Filthy Rich is an international company with locations across the USA, Canada and Europe. Filthy Rich specializes in exclusive authentic replicas of iconic jewelry and accessories seen worn by legends of the past and fun chic items inspired by todays biggest celebrities.
How It All began
Filthy Rich began in 2003 when Mike Shurtleff founded the company in Orlando, Florida.
Until 11 years ago, Shurtleff ran a 1,200-square-foot museum in Orlando's tourist area and exhibited replicas of the British Crown Jewels. He charged $5 admission.
His whimsical pendant purchase of a replica worn by Marilyn Monroe in How to Marry a Millionaire found in a local antique store steered him into another direction. The pendant, a prop on a shelf, created more attention than the crown jewels. “People kept asking about it,” he said. “Most wanted to buy it.”
Curious about its origin, Shurtleff searched the Internet for clues, and this led him to a Hollywood film producer who owned rights to 200 movie stars' jewelry, including Marilyn Monroe. Shurtleff bought six pendants. A day later they were gone. “I started thinking I'm in the wrong business,” he said.
Shurtleff bought replicas of Vivian Leigh's earrings in “Gone with the Wind” and Audrey Hepburn's Spotlight Earrings from “Sabrina”. Customers snapped them up. “Soon I was the Hollywood producer's biggest customer”, he said.
“I realized the public idolizes celebrities,” said Shurtleff. “I decided I'd capitalize on this.” He sold the British Crown replicas and restocked the glass showcases with celebrity jewelry, investing $5,000. Down came the museum sign, up went Filthy Rich, a business name that Shurtleff selected after polling 1,000 people. “Of 50 names for a business selling celebrity jewelry---50+ percent picked Filthy Rich,” he said. “We knew it was a winner.”
In early 2014 a group of investors led by Florida native John Bonner purchased a majority stake in the business, quickly expanding stores in Kissimmee, Florida and Derby, England.