In Shopping

Libby Rak Gallery of Jewellery, Woodstock’s only jewellery store, draws customers from far and wide who are attracted by stylish designs and super sparkly jewellery. It’s the jewel in the crown of Woodstock’s creative and entrepreneurial community and a showcase for the best in British design and craftsmanship. 

Libby sells a mix of high-end pieces, including exquisite engagement rings, through to more accessibly priced pieces perfect for gifts (or gifts for yourself!). Her signature styles include the Bluebell Pendant Necklace, inspired by walks in the local bluebell woods in Spring (which retail at £155) and chunky cocktail rings with dramatic gemstones (which start at £380).

Bluebell Pendant Necklace

Libby has achieved a lot at a young age, including winning awards such as the Muddy Stilettos Best Jewellery Store and Retail Jewellers 30 Under 30 awards, as well as being featured in Vogue magazine. Libby started her glittering career working as a teenager in the Julia Beusch Gallery of Contemporary Jewellery. It was there that Libby began to learn about gemstones; Julia would teach her to choose the most special one from a group that to the untrained eye looked identical. This sparked her passion for gemstones, and today she still loves the process of picking the most special gems from the ones that her suppliers share with her. 

Cocktail ring

It was always her intention to become an engineer, until she realised that she wanted to use her practical design skills to create objects of beauty, and jewellery making became her passion. Libby studied at the British Academy of Jewellery in Hatton Garden and when the shop space in Woodstock became available she jumped at the chance to create a pop-up shop, at just 20 years old. Her store opened as a permanent fixture in September 2017 and is now at the heart of Woodstock’s thriving retail scene.

The store itself sits on the main road that runs through Woodstock, nestled between The Woodstock Bookshop and The Cotswold Tailor. What makes it really special is that Libby’s workshop is visible, giving you an insight into the creation process. Libby describes herself as a ‘maker’, so instead of drawing designs she creates in the moment, blue-tacking gems onto ring bands, for example, to give you a real sense of what she’s thinking of creating for you. (If you’re lucky enough to be getting a bespoke creation).

As well as her selection of pre-made pieces and bespoke designs, Libby loves to remodel jewellery, creating modern designs from old family heirlooms. Some customers feel guilty that they’re not wearing their grandmother’s engagement ring that they’ve inherited as it’s just not their style, but Libby’s advice is that it’s better to have things remodelled. “People feel bad about it, but I always say they’ve given that to you so you can wear it.” Libby loves this process, as it has such sentimentality, and the stories of loved ones and family history creates a real emotional connection between her and her customers. “Most jewellers don’t like to remodel as there’s not much money to be made, but I absolutely love doing it…I can’t say no!”

Ring made from existing jewellery re-imaged to create something new

Emotion is something always present in her store. Libby says she loves to make “sparkly things that make people happy” and that “crying with happiness is always a good sign, you just see it on their face when a customer is delighted.”

Of course, engagement rings come with a whole host of secrets and excitement. Libby recalls being asked by a female customer (and a friend): “I’m going on holiday and I want to propose, help me choose a ring”, and then the very next day the other half of the couple asked her exactly the same thing! Libby is a very good secret keeper, as well as jeweller!

The Happy Couple

Libby’s looking forward to revealing her new collection, which promises to be “full of lots of new exciting pieces, lots of cocktail rings, and lots of diamonds!” 

Libby’s perfect customer is “someone who’s open to something a little bit different, who can trust my imagination.”  Of-course, everyone is welcome, conservative or brave. Whatever you’re looking for, you can trust that everything is made from responsibly-sourced gemstones, that recycled metal features heavily, and you’ll be buying something that’s made to last.

25 Oxford St, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1TH

01993 811006




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