Spotlight On... Celebrity jeweller, Theo Fennell
Friday 16 December 2011
Who is this bejewelled fellow?
Jeweller to the stars Theo Fennell started from a workshop in Hatton Garden. His first shop opened in Chelsea's Fulham Road in 1982. His workshop, now above the shop, is full of skilled craftsman making all the intricate designs from silver skull rings to gold pendants.
So is he friends with his celebrity clients?
Yes, many of them. Having been fully on the party scene in the early days of his career, he now takes it easy and admits that he might not recognise all the latest celebrities that buy his bling. Daughters dress designer Coco and actress Emerald help in the celeb spotting.
Are his designs mega expensive?
His bespoke line – like the Secret Garden ring with yellow gold, paraiba tourmaline, diamond and enamel – sell for £40,000 or more, but he has launched a cheaper silver range that sells in high street jeweller Fraser Hart.
Don't rich foreigners buy all the luxury goods now?
Yes they do, and Fennell is in discussions with partners to sell his wares in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and South Korea. The Americans also quite fancy his designs, and he has just launched a concession in Los Angeles. But London is still doing very well from all the rich tourists.
So why did the business make a first-half loss?
This was because of investment in new lines like the cheaper silver business, and a website. Sales in the first six months jumped 10 per cent to £5.36m, so hopes are the company will turn a profit soon. Seymour Pierce analysts give the stock a buy recommendation.
Will he do anything other than jewellery?
He has already gone into items such as silver photo frames, cocktail shakers and jugs but he is tight-lipped about what he is planning next. He has a variety of new product lines on the drawing board. Perhaps he is working with clothes designer daughter Coco on some new ideas for next year?
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