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TAKE TIME: With Olivia Burton's co-founder Jemma Fennings.

May 25, 2015.



Jemma and Lesa

1. Talk us through the Olivia Burton team and your role? I met my best friend & co-founder Lesa at the London College of Fashion where we often dreamed about starting up a business together. We started Olivia Burton after a ‘eureka’ moment when we spotted a gap in the market for beautiful watches. Lesa and I oversee all aspects of the business from designing the watches to running our Instagram account – I love having a dialogue with our followers and customers. We have a fantastic team & we all work really closely together.

2. When was Olivia Burton founded and what was your inspiration behind the brand? Olivia Burton was founded in 2012 and we launched our debut collection in the Autumn of that year. Our watches are inspired by vintage and catwalk and I also take a lot of inspiration from my grandmother whose jewellery box was a total treasure trove of beautiful vintage pieces.OB15CGM55 (Midi Dial Chrono - Dusty Pink & Gold)

3. Describe the Olivia Burton brand in three words? Affordable, unique and fun!

4.  With the release of the AW15 collection, talk us through the design to manufacture process, starting with inspiration? Our collections are inspired by catwalk and vintage trends - we are always closely monitoring the latest trends to break and always try to out our unique spin on them. Our new Painterly Prints collection was inspired by the hand painted watercolour prints dominating the catwalk. Our striking Parlour collection is inspired by vintage compacts.  I have a huge collection I've inherited from my grandmothers & love adding to it by trawling through antique markets and finding beautiful new compacts with unique prints and detailing. Our watches are all designed in our studio in East London and a new collection launches every two months in order to tap into current trends.OB15PP01(Painterly Print - Hummingbird Black & Gold)

5.  Olivia Burton is recognisable for its heavy vintage aesthetics and Great British style, what are your thoughts on the new trend of smart watches? Do you think they will have an effect on the traditional watch industry? Our customers are attracted to the beautiful design and artistry associated with our watches. For me, smart watches are more about function than anything else & despite trying, aren't quite as beautiful as a traditional watch. 

6.  Are you wearing a watch today? If so describe the timepiece and why you choose it?Today I’m wearing our Flower Show Watercolour in Mint and Gold which features a beautifully detailed floral dial on a mint leather strap – it’s a great style for the current sunshine & matches my outfit perfectly 

OB15FS53(Flower Show - Mint & Gold)

7.  With at least two collections per year, which collection has been your favourite to date? My favourite would have to be the Woodland collection, I have a real soft spot for the butterfly styles which feature images we've taken of butterflies that have been lovingly preserved in England for over 100 years and which belonged to my grandfather’s personal collection

Photo Two - Parlour(Olivia Burton Parlour watch - Dusty Pink & Gold)

8.  What’s next for OB? What should we expect to see over the next 6 months ?  We can’t give too much away, but keep your eyes peeled for some exciting new A/W styles!

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