An interview with acclaimed author, designer and entrepreneur, India Hicks.
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British design maven India Hicks will be in Kansas City on October 16 for a special appearance at Nell Hill’s. During the 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. event, she’ll be signing copies of her gorgeous coffee table book, Island Style, and hosting a pop-up shop featuring items from her eponymous collection of jewelry, accessories, clothing and home décor items. We had a chance to chat with her ahead of the event, to find out more about her life as a designer, entrepreneur and mother.
S: Why did you choose the ambassador sales model for India Hicks?
IH: I made it my mission to create a business in which we can find a better work/life balance. This is by no means the universal answer but it’s a good start. By bringing shopping into the heart of the home, a group of spirited entrepreneurs, called Ambassadors, share our collections that are shaped by my design heritage, British roots and island story. In this way, we enable women to earn a proper income on their own terms. I have found there is also great wealth in belonging to a community of adventurous, enterprising and bloody brilliant women. Many of our ambassadors have been out of the corporate world for a bit. Sure enough, we have some extraordinary women who once held big jobs who are now building big businesses from their kitchen tables.
S: You come from a very glamorous background—global travel, royal connections, all kinds of amazing stuff—how do you create a brand that imparts some of that glamour, yet still feels approachable?
IH: I am first and foremost a mother of five, and I live on a small dot of an island in the tropics, which keeps me very grounded. I always say that I was born under the luckiest of stars and my hope is to share that with our Ambassadors and shoppers. This summer’s trip to Africa with my tribe of kids to celebrate my 50th birthday influenced small parts of the fall and holiday collections but there will be more wild influences to come. And my mother continues to be star of the show. Anything inspired by her style or stories becomes an instant favorite. Have a look at our Lady P bag inspired by my mother and London in the fashionable 1960’s.
S: Your father was the renowned British interior designer David Hicks and now your son has joined you in designing some pieces for your collection. Do you think style is something that runs in the family?
IH: All my kids have an artistic side. My eldest son Felix won an art scholarship and is presently launching a streetwear brand, Idle Assembly, very much inspired by his early childhood on the island. Amory’s interesting vision and doodles led us to create a small collection of trinkets and key rings inspired by his unique eye on life. All of the others have wild imaginations too, they once collectively built ‘the largest skate board in the world’ it was certainly the most dangerous. I know that growing up in rooms designed by David Hicks influenced me and I imagine that my children are influenced by their father and I, as we both have a passion for design. I’m very proud how each of my children are finding their own way creatively, whether it’s designing, video, photography or musically.
S: Your new holiday collection includes your own designs as well as some pieces from Jonathan Adler, DAY, and others. How did you select which designers you wanted to collaborate with and what was the process like?
IH: Many of them are friends. Really this whole company is centered around friendships, family and fun and these collaborations are a further way to work with genius friends. We blend the vibe of both companies involved so that their signature is apparent yet with a wicked IH twist.
S: What are some of your favorite pieces from the new collection?
IH: All the celestial pieces; our Star cuff, which has more than 1.800 crystals, the Eclipse necklace that goes from light to dark and back again and can be worn a million different ways. The Never Ending Star earrings are so light you can hang out in them all day long. And then our Flat Stanley with my oversized graphite message “The Future is so Bright”, because I truly believe that it is.