I’m going for gold this week as my guest on the blog is Laban Roomes, founder of high-end brand Goldgenie. Specialising in luxury personalised gifts and items using pure 24K gold, Rose Gold, Platinum and Diamonds… in fact, they are best known for their decadent designs and blingworthy materials. From 24K gold shoes and embellished Apple watches to a 24K gold bike worth more than a Ferrari, there’s hardly anything in the world that can not be given the Midas touch. I caught up with Laban recently and used the golden opportunity to ask a few questions…. Hi Laban !
Hello 🙂 My name is Laban Roomes, founder of Luxury Gift and customisation services company, Goldgenie. I developed an innovative portable plating device that can gold plate pretty much any item that is conductive. Our clients include The Oscars and Emmy awards in Los Angeles, HTC, Samsung, BlackBerry, AMEX and our flagship client Lexus as well as iconic retail outlets like Harrods and Selfridges, plus a host of Celebrities including the Beckhams, Elton John, P. Diddy, Denzel Washington, Rhianna and Mark Wahlberg to name just a few.
What inspired you to launch your business venture, Goldgenie?
The business suited my character as someone that always had a keen interest in luxury goods and services. I thought better to develop something that I can do and live with a passion then just do something for the money… It just so happened that money came anyway. I also believe that the self development that occurs mentally and spiritually for oneself can be profound if approached in a certain way.
Goldgenie featured on BBC television’s programme “Dragons Den” and received backing from James Caan. Was it a nerve racking experience? What surprised you most about the experience?
Yes it was a nerve racking experience and as time went on and I was losing the support of the Dragons something switched on inside of me, the fighting extinct came alive as there was no way I was going home without the investment! What this confirmed to me is that people really do buy into people and the more you let your light shine the more powerful you are and the more you radiate and exude confidence,which everyone wants a piece of. The biggest shock was that the stairs I walked up on the Dragons Den was on a set 2 miles away from the actual studio that I appeared on and got my investment.
What products are proving popular amongst your customers so far this season for embellishing with pure 24K gold, rose gold, platinum & diamonds?
The iPhone 6s remains triumphant so far and close second is the Apple Watch and iPad. Ever since we customised the first ever iPhone way back in 2007 this has without a doubt been our best performing product to date. Finishes available are 24k Gold, Platinum, Rose Gold and Diamonds.
Out of all the products you’ve decorated, do you have a favourite item?
Not really as everything is still so fascinating to watch and see the total transformation a product undergoes during our processes – but the two I have been most proud of to date is the Neasden Temple in London and the range of Swarovski crystal encrusted iPods I personally designed for Elton John to raise funds for his EJAF charity.
Adding the Midas touch to everything from new technology to footwear, what has been the most unusual item you’ve decorated in 24K gold?
This has to be the Sultan Of Brunei’s toilet.. Or maybe a top of the range vibrator Ann Summers commissioned us to do for a well known celebrity I’m not at liberty to mention.
Your collaboration with designer shoe maker Deeasjer has resulted in an awesome limited “Pure Gold” capsule collection of Deeasjer shoes each incorporating 24K gold embellished heels & featuring Deeasjer’s signature brand symbol – the Rose. How did the collaboration first come about?
Goldgenie sponsored a fashion show for Deeasjer many moons ago, when the owner Charlene Beckett was designing the “Pure Gold” Capsule collection she asked me to be involved in the designs – I just had to,of course, feature 24k Gold heels.
You have expanded from the UK into the UAE … Have you any plans to expand elsewhere globally in the future?
Yes we have expanded recently to the UAE with our first retail store opening in the first week of July and have plans to open a shop in Los Angeles or Puerto Banus in Spain next year – hopefully we will be able to do both.
As you are based in the UK, do you offer embellished products or services overseas too?
Yes we do and have an award winning service that can pick up your item anywhere in the world with our secure and trackable courier service, have your item customised and returned within 14 days of pick up.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I am fortunate that whatever I put on because of my build I look good in (not bragging, of course) but I do like brands like Sisley and Paul Smith or I will get my suits made. In saying that, I also buy clothes for the fit more than the brand behind it. For footwear I love Clarkes and Cruyff shoes, brogues without a doubt are a key part of my wardrobe and Adidas.. keeping it simple.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
Yes, I have a passion for watches and do like online watch sites like Rolex, Patek Philipe and Brietling – I have great admiration for the Apple brand including their online and retail stores. Steve Jobs is one of my all time favourite entrepreneurs and his success to me has really made a positive impact on the world, anyone that starts their business with little or no money from a garage and grows it to be one of the richest and most cutting edge companies in the world, you just have to admire.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe/accessory wish list?
I intend to buy myself some fresh tracksuits and trainers – you can never have enough trainers.
Boots or Shoes?
That will be more Cruyff shoes – they suit me down to a T.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Goldgenie
Thank you Laban for joining me on the blog and giving the blog a touch of golden glamour. So, dear readers, have you any items that could benefit from the golden touch? I do love the golden heels and I’m sure even my trainers would benefit from a lick of gold! Wouldn’t a golden Harley Davidson look cool too?!? ..as always, share your ideas, I’d love to know what you think!
All photographs have been published with kind permission of Laban Roomes/ Goldgenie