In April 2021, Olivia Jenkins quit her job to pursue her jewellery business full-time. It was a huge leap of faith – but that one leap has paid off hugely as the company expects to surpass almost £10 million in revenue in 2024. 

After moving to Reading for university and taking a job at Pandora, Cardiff-born Olivia began to identify issues around everyday gold-plated jewellery. Then, after graduating and joining a global media agency, lockdown caused a ginormous shift in her job that caused Olivia to rethink her career. So, she decided to start a side hustle: D. Louise. 

The brand is lovingly named after her Mother, Deborah Louise, who passed away in 2017. According to Olivia, D. Louise aimed to fill a huge gap in the jewellery market: gold-plated pieces that wouldn’t tarnish when wet or worn to the gym. Olivia ensured that her jewellery would remain affordable without sacrificing quality, pairing an impressive level of durability with aesthetics and affordability. 

Since leaving her job and pursuing her business, Olivia has gone from strength to strength. From the early days of setting up an Instagram account, searching for suppliers and finding designers, D. Louise has snowballed into a jewellery empire. Every piece of D. Louise jewellery is crafted from tough, eco-friendly and hypoallergenic 361L stainless steel that won’t rust or oxidise. As well as this, Olivia ensured that her coating process would ensure an incredibly robust finish – ten times harder than gold-plating. According to D. Louise, it’s “jewellery you never have to take off.”

The careful thought and consideration that goes into making each piece of jewellery has certainly paid off, as business is booming at D. Louise. Over 350,000 units have been sold since the business started and the upward trajectory is set to continue with several impressive achievements that have happened over the last few months.  

One of these impressive achievements is the investment they have recently received from former Gymshark CEO, Steve Hewitt. Olivia first connected with Steve through his advisory business, Whanau, which led to Steve approaching the brand to foster a long-term connection and becoming an investor and board member. D. Louise plans to use the investment to accelerate their expansion, though Olivia is quick to ensure that there is no doubt that they will remain true to their roots, staying as a direct-to-consumer brand and sticking with their original strategy. 

But that’s not all. Recently, D. Louise has announced Flannels as a stockist, the UK’s largest independent luxury retail group. This makes it even easier for customers to acquire pieces from D. Louise and see the products in person. The amazing expansion of the business from a small start-up in Olivia’s bedroom has also caught the eye of Forbes, who recognised D. Louise in their Forbes 30 Under 30 list. 

One of the brand’s defining qualities is its quick ability to adapt whilst retaining its core values. Keeping a close relationship with the consumer, D. Louise uses customer feedback and trending searches to advise them on how to develop, having the ability to quickly use this information and turn it into successful collections. The brand ensures that it remains tightly connected with its customers by engaging with them on social media, hosting customer dinners and running influencer takeovers, allowing D. Louise to directly converse with their audience and consumers. 

Olivia remains firm in her belief that the hardest part of creating a business is overcoming the first hurdle of starting it. Taking that leap of faith, having belief in yourself and your product and keeping a strong work ethic ensure that, over time, the ball will start rolling. 
For more on the D. Louise story, click here.

Author WCS

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