Inspirational Women | Gushlow and Cole

Category: Inspirational Women


Inspirational Women | Lynne Meek | blog image 1

Inspirational Women

13th March 2018

LYNNE MEEK


TUNBRIDGE WELLS, ENGLAND | 20th March 2018

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Lynne spent many years in the corporate world, both in London and in Kent but in 2010 knew it was the time to make a career change and do something more creative. A real ‘now or never’ moment, Lynne became a partner in a designer boutique and in the years working there helped hundreds of women to make great clothing purchases. This experience acted as the perfect apprenticeship and stepping stone to setting up her personal styling business, Styling Matters and has since never looked back!

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What has been your greatest achievement in your career so far?
Without a doubt it’s been setting up my own business. It has been the biggest learning curve of my life and one that has given me a much greater level of personal freedom and confidence. Having worked for other people all my life it was incredibly scary but also powerful and energising. I’ve even been able to overcome my phobia of speaking in public to the point where I actually enjoy it! But best of all is the huge satisfaction I’ve gained in being able to make a positive difference to other people.

How did you get to where you are today and who has helped you?
I am incredibly fortunate to have an amazingly supportive husband and sons, and if they thought I was mad to start a new business in a recession and at the age of 50, they never told me so! I’m pretty determined and resourceful, and failure wasn’t going to be an option, so I think that really helped to focus me. I’m also blessed with an incredible network of local women. Some had their own businesses and were able to give me invaluable advice and tips when I started out. Others put their money where their mouths were and booked me to edit their wardrobes and take them shopping. These lovely women then told their friends, who told their friends, and in effect my PR and marketing department was created! That network of supportive people is now huge, and covers much of Kent, Sussex, Surrey and south London. Together with a great website (created by my eldest son Dan), a large and active social media presence across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, together with regular networking, styling and public speaking events, life is very busy indeed!

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How has your vision for Styling Matters evolved over the years?
I started my business when the UK was still in a recession and hand on heart I had no idea if it was even going to be viable as a full time business.  I certainly had a lot of doubters, though fortunately my husband wasn’t one of them. During my first year I learnt so much. I found out what men and women really wanted and needed from their wardrobes, and once word started spreading about my services and then bookings via recommendations started coming in, my vision for the business was formulated.  In effect my vision then is exactly the same as it is now. I aim to give clear, practical and positive advice to my clients in a way that is totally bespoke to each person. Once they know what looks good on them, and most importantly why, they can be more confident about their own buying decisions in the future.  I also wanted it to be a positive, nurturing, uplifting and fun experience.

How would you describe your personal style?
I am most comfortable in relaxed, laid back clothing that is well made, creatively interesting and practical.  I grew up with two brothers and I raised two sons, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my style is more tomboyish than girly.  Many of the Danish brands really appeal to me, as their aesthetically pleasing, effortless and fashion-forward clothing perfectly aligns with my own style.


“I like to be current, but I’ll only ever wear something if I feel it suits me and is my personal style.”


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Where do you live in?
I grew up in the Tunbridge Wells area, and moved to London at 19 to work in the West End. After ten years my husband and I returned to Tunbridge Wells to raise our family and what a brilliant decision it was. We absolutely love living here and it’s the perfect place to have a great quality of life, beautiful surroundings, a friendly supportive community, and a great demographic of people to work with.

What do your mornings look like?
I work with clients most days and also post my ‘outfit of the day’ on Instagram and Facebook every morning, so I found the game changer was to work out what I’m going to wear the night before. I work around a capsule wardrobe and rarely wear exactly the same outfit twice. So I’ll spend 10 minutes before bedtime trying on different elements of my clothing until I come up with a new outfit I’m happy with, right down to footwear, handbag and accessories. Then next morning all I need to do (apart from wake up properly) is do my hair and make-up, put on my chosen outfit, take a selfie, post on social media while I’m wolfing down some breakfast and off I go. Off to spend another fabulous day doing my dream job. How lucky am I?

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Shop Coats here.


