TELL US HOW IT ALL STARTED?
My eldest daughter, PHOEBE GRACE and I, started the brand simply because we share a love for designing and making things.
Phoebe studied Textile Design at University and is the single most creative person I know, and who happens to have a tremendous style which is totally unique. Her first prints were the Cactus Collection and they sang immediately. Her first love though is film and that’s where she saw her long term career.
So, driven by a desire to get her designs out to a wider audience, I took on a more central role in the business and am trying to drive it forward, with Phoebe always there to provide something unique and fresh when it comes to the fabric patterns – and together we are the brand PHOEBE GRACE. Inspiration for both of us has always been nature with its endless possibilities and beauty.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT PHOEBE GRACE. HOW DO YOU NAME EACH ITEM?
Most names are given from people I love, my children, my nieces, and most importantly my animals! Winnie, Betty, Angelica, Wendy. There is going to be a really special one coming up next year!
WHERE DO YOU FEEL MOST INSPIRED?
I feel most inspired when I’m out walking the dogs on Peckham Rye or in my garden which can transport you to anywhere in the world! We are blessed with a huge array of bird life which is incredible, I think, considering where we live. The Rye is full of beautiful trees and the locals invest a great deal of time and energy keeping it looking beautiful.
HOW DO YOU MAKE PHOEBE GRACE UNIQUE TO OTHER BRANDS?
Phoebe Grace is simply unique because of Phoebe’s innate style – I call it her handwriting – that she translates into patterns to deliver for me a style direction that I’m guided by. When I see the patterns printed on the silk, they come alive and the excitement I feel using them on clothes that I love is what drives me forward. At the moment the collection is small but I really want it to grow so I can use more and more original prints. Sometimes at the moment I feel constrained and I want that to change.
Ummmmmm – finding enough hours in the day to create all the things I want to. To live a long time so I can achieve my dreams – to fulfil my needs.
WHERE DO YOU GO TO SWITCH OFF?
I find it difficult to switch off. Probably when Im in my deep sleep cycle at night!
FAVOURITE SPOT IN LONDON?
Claridges. Beautiful, elegant and full of wonderful memories for my husband and I.
IF YOU COULD DRESS ONE CELEBRITY WHO WOULD IT BE?
Madonna! But actually everyone and anyone – especially those that are prepared to go for it and stand out in a crowd. Clash those prints – wear double print!
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER ASPIRING DESIGNERS?
If you love what you are creating, have belief and have a go. I never thought I would be doing this at this point in my life and I wish I had had the courage to do it years ago. Just do it!