HORIZON – MY AMAZING BRAIN: RICHARD’S WAR
MONDAY 5TH FEBRUARY 9PM, BBC2
Horizon follows the story of Richard Gray and his remarkable recovery from a life changing catastrophic stroke. The film shows – in extraordinary detail – the rarely seen journey back to recovery. Recorded by his documentary filmmaker wife Fiona over four years ‘Richard’s War’ shows, in uncompromising detail, the hard work of recovery.
Initially bed bound and unable to do anything, including speak the initial outlook was bleak, yet occasionally small glimmers of hope emerged. Armed always with her camera Fiona captures the moment Richard moves his fingers for the first time, and then over months she documents his struggle to relearn how to walk again.
The story also features poignant footage delivered in a series of flashbacks – in which we see and hear Richard at his professional best. He was a peacekeeper with the United Nations, immersed in the brutal war in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
We also hear from the surgeons and clinicians who were integral to Richard’s remarkable recovery, from describing life-saving surgery, high-risk reconstructive surgery, to intensive rehabilitation programmes that push the former soldier to his limits. As the film starts Fiona asks “will Richard, my Richard still be there?” By the end the answer is clear.
MEGHAN MARKLE’S ENGAGEMENT TO PRINCE HARRY SPARKS SURGE IN SUITORS CREATING & DESIGNING MARKLE-INSPIRED DIAMOND RINGS
MEGHAN MARKLE’S ENGAGEMENT TO PRINCE HARRY SPARKS SURGE IN SUITORS CREATING & DESIGNING MARKLE-INSPIRED DIAMOND RINGS
LONDON-BASED DIAMOND BRAND, VASHI, WHICH ENABLES CUSTOMERS TO DESIGN AND MAKE THEIR OWN DIAMOND JEWELLERY, NOW “INUNDATED WITH DESIGN COMMISSIONS FOR MARKLE SPARKLE”
PEAK MARRIAGE PROPOSAL SEASON, WHICH SPIKES ON CHRISTMAS EVE, GETS A ROYAL BOOST AT VASHI
*Three-stone white diamond design created by a customer this week at VASHI – inspired by Meghan Markle’s engagement ring
Founder and CEO, Vashi Dominguez, talks about the reactive demand for Markle-inspired diamond rings this Christmas and why creating it at VASHI means that you too can design and make your own ring for your loved one.
‘Prince Harry has long been seen as the ‘people’s prince’, his very human and humble qualities resonating with the public. His choice not to sit behind a big brand name in his choice of ring – but rather to design his own – echoes his character and true emotion.’ Vashi Dominguez, founder and CEO VASHI
Leading London-based diamond jeweller, VASHI, who opened their third store in Westfield London Luxury village last Friday, has been inundated with requests from eager suitors to design and create the most talked-about diamond ring of the decade. The Mayfair flagship, Grafton street and new Westfield store have had a stream of walk in appointments seeking out the brand to hand make custom jewellery. Traditionally it’s the busiest time within the retail calendar, with marriage proposals spiking on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Demand for the three-stone white diamond ring with a vintage setting has soared with as many as one in four customers designing and making a Markle-inspired design.
Unlike conventional jewellery brands, who offer formulaic designs, VASHI’s signature interactive experience allows customers to make or design their own diamond jewellery and take part in making it. VASHI’s Mayfair flagship store has an in-store diamond laboratory and customers are invited to get hands on analysing diamonds under the microscope and making their perfect ring with the in-store craftsmen.
From couples shopping together, to would-be suitors shopping on behalf of their beloved, customers have been looking to take the design inspiration from Meghan Markle’s ring and add their own design elements to create something truly unique. And, with pricing as clear as their exceptional and hand selected diamonds, VASHI offers the same comparable quality as Bond Street but at price levels substantially below Bond Street and even High street pricing. Meaning a Meghan Markle inspired diamond ring is accessible for all.
