Interview: Olivia Burton Founders Jemma & Lesa

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What is your favourite watch out of the collection and why?

Lesa: It's always so hard to choose a favourite because I love loads & they all look great with different outfits. Our new 3D Daisy styles are so pretty and striking, they're real conversational pieces. 

Jemma: I've always been a huge collector of our Moulded Bee styles which I have in every metal colour! Our new Midi Moulded Bee is launching for the first time this month & it's just adorable. 


What was it that made you first want to launch your own watch brand?

Jemma: We were both working in the fashion industry within buying and production sides of the business and just loved accessories. We always spoke about starting our own business together since our uni days but it was always about getting as much experience as possible & waiting for that eureka moment. When we spotted a gap in the market for beautiful but affordable watches, we started designing and went for it! We launched Olivia Burton in 2012 after leaving our jobs & have never looked back. 


What sets Olivia Burton apart from other watch brands?

Lesa: We launch new styles every few months, which means we can be really reactive to catwalk trends and micro-trends we see coming through. We always like to combine these with vintage influences and put our own spin on things. Our aim is to offer our lovely customers constant choice. We pay close attention to small details in everything we do, from our watches, events and our contact with customers, we like to put a personal touch in everything we do. It's really important to us! 


What is the design process of a watch?

Lesa: We look at catwalk trends, seasonal colour palettes and things we’ve spotted in street fashion that we think could be worked into our designs. We use social media a lot to really study and understand our customer and listen to what they are asking for and often work this feedback into developing collections 


How long does it take to design & produce a watch?

Jemma: It varies as some designs are more complex and so the artwork and sampling process can take a lot longer. All in all, it's about 5 months of work. 


What is the process of designing / creating the prints on the watch faces?

Jemma: The prints are very much inspired by the old and the new. We go to vintage stores and little antique shops to get inspiration for layouts and colours. A lot of sketching and CAD work is spent, often weeks just trying to refine a piece of artwork for a dial. 


What is you typical day like at Olivia Burton?

Jemma: I don’t think we ever really have a typical day. We can go from having meetings with the team on new season designs to planning international events and visiting our stockists across the globe. It’s a really fast paced environment and the office is constantly buzzing with creativity and enthusiasm which makes it a really inspiring place to be.