How do you manage to juggle work life balance?
Finding a balance can be quite hard when you are driven the way that I am. I pour my heart and soul into my work and absolutely love it, but I also want to have a life outside of work. Usually I am so busy at work, juggling hundreds of phone calls, meetings and running to catch flights, so I tend to relax at home in the countryside where I love having dinner with friends and family. Nothing beats great conversation and a delicious meal cooked by my daughter Natasha. I also try to take a sunny holiday every year which lets me switch off for a little while.
What was your inspiration behind your brand: Kelly Hoppen London?
I had wanted to design products for a very long time but I really wanted to take the time to do it so I could ensure it was as amazing as I knew it could be. Once I decided to do it and I put pen to paper it was like the flood gates opened and the ides just kept flowing. Inspiration was taking from all over the world, all my years of designing and product selecting etc but most of all I wanted to create a range that made my style accessible to everyone. Not everyone has the time or the budget to enlist the help of an interior designer so I wanted to make beautiful products and furniture which would fit into any home.
What top tips would you give to any mum on starting her own business?
I’d say my top tip is never give up. You will face challenges and you will make mistakes, but if you love what you do like I do then it will all be worth it in the end. You really need to make sure you are super passionate about what you are venturing into because when times are hard, it will be the love of what you do that brings you out the other side.
As a mum it is especially important to work on that balance between work and home because you never want to miss those milestone events in your child’s life. No matter how busy or hectic I was I always found time to drop off my daughter Natasha at school every morning and be at the school gates to collect her every afternoon. Kept me nice and grounded and reminded me daily that no matter how successful I was; she was always my number one priority.
Asking for advice from a trusted advisor or mentor is another method I take, you can never learn too much. You should be like a sponge – constantly absorbing as much information, research and advice as you can from people from all different walks of life. Sometimes it will give you that key advice you need and others it will show you exactly what you don’t want to do however it will always tell you something.
It all really comes down to your belief in yourself and your business, remember nothing is too big and nothing is ever big enough!
What is your one piece of furniture in your home that you can’t live without?
The ‘Kelly Chair’ from my Kelly Hoppen London Collection is one of my favourite pieces. Low, wide and luxurious its elegant design is perfect for a bedroom or a living area as a dramatic statement piece. It comes in so many colour and texture options, from Black and Taupe Velvet to Butter Linen Textile so it is incredibly versatile. I also absolutely love my 6m long dinning room table that I had made especially. Whilst I was designing my new home and I would talk about the dinning table, people used to look at me like I was crazy but I love it. I really love hosting dinner parties for brilliantly random groups of friends and family so the bigger the table, the better really!
What is your favourite hang out in London with your daughter?
Honestly it is my TV snug in my new house, it is just so cosy and we hangout watching movies and catching up and it is always a lovely time!
What is your biggest achievements?
My daughter Natasha. She has definitely inherited my entrepreneurial drive with which she has created the most amazing brand, Honestly Healthy. I think it is important to pass your passion and your drive on to your children.
In terms of business achievements, I am so proud of my company, I have been able to see it grow over the years with all of my hard work and it has been a real pleasure. In 2009 I was awarded an MBE by The Queen which was incredible and a real achievement to be regonised for my work in design over the years!
I am a Mum and…I absolutely love every moment. Having a child is the most joyful thing I have ever done. Nothing compares to having a child that you love unconditionally and that loves you back, it is very special feeling and I am privileged to have experienced it.
One Word: JOY
What do you love most about London?
London is a fantastic city to live and work in; it is so diverse and constantly evolving. I will never be bored of the city, as I will never run out of new places and things to try. I also take so much inspiration from the abundance of cultures around me, the art, history, architecture and heritage is something I don’t ever want to not have around me. Most importantly though, it is the people in London that make it such an exciting place, they are so eclectic. I love the banter in the markets and just listening to the city around me.
With the summer holidays fast approaching, what has been an amazing family holiday for you?
We took around 10 days last summer and went to Capri and had one of the best family holidays ever. It was myself, my daughter, my step daughters and my step grand children and we just laughed the entire time! It was so relaxing and the place was so beautiful we just really embraced having that time with each other. I will never forget it.
Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?
Enjoy your time with your baby and don’t rush things. Every minute is so incredibly precious because before you know it they will be grown up!