We interviewed Tatiana Ovchinnikova, founder of jewellery brand Lemuria Jewels, to get to know this entrepreneur a little better
Tatiana Ovchinnikova founded her jewellery brand Lemuria Jewels in 2014. This successful entrepreneur shares her personal background, secrets to success and typical working day.
Check out Chupi Sweetman’s Wonder Woman Wednesday profile to find out more about this popular jewellery designer.
I launched Lemuria Jewels in 2014 after I came back to London from NYC where I studied gemology and jewellery design at GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
I wanted to create a brand that would tell a story as well as let the person who wears it tell their own stories through the jewellery. Undoubtedly, jewellery is one of the most personal accessories you can wear, so I believe it needs to be as unique as its owner.
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I came across the beautiful mythological story of the land of Lemuria - a paradise on earth full of treasures such as the rarest gems. After a natural disaster, Lemuria sunk into the ocean and all the beautiful gemstones were scattered around the world.
I loved this beautiful legend so decided to continue the story to give it a happier ending! At Lemuria, we gather all the beautiful gemstones from around the world and create stunning jewellery so that brides can possess their own little piece of treasure!
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I have quite an international background; I was born in Russia, grew up in Germany and came to the UK to study at boarding school. I always enjoyed the more creative subjects and decided to study double art for my GCSEs and A levels before I became a student of international marketing.
I was always drawn to the jewellery industry so after my first work experience at Cartier in Moscow, where I worked in marketing and PR departments.
I decided to enrol on a GIA course and moved to NYC; this was the most intense and productive year of my life. I learnt so much and couldn’t wait to launch my own brand so that I could share all my ideas with the world… and that is what I did as soon as I moved back to London!
For me, success is to do what you love and be in harmony with yourself and others around you.
Of course, hard work is at the core of any successful business, but I truly believe a person should wake up every morning and feel like they are doing the right thing and not living someone’s dream or living up to other people’s standards.
My main advice for those wanting to keep on track is to be persistent, and to not listen to anyone who demotivates you. Success comes to those who know and believe in what they want, even if it doesn’t happen right away.
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My greatest achievements are the relationships I have with my friends and family, all the obstacles in my life that I have managed to overcome, including building my own company and living a happy life.
Of course, I believe the greatest achievement in my career is yet to come but even then, for me, a true achievement will be to build a balanced life that brings harmony and joy to others.
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My all-time favourite is Grace Kelly, who inspires me with her timeless beauty and the legacy that she left behind. From the modern heroines, I’d name Oprah Winfrey and Natalia Vodyanova, whose philanthropic natures set an example of how a big heart and simple acts of kindness can make such a big difference in the world.
Although there are lots of great women I look up to, I never had a role model, a fact that forced me to be my own role model and set my own standards and goals.
I love the creative parts - designing and planning new collections as well organising and bringing people and ideas together.
When I first started my company, I used to do everything myself - from admin paper work to communicating with distributors. Only now have I realised the importance of sharing responsibilities, managing my team and delegating tasks that others can do better.
My approach now is to focus on things that only I can do, what I enjoy the most and do best. That is bringing all my ideas to life, as well as truly understanding and helping clients to express themselves through jewellery and deliver the best possible shopping experience!
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I wake up nice and early, around 6.30am, have breakfast and head to our Marylebone office. I try to train three or four times a week, either in the park or going to yoga, Pilates or Barre Core classes as it is important for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The life of entrepreneur is full of surprises, so I sometimes find myself in the most random locations, either for a meeting, a photo shoot or an interesting project or collaboration.
Being your own boss suggests more flexibility, but it also requires a lot of self-discipline and good organisational skills. I always plan weeks ahead but there’s always space for spontaneity in my life as being active and ready for new challenges is my ultimate state of mind.
The only disadvantage of my routine is how little time I have for friends and family in the evening as I don’t come back home until 8-9pm, but I make sure to catch up with my loved ones over the weekends.
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