Jemma Fennings and Lesa Bennett: Olivia Burton

The affordable, fashion-led watch brand stocked by the likes of Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Printemps just four years after launch

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Jemma Fennings and Lesa Bennett, 33 and 34
Company: Olivia Burton

Having found a nifty niche in the well-populated women’s watch market, Olivia Burton has achieved big things in its four years of trading.

After meeting on their first day at London College of Fashion, best friends and ex-fashion buyers Jemma Fennings and Lesa Bennett spotted a gap in the sector for a “fashion-led watch brand that retains affordable prices”. With this as their jump off point, they produced a range of pieces combining “vintage influences with catwalk trends”. Following the successful launch of its first collection in high-end retailer Harvey Nichols, Olivia Burton has gone on to secure listings in Selfridges, John Lewis and Anthropologie in the UK, as well as Nordstrom in the US, The Iconic in Australia, Isetan in Japan, Printemps in France and De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands

The brand releases new collections every two months in order to keep in step with seasonal trends and ensure the range remains “fresh and exciting”, hoping customers will build up a collection of pieces and create their own “watch wardrobe”. Still 100% owned by Fennings and Bennett, the duo’s novel approach has seen Olivia Burton excel in a market dominated by a host of well-established competitors, with projections of more than £13m in turnover next year.

Fennings and Bennett’s success to date sees them take the haysmacintyre Top Gun title from 2015 Young Gun Sara Davies MBE of Crafter’s Companion. Top Gun is a special title bestowed upon the Young Gun 2016 business which judges feel stands out the most.

Image ©Peter Searle.

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