Head to our latest issue of LAQUA Magazine for an interview with India Hicks.
How did the collection to design for Crabtree & Evelyn come about?
I was in partnership for nine years with Crabtree & Evelyn. It was a fantastic education for me in the world of bath &beauty and despite being a global company it never lost the feeling of being a boutique environment. I made many friends and was inspired by many women who were tackling the ‘working/mother’ balance and gave me a little insight into corporate America. The inspiration was derived from my life on a small island in the Bahamas; soaps which smelt of tropical flowers, and night blooming jasmine, wooden boxes carried responsibly harvested shells which when opened released the smell of sea air, over sized candles fragranced with wild Casaurina and all wrapped in textured boxes imprinted with a coral branch on a tea stained label. We did have fun thinking it all up.
How do you enjoy living on an island? What is your day-to-day living like?
Life in the Bahamas is more challenging than people imagine, we don’t have a doctor, dentist or vet. Schooling is limited and we face a yearly three-month hurricane season, which can on occasion be devastating. But those challenges don’t out weigh the fact that I can run my dogs on a three-mile pink sand beach and appreciate an incredible inky black night sky littered with stars and not a hint of smog. My children grow up free and uninhibited with incredible imaginations and I never have to dread a parking ticket as we drive golf carts on sandy tracks and un-crowded lanes, lined with palm trees.
You have recently designed your own range of moisturizers and fragrances; tell us your inspiration for this?
I have launched a lifestyle brand, which means that we design and create collections of handbags accessories, gifts, jewelry, scarves and beyond. Not just moisturizers and fragrances but our beauty collection plays a big part in this line up because I love and understand fragrance from my years with Crabtree and because fragrance is so emotive and romantic and who does not want a little bit of romance in their lives?
My collections are very much inspired by my own life, my British heritage and what I call my runaway island story. We spent eighteen months creating two fragrances with one of the worlds leading fragrance houses. Our English rose is inspired by the secret rose garden my father planted in the English country side filled with rose and peony petals and the smell of mown grass and sound of birds, at one end is a small shaded bench where my mother can be found quietly reading. Our other fragrance is named after the Wild Spider Lily flower that grows in the dunes beside the beach in the Bahamas, this flower carries a clean white fragrance and needs little care and attention, she is a survivor.
We often say to our tribe of Ambassadors: live a more extraordinary life, stand on your own two feet, do something for yourselves. I haven’t necessarily lived an extraordinary life, but I’ve certainly lived an unexpected life. Having come from a rather traditional English upbringing to then find myself living on a tiny island in the middle of a turquoise ocean with five children, one of whom is Bahamian, was certainly not expected. So I draw from those two sides of my life, and I think that that gives our brand something very unique, and sets us apart from anything else out there.
Do you paint often with your children and have you designed all the art across your new range?
I am lucky to have creative children, so we share a passion. My eldest son is a gifted artist, a reluctant one but a gifted one. Another of my other boys has designed some pieces for our collection soon to be released with a meaningful story and my daughter aged 9 always has suggestions for me on what we should be designing, some are a little bit on the crazy side, it has to be said. Family is very important to me, its important to involve my children in my business as much as I can, but I also consider our tribe
of ambassadors as my extended family, I am very close with many of the women who joined us early on who I have worked alongside for several years now and we also look to them for creative suggestions and encourage hearing their opinions, quite often they will propose an idea we might have over looked that fits perfectly into our story. It’s ideal teamwork.
You have also designed jewelry based on some numbers similar to your father; please tell us the history of this?
Growing up, my father created an alphabet of geometric letters. These designs became the wallpaper of my life, everywhere I looked there they were, umbrellas, ties, slippers, notepads. Here they are again, my way.
Where do you and your family most like to travel throughout the year?
Living for the most part in the Bahamas means when we get the opportunity to travel we don’t look for a beach experience. During my childhood my father would take us to look at Museums in Venice or study family history in Germany. Happily being the Mum of 4 boys and one tomboy we look for adventure not museums. In Jackson Hole we skied, sledged and snowmobiled and hand
glided off the edge of mountains. Everyone was happy. And this summer we are off to Africa on a trip that will take us through Botswana and Zimbabwe.
One of the most embarrassing experiences you have had?
When I had just started modeling I remember my agent booking me a job with an incredibly stylish fashion magazine. I was thrilled. Nervously turning up to the Parisian photography studio I was met by one of the magazine’s editor’s who took one look at my un-model-y demeanor and assumed I was the hair and makeup artist and showed me to a corner and told me to set out my kit whist we waited for the model to arrive