The Monica Vinader jewel in Norfolk's crown
PUBLISHED: 17:19 08 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 08 May 2019
She's the woman whose jewellery bedecks the rich and famous. And Monica Vinader is now bossing a company which has seen a 20% growth - and she's based in Norfolk.
Monica Vinader is worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, movie stars like Kate Winslet and even England manager Gareth Southgate.
But the woman who made "diamonds for everyday" - producing gems affordable to many and not just the jetsetters - has created more than just jewellery loved by household names but also a company on the up and up.
Spearheaded by Monica and sister Gabriela, the company, which has expanded recently into Hong Kong and Singapore, is still based in converted farm buildings at studios on the Holkham estate in north Norfolk.
The business has seen its revenue increase from £35.8m to £42.8m for the year ending July 2018, recording a profit after tax of £1.5m, a "significant improvement" on the previous year's £328,000.
Last year also saw Monica Vinader open stores in Covent Garden and Westfield, London and Bicester village in the UK, increasing its staff from 184 to 212.
The jeweller, based at Longlands, a converted period cart shed and saw mill at Holkham Studios, has always stated the "space and location creates an inviting and purposeful environment for our business needs".
Nova Fairbank, head of policy, governance and public affairs at Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, attributed the success to "an excellent business plan, filling a gap in the market and using the potential creativity of Norfolk".
"The Monica Vinader story is a good news story for Norfolk and paves the way for other businesses who should see that you can successfully run a global business from rural Norfolk," she said.
Monica, who grew up in Spain and France, came to live in Norfolk where she started out with an office and workshop at a converted forge in Docking, near Burnham Market. Her sister joined her in the business in 2008 and they opened in London with the Norfolk HQ retained as the key base for product design and dispatch.
She went on to make a name for creating items worn by the stars but which could be afforded by many with pieces starting at less than £100. Then came a Royal seal of approval when the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted in Monica Vinader's green onyx siren earrings and the friendship bracelet became a best-seller when England manager Gareth Southgate was photographed wearing one during the 2018 World Cup. Other celebrity fans include Millie Mackintosh, Kylie Minogue and Emma Watson.