Kabiri Covent Garden event

June 12, 2009

Kabiri is a jewellery store which stocks various famous jewellery designers from all over the world.

Spillingthebeads.com was invited to the Kabiri event featuring Ana de Costa jewellery yesterday, in Covent Garden. Due to geographical limitations, she was kind enough to ask me to go on behalf of her. I gladly said yes (jewellery hell yeah), and promised to take pictures for her.

I grabbed Stella with me, and off we went, to Covent Garden.


I did not have a pleasant experience with the Kabiri staff, so after getting the green light from Spillingthebeads.com, she gave me permission to give my honest inside scoop. Excited as hell, here I go.

First of all, the event was supposed to feature Ana de Costa, but she only had two display sets, and it was more of a display of her sketchbooks and essays about her sitting on her grandmother’s lap, which was all fun and all….but we want to see more of the product! Her stuff featured jade and gold, and on top of being not-so-nice, it was extremely overpriced. You can see for yourself here.





Second of all, I felt extremely unwelcomed. The owner (who wore a tie dye almost-maxi dress and black ankle boots wth?) kept to her own group most of the time, and Stella and I were left to ourselves looking lost. Suddenly a guy came to us, at first I thought to check out Stella’s legs. But he turned out to be the owner (the ankle boots lady)’s husband. He was the only nice person there, who bothered to check where we were from. You know, just in case we were the Chinese princesses from China, who had all the money in the world to buy their jewellery.

But no, he was nice. He asked us questions, we asked him questions. He explained that Kabiri had stores in Covent Garden, Marylebone High Street and Selfridges, and was also available online. He spent a good 15 minutes chatting with us, and we excused ourselves to check out more jewellery.

Still, the owner and the staff never bothered about us, when technically, we were supposed to be guests in their “home”.


Thirdly, everything was so eccentric and super expensive. Stella and I started making funny stories of how the designers made the jewellery with gold found from Mars, or stones from Jupiter, thereby justifying the ridiculous prices.

We soon learned that we were on the fine jewellery floor. Ohhhhhhh. So we went back up to see the “affordable” jewellery. That’s when we met Jennifer Behr, Rachel Leigh and the works. Oh we were so amused by the gorgeous jewellery and I even contemplated on getting a 500 pound Jennifer Behr headband, as worn by Blair Waldorf. After I got my brains back, we moved on to other jewellery.

I was so intrigued by the pieces, so I took out my camera to feature them in Happy Go Ducky. But omg, the staff practically jumped on poor me, “NO CAMERAS PLEASE!!!“. Okkkk…. calm down. I apologised and gave them a smile, but the muscles in their faces didn’t even move to smile back. I explained that I was a blogger, and that I found these pieces so beautiful and I would love to feature them in my blog. Very politely I asked. They had to ask their manager first, and came back with this bitchy face, “She said you can get the pictures off the website.” Ooohh I was furious. What did they think I was going to do with these pictures?

(The headband I wanted to feature was not on the website btw, I later realised, so too bad for them I can’t show you guys here)

Then, a lady came in with her daughter. The doorgirl was like “Uh sorry this is a private event.” The lady said, “Oh but I just want to look at that piece over there and see if I want to buy it.” The doorgirl replied, Oh come another day then and shrugged the lady off. I’m no businesswoman, but even I’m not that dumb to see that as a very poor business decision. The lady could’ve bought that piece she was eye-ing, or she could’ve been on a holiday so she wouldn’t have had the time to come another day. Or she could’ve been the real Princess of China and bought thousands of pounds worth of jewellery. If I were the owners, I’d be furious at the doorgirl.

So, game on.

Since the staff was so snooty, and kept eyeing me up and down, it made me feel so terrible as if I was going to steal something. I felt my inner bitchy-ness creeping back.

I eyed them back up and down, and gave them confused looks, as if asking “Did you really put that outfit together? It’s disgusting.” One of them stopped looking at me, but the doorgirl was harder to take down. Nevertheless, I reminded myself that they’re a team. Take them down.

So, I transformed into one really really bratty customer. I know I’ve always had the brat in me, but it’s controllable, don’t worry. I only unleash the dark colours when necessary.

I asked one of the staff questions on practically every piece and every designer. I made her unlock the locked displays for me to try them on. She couldn’t leave me if I was holding their jewellery, so I made sure I took my time with her.

After 10 minutes contemplating on whether or not I want to buy that hideous headpiece, I gave her a sweet smile and said, “Hmm No I don’t like it. Next.” So we move on to another display and I pretended to ooh and aah over some other hideous jewellery. “Ohmagawww this is so nice, Stell! Doesn’t it look good on me?” I pretended to model it in front of the mirror, and made confused faces. “Oh Stell, it’s 1000 pounds though. My dad is going to go ballistic!” followed by “yeah-right” giggles.

Oh, the brat is out.

“No, I don’t want this colour. Ew. Do you have other colours?”

“Purple!! Ooooh I like…Hmm, actually no. I want yellow.”

“Hmm, how does this yellow look on me?”

“Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe I want the purple again.”

“Yeah, the purple is definitely nicer. I’ll get —. Oh my god, that necklace is gorgeous! Can I see it please?” *sweet smile inserted*

“Stell, what do you think of this on me?”

“Here, hold all this please.”

“Oooh I didn’t see that! Do you have it in another style?” *she goes in the stock room and comes back with a tray of other styles. “Hmm, no I change my mind, I don’t like it.”

Hahahahah it was FUN.. All the while, the bitchy doorgirl kept looking me up and down. I didn’t care by now because I’m pretty sure I gave off my I’m-Princess-of-China-I-can-buy-your-whole-store vibe.

After all that, I felt quite bad for the girl serving us. So I had to buy something. I looked for something cheap because I just didn’t like the store. We picked out some Rachel Leigh jewellery which we actually liked. “Oh, 200 pounds only. Ugh disgusting…but oh well, that’s the only thing I like from here.

We left the store, and they didn’t even smile!! The owner saw us and still kept looking us up and down, snobbish air surrounding her throne. Like alright already, we’re leaving. And we actually bought something, so don’t we deserve a smile or should we remove that stick up your *** first?

Later, in the cab. “Shit Stell! I spent 200 pounds on a bangle and a ring!”


Rachel Leigh

PS: This is of course my very own personal experience. It could actually be me dressing like a thief that made them put their radar on. All the while writing this post, I kept thinking about the owner’s husband and how nice he was to Stella and I. So, if you’re a jewellery-lover, it’s only fair for me to ask you to go to the Kabiri stores or click here. They do have some nice pieces.

PPS: He also personally invited us to the Tuesday event at their other store. But after this post, it’s safe to say, I’m not going.