What is your current favourite restaurant?
The Oyster Shack, Bigbury. A place with many happy family memories.
Where have you received the best customer service?
The Isle of Eriska Hotel in Scotland on my honeymoon in 2001.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
I am a passionate traveller and love nothing more than active escapades in the great outdoors. I recently went on an incredible riding expedition across the Namib Desert. We rode 20 to 60 kilometres a day, inspiring one of STOW’s newest products: The Namib Leather Belt Bag. I have always loved Cape Town and have visited many times; whilst in England, it is Salcombe, South Devon, where I have spent time in the summer since I was a baby.
What or whom is your biggest inspiration within the fashion accessories industry?
Gabriella Hearst’s clothes and fashion accessories are exquisite. Classic but innovative, backed up by the highest quality of materials and ethics.
Where do you go to feel inspired?
Outside. I am drawn to vast landscapes, in particular, ones with big skies and endless horizons. Especially if I’m on a horse.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My husband told me I could do anything I set my heart on (and I finally wholly believed it) when, aged 45, I was floundering professionally but completed, for me, a major achievement: the London Marathon. It wasn’t necessarily advice – more like encouragement – but it taught me that self-belief is essential, whatever your direction, and is extremely powerful. Up until then, I did not fully possess it.
Is beauty or function more important?
I like things to work easily and effectively. If they are beautiful to look at as well, it’s a bonus.
Do you collect anything or would you like to?
I did collect jewellery on my travels, something I have done since I was 18. However, my entire collection was stolen two years ago in a burglary. Much of it was not expensive but I was so sorry to lose it. Knowing their lack of value would mean they would end up in a ditch or dump somewhere was very painful, as I had many travel memories associated with them. I have started again.
Which one luxury item would you take to a desert island?
I am not a good sleeper wherever I travel so I would need a comfortable bed, ideally with Egyptian cotton sheets, an eye mask and earbuds!
What changes do you anticipate seeing within the fashion accessories sector over the next five years?
I really hope we continue to see a rising demand for life-lasting accessories that can be treated as heirlooms. I loathe the throw-away culture supported
by cheap materials and poorly-made accessories.
If you could describe the STOW brand in three words, what would they be?
Spirited. Adventurous. Bold.