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Wonder Woman Wednesday: Olivia Smith

Olivia Smith from Olivia & Pearl is next up in our Wonder Woman Wednesday series…

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Olivia Smith, Founder at Olivia & Pearl
Olivia Smith, Founder at Olivia & Pearl

Olivia Smith, Founder at Olivia & Pearl, has reinvented the classical pearl as something contemporary and simply stunning. Olivia’s designs are innovative and her passion inspiring.

Tell me about your background

I’m a northerner but I’ve lived in London for so many years now that everyone thinks I’m from the south, but I’m so proud of my northern routes. It’s always important to remind myself and others of where I come from.

Read about jewellery designer and our previous Wonder Woman Chupi Sweetman here.

I loved school but was never that into academics, I was more interested in stirring up mischief and hanging out with my friends than blackboards and algebra. I left school with a love of acting and the theatre, as well as sport, and headed straight for the bright lights of London.

I thought London was incredible, and I took it all in whilst cutting my teeth in tech PR, advertising and fashion jobs and making the most of the London music and arts scene. But I couldn’t quite shake my true ambition and decided to follow my heart to New York to pursue my true love - acting.

I studied and worked as an actor for 10 years but my heart kept pulling me back to the idea of setting up my own business – so I started exploring ideas which lead to the creation of Olivia & Pearl.

Read more: our Wonder Woman Wednesday profile on Jacqui James.

What inspired you to start your own jewellery brand?

As an avid lover of pearls when I was younger, I remember my Dad returning from business trips with pearls as gifts which I treasured and collected. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and remember washing cars and running coffee and tea stands as my own little businesses at a young age.

I worked as an actor for 10 years and then moved to advertising for a while but then, after realising I didn’t want to work for other people, I finally made the leap to start up my own business. I decided to turn my love of pearls into a brand and put myself in the driving seat of my career.

If you loved reading about how Olivia got into jewellery design, check out our Wonder Woman Wednesday profile on jewellery designer Béatrice de Montille.

What are your secrets to success?

Whenever something has scared me or challenged me I’ve thrown myself at the opportunity – these opportunities have always worked to be the most successful both personally and professionally. You just have to go after what you love in life.

Read about shoe designer Emmy Scarterfield’s secrets to success here.

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

The wonderful friendships and relationships I have in my life – I couldn’t have achieved anything without the support of my husband, family and friends.

What does your typical working day look like?

I always start my day with a cup of tea then take my little dog Monty for a walk which helps me to clear my head and make a plan for the day. Then it’s back to the office to work through emails, talk to customers or attend meetings or photo shoots in London.

Read more: our Wonder Woman Wednesday profile on Milliner Alexandra Harper.

Can you tell us five interesting facts about yourself?

  1. When I was 16 I came third in the UK Nationals 100 metres race.
  2. I love dancing – especially tap. As a child I won a county wide MC Hammer dancing contest!
  3. I once played a ghost on the TV show Doctors.
  4. My husband and brother are both serving Royal Marine Commandos.
  5. I have a strong love for the natural world and a passion for animal welfare and conservation. One of my goals is to use Olivia & Pearl to raise awareness of and support efforts to protect our oceans and marine life.

If you loved reading about this talented and hardworking female entrepreneur, check out our Wonder Woman Wednesday profile on the talent behind bridal maternity wear brand, Tiffany London.

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