Morning Habits, part 3: Robert Tateossian

The former banker turned 'King of Cufflinks' has never shied away from tough decisions. 

Matthew Priest July 6, 2015

Here at EDGAR, we do enjoy the tale of a corporate high-flyer who sacked in the day job to become an entrepreneur; to fill his time doing something he loves. 

That, in a nutshell, is our third subject in question in our seven-part Morning Habits series, where we study the routines of men at the top of their fields. 

So far Berluti's creative director has told us of his morning fitness regime, and the CEO of Ulysse Nardin of his strict time management. Interview number three, is a little mix of both... 

Robert Tateossian - founder, Tateossian

As a former banker who traded in his city job to start up his eponymous jewellery brand, the ‘King of Cufflinks’ has never shied away from tough decisions. Despite now living in London, Robert is a true representation of what it means to be multicultural. Born in Kuwait, the Palestinian-Lebanese-Turk, still starts off his day with a traditional Middle Eastern breakfast.

What time do you wake up in the morning?

I wake up at 7:30am on the dot. My alarm is set for that time, but even if it doesn’t ring, I will wake up.

What is the first thing that you do?

The first thing I do is go down stairs and make myself a cup of coffee – I use an espresso machine and have it with a little milk and some sweetner. Then, if I have time, I will have some labneh with zaatar and a fresh berry protein shake.

Breakfast meetings are a bad American thing.

Do you do any exercise?

I don’t exercise in the morning, but I do more of a meditation routine. My kitchen is on the ground floor overlooking the garden, I usually sit on the comfortable chairs on the balcony and spend a relaxing 10 minutes overlooking the garden listening to baroque music. There are no mobile phones, I don’t talk to anyone, I just have time to myself, trying to energise my mind and soul. I don’t meditate, per se, but I imagine that is what meditation is like. 

When do you send your first email?

I used to turn on the mobile at home, but it would always throw me out of sync, so now I wait until I am at work before I start sending my emails. 

How do you get to work?

I drive – even though it is only a five-minute drive away! That is the advantage of living so near to your work, I suppose.

When is your most productive time?

I am an afternoon person, but I am at my creative best during the mornings. If there is something that it is important for me to do during the day, then I will try to schedule it between 9am and 11am, because you’re not being interrupted as much.

Do you do breakfast meetings?

Absolutely not. I see them as a bad American thing. They like to have breakfast meetings at 8am, but for me, it throws me out of sync. The morning is about thinking and focusing, and not about yakking with other people.

What are your morning media habits?

I travel quite a bit, so I use transit time to catch up and read a lot of online sites such as the BBC. I try to do that during transit time, so I can maximize the amount that I do at the office.