This autumn Royal Marines military spouse Olivia Smith launched Olivia & Pearl, an accessible, luxury pearl jewellery brand and online retailer. Providing collectable, classic and contemporary pearl jewellery designed for a new generation of pearl lovers. Her contemporary take on pearls are high quality and sourced ethically while remaining affordable.

After drawing down a Start-Up Loan from X-Forces earlier this year, Olivia started researching her market and developing her brand. Through reducing product mark-up and making full use of e-commerce and direct to consumer sales, Olivia & Pearl offers luxury products at an accessible price point. With the global pearl market estimated to reach £10.7bn by 2020, Olivia is keen to gain a slice of the market and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Monica Vinader and Pandora in creating an International brand over the next 10 years.

As an avid lover of pearls when she was younger, Olivia remembers her dad often returning from his business trips with pearls. She grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and remembers washing cars and running coffee and tea stands as her own little businesses when she was younger. She worked as an actor for 10 years but ultimately realized she had no control of her own destiny or autonomy over her career. She moved to advertising for a while, but again realised that she didn’t want to work for other people and wanted to move towards selling a product instead of a service. When she finally made the leap to start up her own business, she decided to turn her love for pearls into a brand and put herself in the driver seat of her career.

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