In September 2011 Simon Ogilvie Harris launched Chavin’s inaugural collection at the International Jewellery Show in London with a launch event at the Embassy of Peru in London.
Born in Canada to British parents who travelled the world extensively with their five children and educated in London it was a natural evolution that Simon’s love of travelling would inspire his entrepreneurial spirit. Having followed the conventional route of attending university and embarking on a successful financial career at Goldman Sachs in the City of London, he realised that the banking culture did not suit his altruistic and creative nature. After much consideration he decided to quit the City for good and fulfil his childhood dream of running his own company.
Within weeks of his departure from Goldman’s, inspired by a stunning piece of sterling silver jewellery, brought back by a friend from Peru, Simon embarked on a trip to Peru to see the country for himself. He began to notice the incredible rings, bracelets and necklaces, worn by the women folk of Peru So intrigued was he by what he saw, he determined to find out more about the origins of the brilliant animal images that seemed to be the common thread behind the fascinating and delightful 'trinkets' that he kept seeing. A few trips to local museums in the Lima area offered up some interesting revelations, with Simon, now realising that most of the imagery he had spotted came from the ancient Peruvian culture, Chavin. As this discovery was running through Simon's active andcreative mind, an innovative business idea began to hatch – he realized he could focus his energies towards creating an ingenious concept idea that could potentially be a great commercial enterprise but, more especially, one that could help empower and have a real impact on these wretchedly poor Peruvian women, their children and their families, to improve the hopeless lot they had been dealt in life. Inspired by the intriguing mythology, vibrant colours and craftsmanship of this Ancient culture, Simon quickly worked out that, manufactured to a very high standard and using only the best materials, modern designs, inspired by the jewellery he'd spotted, when properly gift boxed, combined with a compelling marketing story (fact, not fiction) he could market and sell the products through leading department stores, boutiques and famous jewellery retailers around the world. He coupled this with his altruism to hand back cash to the impoverished Peruvians from whom he had been 'gifted' the concept. And so Chavin Jewellery came into being- not just another British Jewellery business but a jewellery business with a difference.
A couple of years later , Chavin Jewellery is to be found sparkling through some of the UK's smartest shop windows and Simon has been consistently written up as the 'businessman to watch'. Not bad for someone who only recently became acquainted with the ever demanding UK retail world. He has also been praised for his work in Peru by His Excellency the Peruvian Ambassador. Hardly surprising then with Simon's dogged, hard working belief that it has paid dividends with Chavin's growth being exponential year on year. And the more his sales figures grow, the more the fiercely independent women and children at Luz y Vida will benefit "Not a day goes by when I don’t learn something new" is Simon's mantra.