Shaper: Robert Tateossian

Show aired on 28th May 2016

Transcript

Robert Tateossian made the transition from City financier to the “King of Cufflinks” and jewellery trendsetter; his international upbringing and love of travelling the world providing design inspiration that influenced his change of path. Born in Kuwait and educated at French schools in Rome, Tateossian, who is fluent in seven languages, studied international finance at the prestigious Wharton School of Finance in Pennsylvania, before embarking on a successful career with Merrill Lynch on Wall Street and in the City of London.

After seven years of investment banking, Tateossian was ready to fulfil his ambition to start his own business. His creative flair, love of luxury and keen eye for detail, led him to jewellery and accessory design, setting up offices in London and initially a workshop in Birmingham – in the heart of England’s silversmith industry. In 1990, Tateossian Ltd was created.

Inspired by everything from travel and religion to art and fashion, the seasonal collections for men and women provide a distinctive and unique product. With no limitations on materials, silver and gold are combined with precious jewels such as diamonds, sapphires and rubies, as well as carbon fibre and crystals. While still creating the ultimate range of handcrafted, contemporary and unique cufflinks for discerning businessmen, the brand is now much more than a purveyor of stylish shirt sleeve fasteners for bankers and brokers.

Robert Tateossian lives in – and runs the business from – London; but he still spends 70% of his time travelling around the world sourcing suppliers, meeting clients and gaining inspiration for his latest collections.

Follow Marcus on Twitter @rtateossian1.

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“I think a strategic plan is important but also you can start a business on a whim if you are careful.”

“You always have to have a very positive attitude that your idea will be a successful one, but it is all touch and go…”

“…it is just a question of managing the growth in a very systemic way and being very prudent and thinking rationally, with a little bit of emotion”

“I am a little bit of a control freak and to this day I still control every aspect of the creative values of the company”

“I would not be able to wear these floral shoes in the City.”

“The money is not really there to give a huge buzz, the money comes in to pay the bills.”

“We are always looking for very unusual materials and the moon is next…our next collection is going to be pieces of jewellery that include pieces from the moon.”

“…most of the satisfaction comes from actually seeing people wearing my stuff and of course having a company of seventy two people…”

“I have no retirement date in mind – unlike my banking friends who are desperately looking at the date that they can leave the City.”