Mother’s Day 2018 is particularly special for Wingfield Digby HQ. Why? Thanks to the birth of a beautiful baby daughter last year, it is the first time that Alice Wingfield Digby – founder and director – will be celebrating the event as a mother!
We had to mark the occasion accordingly. What better way to do so than by catching up with a fellow London-based, luxury design-led ‘mumpreneur’ – who even shares Alice’s passion for capturing the beauty of feathers in her work?
Meet Juliet Travers – renowned for creating elegant, eye-catching fabrics and wallpapers– all encapsulating the beauty of nature from Britain to Zimbabwe. Having prospered at the likes of Colefax and Fowler and de Gournay, it is unsurprising that her own launch in 2013 was an instant success.
Juliet’s unique work now frequently adorns the walls of prestigious hotels, stunning homes and the pages of House and Garden, The English Home, Country & Town House - plus many more...
We caught up with Juliet to discuss motherhood, luxury design and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs…
- With Mother’s Day on the horizon, we couldn’t not ask your favourite memory as a mother. What is yours?
It’s the first day that my husband and I brought our son, Archie, home after he was born. We lay him down in his cot, in his own nursery, decorated in my Highland Fling wallpaper. An incredibly special memory - I will never forget it!
- Has Archie shown any of your creative flair so far?
He’s definitely a big fan of getting messy with paints - but that may be simply because all 2 year olds love an excuse to get messy! He’s sport mad, like my husband, so I think that might be where his talents lie… We’ll see!
- What’s been your proudest moment as a mother to date?
Archie constantly smiles and is a real people person. Throughout winter, Archie and I gave gloves to the homeless on the school run - a way for him to see how much happiness a simple gesture can bring to those less fortunate. He loved doing this and grew confident enough to hand the gloves over himself – it was such a lovely thing to see.
- What’s been your proudest moment as a designer to date?
I think for any designer, seeing your first few drawings transform from original sketch to finished product is incredibly rewarding. It will always be hugely flattering to me that people want my designs in their homes. If I had to pick a particular instance, it would be the prestigious Giraffe Manor, Kenya requesting my designs for their walls. With family in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and the whole of East Africa providing inspiration for my Safari Collection, I was thrilled.
- What’s the best advice you’ve received to help juggle a work/life balance as a mother?
I try to be really strict with myself. 3 days a week Archie is in nursery while I’m at work; I therefore try to keep the other 2 days just for us and to stay off emails etc. However, anyone who runs their own business would tell you that it’s impossible to not let the odd email creep in now and then!
Having hard working and passionate staff is also essential. I feel incredibly fortunate to have such an incredible team who I can fully rely on - enabling me to be both the mum and designer I strive to be.
- If you had to save one photo from your home, which would it be and why?
This picture of my mum, Archie and I is incredibly special to me. As one of six siblings, I feel so grateful that each one of us has felt so loved and supported by her - in whatever path we have chosen. On a professional level, the business could not function without her. She beautifully wraps all our gifts and ships out some of our wallpapers from our family home!
Wingfield Digby Real Guinea Fowl Feather Photo Frame (from £70, buy here)
- We are naturally huge fans of your feather-focused, Free Fall design. What has been your favourite installation involving this to date?
That’s such a tough one - I love seeing any of our designs in a range of spaces! A particular one that springs to mind is Stag Lodge, a boutique hotel in Stow-on-the-Wold.
- We love being able to celebrate the British countryside through our work, while still being based in South West London – just like your team! Do you have a favourite leafy London spot to maintain a snippet of the great outdoors?
Battersea Park. I walk my cocker spaniel, Cuba, on my days at JT HQ. So much of my inspiration comes from wildlife and nature so it’s wonderful to be in the heart of this on working days.
Juliet and Cuba. Background: Juliet Travers Nutcracker Wallpaper (explore here)
- Do you have any favourite quotes/mottos that inspire your work ethos?
“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important, capture the good times and develop from the negatives. If things don’t work out, then take another shot!”
- What are you most excited about for Juliet Travers Wallpapers this year?
We’ve got a couple of really exciting collaborations coming up this year - but at this moment in time all I can say is “watch this space”...
- What is your favourite Wingfield Digby feather type?
Given that they inspired my first wallpapers, definitely Guinea Fowl! Although I’m also a huge fan of Peacock – the electric blue is spectacular.
Explore the full Juliet Travers collection here: www.juliettravers.com