenges we wouldnt know our strengths and capablity, weve learnt that patience is needed matched with adapability and passion.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
London is an interesting diverse city with so much to do, its historic with a lot of iconic features, stylish and the home of fashion.

Depending on the time of the year a traditional pub lunch is needed, trying hearty home felt dishes like Pie and Mash is a must followed by Apple Crumble with Custard or Bread and Butter Pudding.. YUM!

There are beauty spots everywhere with south west london being our absolute favourite a walk by the river, admiring the homes of Chelsea whilst grabbing a coffee from boutique cafes to eventually passing through the Notting Hill Gate best known for the movie – ‘Notting Hill’

London Camden for music and drinks followed by an evening at the Shard in London Bridge for more drinks and a fantastic view of London. A trip to the SAVOY HOTEL our version of THE RITZ is a must for the tradtional afternoon tea.

For abit of shopping Selfridges is the one for all the latest fashion craze under one roof. A city where there is no need for an itinerary the main thing is to enjoy all the surroundings London has to offer!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Mark: Without this opportunity I wouldnt be the Jeweller I am – so this shout out goes to David Marshall, who out of thirty companies I applied to David was the only Jeweller to offer me a traditional apprenticeship.

The craftmanship was taught to the highest standard, I was given the chance to work on some amazing pieces worn and adorned by prestige clients in the showbiz industry. To see what you have worked on get photographed on the red carpet is definitly one of my proudest moments whilst working at David Marshall.

Jaycee:
There is one particular book that stays on my bedside table – ‘A Monks Guide to a Clean House and Mind’ this teaches you everything you need to cleanse the mind and soul and it all starts with the home.

Mark and I work from home a lot of the time especially since Covid, the home is the heart and sanctuary, if disturbed by the pressures of work it can take you off focus and leave you feeling overwhelmed with work and home.
This book has powerful messages about the daily home life, this can be from cleaning your windows to allow a clear path for postiive energy to enter your home. Honestly, this is a powerful book I recommend to anyone to read from time to timewhich leaves you feeling pumped, aligned and ready to face tomorrow.

From both of us:

Our English Bulldog Manuel has been part of our Jewellery journey from the beginning who has greeted us with a waggy tail everyday. Hes taught us responsibility and given us a different kind of love – throughout the seven years of building our business moving from house to house, workshop to workshop you have been there through the highs and lows. I know you can’t read this but I hope the cuddles and biscuits show you how much we love you.

Which leads us to our final shout out – Our son Huxley, everything we do is for your future little man you are the drive thats keeping us going we love you so much.

Website: www.burtandgurt.london and www.ashestogold.co.uk

Instagram: Burt and Gurt London and Ashestogoldlondon

Facebook: Burt and Gurt Jewellery and Ashes to Gold

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