VASHI have launched the Lovestrike collection to give everyone the opportunity to customize their jewellery. The collection of rings, earrings and pendants in both pave diamonds and smooth are all to be customized and made by you. You don’t buy a Lovestrike piece off the shelf, you create it yourself. Customers choose from a tray of sparkling melee diamonds which ones twinkle the brightest and picks the final three diamonds to complete their piece. Alongside the instore Alchemist, you can even set the stones yourself if you wish. The VASHI customer is inspired and encourage to push their boundaries and show off their personality through their customization.
“At VASHI, we are all about helping you put your own heart into making the dream ring for the one you love. Whilst many customers have been directly inspired by the beauty of Meghan’s engagement ring, we’ve also seen some beautiful bespoke variations.
I am delighted by the happy news of this young couple. It resonates with me that Harry chose to design and make his own ring. It’s a truly personal ring – a hand written love note – from him to Meghan incorporating diamonds from his mother’s jewellery.
The ring is a beautiful – and highly personal take on a classic setting. The side stones nod to the vintage settings which are becoming more and more popular. Though we’ve only seen brief images of the central diamond, it looks like a magnificent stone.
In my twenty years within the diamond industry I’ve seen this progression away from buying off the shop floor to customers designing and making rings themselves. People want to put a little bit of themselves in to the ring the give. ‘I love you, I made this for you’ will always win over ‘I love you, I bought this for you’ because you have invested heart and soul into creating your own unique and very intimate symbol of your love.
I created the Mayfair flagship VASHI store on this principle where by customers design and make jewellery alongside VASHI craftsman on the shop floor within our state of the art workshop.”
Vashi Dominguez, founder and CEO VASH www.vashi.com
VASHI expands to second retail outlet in London’s busiest shopping centre; Westfield London, bringing its signature interactive experience to the heart of the Luxury Village to stand alongside the world’s leading brands.
The expansive VASHI store reflects the brands ethos of transparency and welcomes customers at every corner. Set across 1,700 square feet, timber and stainless-steal edged kimberlite surfaces (the rock that is the birthplace of diamonds) reflect the brilliance of the diamonds on show.
VASHI jewellery centers around the customer. It is they who create it, be that from the design through to assembly or though the initial choosing the diamond(s). The process is collaborative between customer and VASHI craftsman and the result is always a truly unique ring ‘made by you’. As founder and CEO Vashi Dominguez notes: “ ‘I love you, I made this for you’ will always win over ‘I love you, I bought this for you’ because you have invested heart and soul into creating your own unique and very intimate symbol of your love”. Be that the love of an engagement or a parent to child or best friends, the choice from earrings and pendants through to engagement and wedding rings encapsulates every kind of loving emotion.
Two private consultation rooms circle the central diamond bar where diamonds are openly on display to twinkle and play with the light. The heart of the store is the lab [workshop?] where the resident jewellery alchemists work throughout the day crafting the jewellery. As in all VASHI stores, customers are welcome to roll up their sleeves to create their personal item of jewellery or can watch the master jewellers at work. Traditional tools sit alongside cutting-edge state-of-the-art lasers and engraving tools all in the hands of VASHI master jewelers.
VASHI employs resident craftsmen with a combined 50 years of experience at the highest level of jewellery making. Over the launch of the Westfield store, VASHI jewelers will host a program of masterclasses to explain, uncover and curate the history and finesse of diamonds and diamond jewellery. Masterclasses are exclusive to VASHI Westfield London with a limit of just 6 people per session running 5 days per week from 8th until 22nd December.
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INAUGURAL VERVE CHARITY GALA BALL RAISES OVER £10,000 FOR MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION
A TIME FOR DRIVEN PEOPLE TO GIVE BACK
- Female entrepreneur and cofounder of Verve Rally, Darshana Ubl raises over £10,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Tessy of Luxembourg supports the event based on female empowerment
- Darshana believes in the principles of hard work, commitment to a cause and making the world a better place by giving back
Verve Rally, the luxurious adventure travel experience hosted their inaugural fundraising Gala Ball on 29th November at The Bloomsbury Ballroom in London, raising over £10,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants magical wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.
