The business on: Theo Fennell

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The Independent Online

So who’s this glamorous chap?

Step forward Theo Fennell, aka the jeweller to the stars. He runs the eponymous chain of shops that caters for celebrities including Sir Elton John, David Beckham and Naomi Campbell.

A licence to print money?

Yes and no. Mr Fennell made a huge success of the business before stepping down in 2008. Then it faltered and its founder felt compelled to return to work a year ago to turn its fortunes around.

Has he pulled it off?

It would seem so. The latest trading update, published yesterday, shows losses have come down considerably and analysts are now expecting the company to return to profit before the end of the year.

What’s his secret?

There are two. First, Mr Fennell seems to have a knack for producing jewellery ranges that sell: the autumn collection, his first since returning to the company, prompted a 23 per cent sales boost. Just as crucial, he has a talent for persuading the A-listers to model his bling. Lady Gaga, for instance, was plastered in the stuff at Sir Elton’s white tie and tiara ball last week.

So much for austerity.

Good point. Mr Fennell now plans a range with items priced at between £70 and £200 (think £1,000 plus for his usual stuff). It should appeal to cash-strapped folk, like the England team WAGs forced to get by on lower-than-hoped-for bonuses.

Champagne all round then?

Steady on. In his younger days, Mr Fennell was known as something of a man about town. But he gave up the booze more than a decade ago and you’re more likely to find him at home with wife Louise and daughters Emerald and Coco. Maybe they’ll have a sing-along – the jeweller owns eight guitars, including his favourite, signed by Dolly Parton, and likes nothing better than an impromptu jam session with friends and family.



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