Fenton: The independent jewellery company which planned for Brexit from the start

Real Business talks to Jerome Brustlein, COO of Fenton, about how the independent jewellery company is navigating Brexit for a smooth transition.

About: Fenton is an independent jewellery company that is bringing transparency and accountability to the industry through ethical practices
Turnover: Growing at 3x year on year, even in spite of lockdown
Years in business: 2
Number of employees: 20 across the UK and India
Outlets: Showroom in Bond Street (by appointment only) or visit www.fentonand.co

What percentage of your business operates within the EU?

Currently only 10% of our business operates within the EU. However, we’re only two years old as a business and 2021 has always been the year we planned to expand into multiple European territories.

In 2021 we’re planning to launch into the German market.

What are you doing to prepare for the January 2021 deadline?

With only a small amount of our current business operating within the EU, we’re in the unique position whereby we can hold off on making any significant capital investments until the deadline has passed.

Our preparations to date have very much revolved around scenario planning and depending upon how the situation plays out, we can react accordingly following the deadline.

Do you intend to stay put or move all your operations to EU and move out of the UK altogether?

Most of our operations will remain in the UK as most of our customers are served virtually given 75% of our sales are digital.

The exception are our services, such as repairs and resizing, which will be done in the EU instead of being shipped back to our workshop in London.

Do you have a plan B?

We’re confident we have everything in place to handle any scenario, the only change will be that our repairs and servicing will now be carried out by an EU jeweller. We felt that this was a move that would best position the business to continue to provide a high level of service and ensure best in class customer experience across all EU territories.

About Jerome Brustlein

Jerome Brustlein is the Chief Operating Officer at Fenton, an online jewellery brand that specialises in ethically sourced gemstones with a radically transparent approach.
Jerome studied for his MBA at Columbia Business School,  followed by 7 years working as a Consultant for Bain & Company where he honed his skill set working with consumer products and retail across both Europe and North America, before moving to digitally native global travel brand Away as General Manager.

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