The Verve Gala Ball raises funds for established charities based in England and Wales. The Gala and Verve’s other charitable activities are the initiative of Darshana Ubl, the co-founder of Verve Rally. Darshana is a spokesperson for business on BBC News, an investor, and has been the driving force behind several businesses. She believes in the principles of hard work, commitment to a cause and making the world a better place.
Over 120 guests were treated to a champagne reception, a three-course meal, wine, fundraising and live entertainment by DJ Joshua, Monroe and Benjamin in a sumptuous and luxurious atmosphere. Guests included Tessy Antony of Luxembourg, Ververs (Verve Rally participants who are travel and car enthusiasts), along with some of UK’s leading business leaders, political heads, influencers and all-round cool people who enjoy a good work-life balance and giving back.
Channel 4 were also filming for a new TV programme about fashion designer Ian Stuart. The series will feature Darshana Ubl and her amazing wardrobe.
Darshana Ubl says of the event: “Memories are one thing that cannot be taken from us. It has been a pleasure to raise funds for Make A Wish foundation to help put a smile on the faces of terminally ill children”.
“ No effort towards others remains unrewarded” – Tessy of Luxembourg
Make-A-Wish Foundation grant terminally-ill children their One True Wish, providing hope for the future, strength to cope and resilience to fight their condition. They’re given quality time away from the daily realities of living with their condition and have the chance to make magical memories they can treasure forever – whatever their future may hold.
Natasha Dubash, Regional Fundraising Manager for Make-A-Wish Foundation, said:
“We are thrilled that Verve Rally have chosen to support Make-A-Wish through their Charity Gala this November. I am sure that the event will be a huge success, raising funds for Make-A-Wish and enabling us to help grant more magical wishes for children and young people living with life-threatening conditions. The funds raised from this event will go towards making more children’s magical wishes come true. We are so grateful for the support.”
For further press information regarding products and images please contact Siobhan Connor at Connor PR / 07966 177025 / Siobhan@connorpr.com
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About Verve Rally’s fundraising
Darshana Ubl biography
Darshana Ubl is a serial entrepreneur who believes in blending her passion with work to create businesses that are aligned to one’s overall values and goals.
She is the co-founder of Verve Rally, which specialises in luxury adventure holidays with GT/Supercars and also a property development company.
She has been involved in fund raising for several charities including Cherie Blair Foundation, Princes Trust, PATT foundation and now Make A Wish. Darshana Ubl has a Masters Degree in Economics and is based in London.
and what they mean to children and young people and their families. We would ask that this approach is followed and that the term ‘life-threatening conditions’ is used in material for publication.
Connor PR and Verve Rally, Connor PR specialist in charity PR, Connor PR and Make-A-Wish Foundation
VASHI OPENS DIAMOND CONCEPT STORE IN LONDON’S PICCADILLY
“The Brave Make”
The Diamond Engagement Ring and Jewellery Made by You for The One
46 Piccadilly, London
The future of diamond jewellery shopping is unveiled this week, as leading retailer, VASHI, opens the doors to its eagerly anticipated concept store in Central London’s Piccadilly. Set across 1500 square feet and two floors, the disruptive new retail concept has turned the traditional jewellery retail model on its head by putting the customer centre-stage for the first ever deeply experiential proposition. Unlike existing diamond retailers, VASHI’s customers are encouraged to get truly hands-on creating their own rings and other jewellery with diamonds of exceptional brilliance and quality but at price levels substantially below equivalent Bond St and even High St pricing.
“By establishing our first concept store, we want to make you the heroes and heroines, the stars of the show, fully immersed in the incredible and hidden world of diamond jewellery, whether for the love of your life or for yourself – the whole experience is about you, not about us”, explains diamond expert Vashi Dominguez, Founder and CEO of the business established as an online retailer over 10 years ago.
