Juggling family life and a new clothing line offering affordable luxury, we chat to the lovely, Rae Feather about work, inspiration, and Barbados!
What is your average day like?
I am a very early riser so most mornings I am at my desk at around 5.45am. I have my much needed coffee and do a few hours’ work, or three times a week I train for an hour. At around 7.15, I wake my boys and get them ready for school. After drop off I go to the office or head into London for meetings. We are very new but have come a long way in a short time. We are a small and close knit team. Debbie handles the day to day running of Love Molly and I work closely with my right hand, Ria, on all sorts of things. Collectively we handle all areas of the business – lots of juggling. Our wovens designer works in London so we catch up daily and discuss inspirations or forthcoming designs. Liz, our knitwear designer, lives in Wales so we catch up daily on the progress of our knitwear collection. I rarely finish before 7pm and then its home to see the kids and find out how their day was. Bed is no later that 10pm – I turn off the lights and I’m gone!
You run two brands, Rae Feather and Love Molly, how did they both start?
Love Molly started in memory of a very special little girl. My girlfriend and I found a product we thought would sell and we expanded on it. It continues to grow and currently we sell online and supply around 60 small independent stores in the UK with an increased product offering coming soon. With the little experience I had with the Love Molly brand, I felt there was a void in the market for a very considered collection of ageless, refined, pared-down pieces in beautiful fabrics and yarns at really competitive price points, and this was the start of raefeather.com. It is very new (launched in Oct 2013) but the aim is to build a lifestyle brand, one that offers a little edit of beautiful things – fashion for women and men, home wares, leather goods, the list goes on and on…
What were you doing before?
I started my career as a cook/hostess for the McLaren Formula One team and ended up setting up a sports marketing agency with Philip Morris as my client. I worked in conjunction with the McLaren and Ferrari team for about 16 years and then decided all the travelling was not conducive to bringing up a young family so I passed the business over to my sister who took it over and runs it very efficiently. I stayed in marketing but this time in the luxury sector, and marketed Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados for about eight years. It is such a beautiful iconic property, it was a total joy to market and my love affair with it will last forever.
Do you have a favourite item of clothing?
I love relaxed and comfortable clothing. I have to be comfortable in everything I wear. I think my favourite pieces are the Easy Pleat trousers and the two-pocket draped cardigan from the Rae Feather A/W collection.
What do you most enjoy about your work?
I enjoy all aspects of it but I love the evolution from inspiration, to design, to production, to sale. Every single piece in the collection has a little story behind it.
What does ‘total relaxation’ mean to you?
For me it’s about being with my kids, family, people whose company I love and sitting around a table enjoying good simple food, having a few glasses of wine, and listening to good music.
Who do you admire?
I happened upon Christine Lagarde, Head of the International Monetary Fund, giving a lecture on TV last week – what an impressive lady. However, I never cease to be amazed by the female race in general – I have been humbled many, many times by the most unassuming women!!
Do you have a favourite spa treatment and why?
I visited Istanbul recently and had a traditional Hammam treatment – it was amazing and my skin felt like a baby’s bottom when I finished.
What’s your top tip for feeling your best on a hectic schedule?
Sleep. There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep!!!
Complete this sentence: A successful woman is …one who never forgets where she started and all those who helped and supported her along the way.
We like to encourage everyone to do one thing each week to be kind to themselves; what are you going to do to #bekindtoyou?
Have a blow dry – for me it’s as good as a facelift!!
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