HOT 100 BRAND CHAMPIONS: Lesa Bennett & Jemma Fennings, co-founders, Olivia Burton

lesa bennett and Jemma Fennings_MG_0327 (2)

Having launched Olivia Burton in 2012, it didn’t take long for former fashion buyers Lesa Bennett and Jemma Fennings to know they were on to a winner.

“We have seen huge success and growth in the business,” Lesa affirms, “and there have been lots of highlights over the last year. We are thrilled to have launched the brand in Nordstrom – a department store that we have always aspired to have a presence in. It’s a great accomplishment for the team and the initial sales response has been incredible, with some styles selling out over the launch weekend.”

“We’ve also seen our team double to 22 employees and have moved into much bigger premises in Shoreditch, where our Hot 100 photoshoot took place,” Jemma adds. “The last space we took on was huge and it was a really big jump for us. At first we were rattling around, but within six months we were bursting at the seams!”

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The duo’s focus on international growth has also paid off, with Olivia Burton timepieces now in demand across the globe.

But this sort of growth couldn’t be sustained if it weren’t for their nimble approach to business. “We are very adaptable and are not scared of change; we’re really fluid in our plans. That’s what enables us to move quickly and stay ahead of our competition,” says Lesa.

“We’re also very driven and passionate people, genuinely living and breathing the brand. We are focused on what we want to achieve from a business perspective and never stop raising that bar – when we reach one goal we are then straight on to the next. It’s constant, but we thrive on new challenges,” Jemma adds.

Ahead, the expansion is set to continue, building brand awareness, branching out into new territories and introducing new products. But there is still some time left over for the pair to enjoy the journey.

“We are both quite modest people and don’t really shout about our achievements, but we do celebrate milestones, like we always have. I still have the champagne cork from the bottle we popped when we got our first order from Harvey Nichols!” Jemma smiles.

IMAGE: Kalory.co.uk

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