“We are all about helping you to recreate the sort of raw, intense and pure emotion and overwhelming love that brought tears of joy to your parents’ eyes as you proudly presented your first love letter to them, drawn at school – a drawing that was of course treasured for life”.
The extent of the VASHI revolution is immediately clear. Its vibrant windows on Piccadilly showcase the magic and dramatic theatre of diamond craftspeople – the Alchemists – at work right alongside customers in a startlingly modern and disruptive store. The store design is unlike anything in the jewellery sector, with an incredibly engaging story line – even the door handle is crafted from exquisite kimberlite, the birthplace of diamonds deep within the Earth’s crust. Conventional practices are bravely debunked, with diamonds openly on display and accessible to customers instead of locked away behind glass. The atmosphere is disarmingly relaxed and friendly.
“We don’t really want to sell you what is on display – we always prefer you to handpick your own diamond, to play with them while you choose the one that appeals most to you, match this with your favourite setting – or even design it from scratch – and then put your own heart into making your ring, with us as your support crew”, commented Vashi Dominguez.
“Try doing that with existing retailers”, he added.
The VASHI Journey
A team of resident ‘Guardian Angels’1 and ‘Alchemists’2 are on hand to take you through the full sensory experience of “The Brave Make”3 . After honing in on a design and creating a digital mood-board, you get hands-on with dazzling three billion year-old diamonds, every one of which has been specifically selected for its exceptional brilliance by Vashi himself, until you find the perfect one for them.
Then it’s off into the amazing underworld of the VASHI diamond lab, where you sit right alongside your personal Alchemist at their bench as the Alchemist sets to work with state-of-the-art lasers, chemicals and flames to melt and form precious metal to encase your diamond. You are invited to roll up your sleeves and take part in the creation of your ring, polishing and setting your diamond yourself. Every step on your journey to creating this unique ring is captured as a personalised film to share on social, and as an impressive coffee table book to be shared with your loved ones.
Vashi Dominguez concluded: “I love you, I made this for you” will always win over “I love you, I bought this for you” because you have invested heart and soul into creating your own unique and very intimate symbol of your love”.
VASHI is located at 46 Piccadilly and is open 7 days a week.
#THEBRAVEMAKE #THEONE #BETHEHERO #BETHEHEROINE #FEELTHELOVE #YELLHELLYES
Media information To arrange a visit to the concept store, or for more information, images, clips or interview requests please contact Connor PR:
Siobhan Connor +44 7966 177025 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hayley Hamburg + 447799 714727 email@example.com
Vashi is a leading diamond jewellery multi channel retailer. Based in London but selling worldwide as Vashi.com, the business has grown rapidly over the past 10 years by focussing on on-line customisation of jewellery with diamonds of exceptional brilliance but at accessible pricing. In 2017, Vashi has intensified its special fully-immersive approach to personalisation, opening a ground-breaking concept store at 46 Piccadilly in London, where customers get directly involved hands-on in creating their jewellery, from selecting their own diamond all the way through to setting the gem with the help of the resident Alchemists. Vashi also operates a popup store at 13 Grafton St, just off London’s Bond St.
1 About The Guardian Angels
The ultimate wingmen and wingwomen for the purchase experience. Vashi Guardian Angels are there to offer a guiding light to the customer, The Hero, taking them through the choices, akin to a personal shopper.
2 About The Alchemist
The Alchemist is the ultra-skilled magician behind the craft that is personalised jewellery – their excellence of craft can bring any idea to life, creating the ultimate expression of love.
3 About The Brave Make
The overarching marketing creative for VASHI focusses on a robust new brand identity: “The Brave Make” and “The One”. Each of these battle cries targets the notion that a gift into which you have invested real personal effort and thought will always trump a comparable gift bought off the shelf, whatever the price.
Connor PR expert in Luxury PR, Connor PR working with VASHI, Connor PR expert in lifestyle PR