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Doctor's new town role is a real gem

PUBLISHED: 06:30 16 October 2016

DR Renee Kathuria has opened a jewellery shop in Beccles. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

DR Renee Kathuria has opened a jewellery shop in Beccles. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Many people will regard Dr Renee Kathuria as the person they visit when they are feeling under the weather. But the Beccles Health Centre GP is about to be recognised for a rather different profession.

DR Renee Kathuria pictured outside Oliver & J with Emily Tilsley and Michelle Elliott. 
PHOTO: Nick ButcherDR Renee Kathuria pictured outside Oliver & J with Emily Tilsley and Michelle Elliott. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The mother of two is the new owner of Blyburgate jewellers Oliver & J, named after her own children Oliver and Jessica.

And despite a dedicated career in medicine spanning three decades, Dr Kathuria is enjoying a career change focusing on a subject she has been interested in for years.

She said: “I always wanted to be a doctor, but when I was still training I went to Greece on holiday and I went into a gift shop, which was run by a girl who was no older than me. I then decided that if I wasn’t practising medicine that I would want to run a shop and that shop would be a jewellers, why, I don’t know.

“It’s become a bit of a standing joke in our house that mum wanted to run a jewellery shop.”

Dr Kathuria, who has practised medicine for 36 years, first bought the property in 2012 after a discussion with her husband Paul Berry, who is also a GP at Beccles Health Centre.

It became home to Mayflower Arts and Rumpus before she decided to press ahead with her plan.

She said: “I think working in medicine you realise that you can’t take your life and health for granted so it was time to take the step. At the moment I’m still working at the surgery one day a week, but I’m not a partner anymore.”

Dr Kathuria is joined in the shop by full-time staff member Emily Tilsley, display consultant Maria Pennington and Michelle Elliott who has 35 years experience in the jewellery industry, both of whom work one day a week.

Dr Kathuria is so dedicated to her new role that she has undertaken a jewellery diploma and silversmith training.

“I’ve been interested in jewellery for years and years and it’s allowed me to research what I’ll be interested in selling,” she said. “If you are going to be selling something I felt that I had to know something about it and the technique.

“I’ve tried to source all British or European designers and pieces that are really well made, for good prices. I have also met most of the designers, which has been really beneficial.

“My family are really behind me, Paul came to see all the suppliers with me and my colleagues at the surgery have been really supportive.”

Pieces range from traditional gem stones to pearls and contemporary silver from designers such as John Garland Taylor, Tara Kirkpatrick and Sonkai, a family jewellers in Norwich.

For more details visit http://oliverandj.co.uk/

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