Sophie Conran is so much more than a designer. She has been a milliner, a fashion buyer, written numerous best selling cookbooks, worked for The Conran Group, created stunning gardens, had two children, edited magazines, and currently runs her eponymous homeware company. Sophie invited us into her country home to talk design, inspiration, dealing with the current climate, and of course, jewellery.
Can you describe the story and motivation behind Sophie Conran?
I was fortunate to grow up in a family of designers, gardeners, and cooks, our home was ever evolving and the garden turned from dilapidation into a thing of great beauty, filled with colour, life and good things to eat. This has given me the inspiration for my business and lifestyle. I love to make a house and garden as beautiful as it can be, I like thinking about how it can best accommodate the people inside it. I think about the rhythms of daily life, the special occasions, how everything you furnish your home and life with can enhance and make each moment magical, from the time you wake up in the morning until you slip into bed at night. My aim is to make things that make people happy.
What or who is your main source of inspiration?
I am constantly surrounded by inspirational people, and I find it in books, magazines, nature and travel.
What is your favourite thing about what you do?
I love the variety, no two days are the same, I am constantly learning and I work with fantastic people.
If you weren’t running Sophie Conran what would you be doing?
You would probably find me in my garden, or cooking in my kitchen.
If you could have done one thing differently in your career what would it be?
I wouldn’t do anything differently, not everything has been easy, but each decision and thing I have done has lead me to where I am today, and I would not change that.
How has the business had to adapt during the current climate?
We obviously have had to work from home, and that has been quite challenging in many respects, however it has also shown us new ways of working. We have had to look at the business from a different perspective and that is always a good thing.
Where do you see yourself and the business in 5 years’ time?
I am very excited to grow the business over the next 5 years. I feel in many ways that the business has only just started, and there is lots to do in all areas, so I intend to keep making small changes and improvements. Personally I am also at the beginning of my house and garden project, so lots to do!
Can you summarise what style means for you?
Style means a lust for life, an exuberance, a lack of fear, and a willingness to explore new ideas. Style is something you make for yourself and feel your way towards with enthusiasm and positive energy.
What are your top 3 styling tips ?
- A great pair of earrings, I personally love pearls
- Find your favourite colours, something that makes you smile
- Avoid synthetic fabrics, they are not good for you or the planet!
Which are your favourite Kiki pieces and why?
I am lucky enough to have a few amazing pieces from Kiki, they are my absolute staples and I wear them daily.