Photographer: Kate Murrell (www.katemurrell.com)

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Inspirational Women

12th December 2017

MONTY SAUL


SOMERSET, ENGLAND | 13th November 2017

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Monty Saul and her husband Roger Saul bought Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet in 1995 as the headquarters for Mulberry and in the 1980s having already converted The Great House to an organic farm shop and café, they opened the factory and the amazing 3.5 acre gardens to the public.

Monty and Roger opened Kilver Court Designer Village in 2011 as the designer shopping outlet of the South West, with stores and labels such as Toast, Jack Wills, and Margaret Howell. Kilver Court have since expanded exponentially and are now joined by the likes of Gushlow and Cole, MIH Jeans, LKBennett, Yves Delorme and many, many more.

We caught up with the inspirational Monty, to talk about who inspires her and why, her love of Somerset, as well as her ever evolving vision for Kilver Court.

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What has been your greatest achievement in your career so far?
Developing the Great House and its team from a farm shop with a few greetings cards, to an eclectic (and slightly bonkers) bazaar that can make people laugh and give them the satisfaction of finding a ‘one-off’ bargain. We have regular customers who love browsing through the rooms and my pride knew no bounds when I heard a customer compare us to Liberty of London.

If I’m allowed a second achievement, it would be being the first model Hardy Ames took to Buckingham Palace in a private, one model show for Her Majesty the Queen…a memory I treasure.

Being the mother of three boys, now successful grown men, and a grandmother – how have you managed to balance family life and being a working Mum. Would you do anything differently?
No – nothing, but I was blessed with parents who followed me down to Somerset to help me with the boys and play a very active role in our family, doing school runs and getting tea ready. There will always be a tug of guilt for any Mum who is involved in a family business as the business can easily become as demanding as another child. My Parents enabled me to support Roger with Mulberry whilst giving the boys continuity and love.

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How has your vision for Kilver Court evolved over the years?
Initially, we were excited just to regenerate the area bringing jobs, fashion and Londoners to the South West encouraging the sort of ‘pilgrimage’ that the Mulberry factory shop had always engendered. The Great House was really the only farm shop and deli in the area, giving us a flagship shop for our new ‘Sharpham Park’ spelt brand.  It seemed a natural progression to build on this interest and so we invited other brands who were only too eager to join us.

Now, we are looking to expand the existing village to up to 40 shops within the next four years and include another restaurant, more boutiques and perhaps even a hotel. So we’re excited about what the future holds for us!

What exciting projects have you been working on recently?
Christmas! It’s the pinnacle of the year for us and in The Great House it’s particularly exciting as we transform one of the retail rooms into a unique Christmas spectacular. The space is based on Christmas trends for 2017 and we offer stunning gifts and decorations throughout the whole building which I and my team carefully curate. We have plenty of quirky gifts, decorations and party outfits that you won’t find anywhere else.

Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My father – his ‘go for it’/take the chance approach.  Bizarrely Roger is exactly the same…

How would you describe your personal style?
Unpredictable! –Vintage/classic/eccentric.


“My style icon has got to be my husband – he has to be the best man to take shopping – fast and creative.”


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Where do you live?
We live just outside Glastonbury in Somerset and I open my kitchen curtains to a view that has remained nearly unchanged since medieval times – Glastonbury Tor, with our herd of red deer in the foreground – mystical and breathtaking.  Roger discovered that spelt had been grown in the area since the Bronze and Iron Ages and so today it’s more than our home, it’s a working farm producing spelt for flour and cereals and venison.

What do you love most about where you live?
The sense of history and being a tiny part of that history. Roger carried me over the threshold on our wedding day and this year we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. The house has been such an important part of our life together – renovating and restoring it in the hope that it will go on way beyond our lifetimes.

Where do you go to escape from it all?
Tresco, on the Isles of Scilly, is our family getaway spot. We go every year and are now having the fun of our grandchildren sharing it with us. The boys (of all ages) never seem to tire of the sea, bikes, crabbing and just being lazy on beaches that are as good as any in the Caribbean. Ok, so the water is a tad on the chilly side, but there’s always a wetsuit on hand. Roger and I can also have our annual fix, visiting the sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Gardens and compare notes with Mike Nelhams, the Garden Curator.

Describe your perfect down time?
Sunday papers in bed with gallons of tea and almond croissants (from my shop of course) and as many grandchildren as we can fit in! 

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Inspirational Women

03rd November 2017

NICOLE BARGWANNA


TOKYO, JAPAN | 8th November 2017

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Fashion veteran, Nicole Bargwanna founded her boutique PR agency, CPR Tokyo in 2009 with the intention of bringing a fresh breath of air to the art of PR and consulting in Tokyo. Now one of the most in demand agencies for tailor made fashion PR and retail consulting in Tokyo, Nicole provides a completely international face to help scale the often impenetrable language and cultural barriers that many companies face in Japan. We caught up with Nicole to talk about the challenges of running a successful business in a foreign country, her style inspiration as well as juggling full time work whilst being a mother.

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What has been your greatest achievement in your career so far?
My greatest professional achievement has been going out on my own and setting up my company. It was a big step that has paid off in more ways than I can count.

How has your vision for CPR Tokyo evolved over the years?
My years of experience in Japan has put me in a unique position to help brands grow and develop in this market and I wanted to put this knowledge and experience to good use. The PR and retail landscape has changed so much over the years and in order to offer the best possible service we have had to evolve quickly, while keeping abreast of one of the most highly changeable markets in the world.

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How have you managed to balance family life and being a working Mum. Would you do anything differently?
Being a mother and juggling work is never easy, but I have been lucky enough to have a great network, from my husband to friends, helping me to negotiate the many challenges. Having to run my own company has meant that my girls have been in Japanese daycare since they were babies. It has been such a fantastic way to make lifelong friends for me and my children, as well as ensuring that they’re brought up completely bilingual. I don’t think I could have worked without the support provided by daycare and am in awe of the dedication and level of care provided by the teachers every day. The fact that both my girls love it so much means that I can’t imagine doing anything differently.

How did you get to where you are today who/ what helped you?
I have been lucky to have had so many incredible opportunities throughout my career that have lead me to where I am now. I think my philosophy of rising up to meet any challenge and the mindset of trying everything at least once has held me in good stead. I have also been so lucky to have worked with so many people who have trusted in me and guided me to what I am today.

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Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My mother. She managed to work full-time, do post-grad study, and bring up three children somehow. Juggling work and children myself, I still don’t know how she did it, but I strive to do my best every day. She did something right, as we’ve all become working mothers ourselves!

Who is your style icon?
I don’t really have one single style icon. Instead I take inspiration from the streets and people around me. Tokyo provides a wealth of visual inspiration every day, especially around our office in Harajuku/ Omotesando.


“I would describe my personal style as minimal, timeless, but with a twist. And no outfit is complete without accessories.”


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Which town/ city do you live in and where did you grow up?
I have lived in Tokyo for twenty years, but grew up in country NSW, Australia. I love that despite its image of being a huge metropolis, Tokyo is really more a series of small towns, and surprisingly local. I love that I can cycle everywhere, despite it being such a huge city. I also love Japanese food!

Where do you go to escape from it all?
Ideally my parents’ farm in Australia, but when that’s not possible, I love Hakone, a beautiful mountain town about 1.5hrs from Tokyo. There’s nothing better than spending a weekend soaking in hot springs and eating amazing food.

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 Describe your perfect down time?
A sunny day spent in the park with my children and friends, drinking good coffee, relaxing, chatting and hanging out until dusk.

Finally…how would your best friend describe you?
Too far away!

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Photographer: Keith Ng (www.keithngnyc.com)


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size guide

BODY MEASUREMENTS
XSSMLXL
HIP9297102107112
WAIST6570758085
CONVERSION CHART
GUSHLOW AND COLEXSSMLXL
UK810121416
US4681012
EU3840424446
JAPAN79111315

FOOTWEAR
UK34567
EU3637383940
USA66.57.58.59.5
JAPAN (cm)232424.52526
KOREA (mm)230240245250260

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ONE SIZE58/ 22.8
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