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Interview

Meet India Hicks Encouraging Strong Female Entrepreneurs, One Woman at a Time

BWB sits down with India Hicks, mother, entrepreneur, and founder of India Hicks– a lifestyle company, community, and growing movement in which women define extraordinary for themselves and become an inspiration for others along the way.

678th in line for the British throne and daughter of renowned interior designer David Nightingale Hicks, India Hicks has “British and design royalty” coursing through her veins– but more importantly, lots of girl power. After discovering her love for collaborating with others during her career as a fashion model and design partner with global beauty brands, India founded the lifestyle brand India Hicks. While India has crafted this self-made, exclusive line of handbags, accessories, beauty products and fragrances, this brand is humbly not her own. India Hicks products are in the hands of women across the globe who are becoming entrepreneurs and social sellers on their own terms.

You can read more about the homes, memories, and heritage that have shaped India, her own home, and her career in India Hicks: The Story of Four Houses: A Slice of England— but for now, join BWB as we learn about India’s inspirations, beauty must-haves, and best pieces of advice for success & bliss.

Inspiration for your new book…

This book is the story of four English Houses.
I thought at first it would simply be the lurching journey of bringing our new English country house, America Farm, to life: the architectural choices, the planning challenges, the compromise and concessions my partner David and I made along the way– even before we dared to think where to place the loo roll.

However I soon recognized that so much of what had informed our decisions had been drawn from the past and particularly for me from the three homes in which I had spent my childhood.

I think the past is always the place to start for inspiration. It’s what shapes us. Some of my earliest memories are of running through the door at Broadlands, its pale blue octagonal domed hall, and Father Christmas. Britwell is where David Hicks really shook up the English drawing room and The Grove was his masterpiece of views and vistas.

I think the past is always the place to start for inspiration. It’s what shapes us.

Let’s speak about your skincare and fragrance lines…

Unexpected Beauty came from one simple question, “Does skincare really need to be this complicated?”

I wanted to really start taking care of my skin, yet I found the choices ridiculously overwhelming and completely confusing.

We came up with five products that all have a dual purpose. Our Supreme Cream for instance, is a moisturizer that we’ve packed full of good stuff, including a serum. It’s one step, not two. I can stick with it.

Our fragrances are storytellers – the secret garden my father created, tea in the tropics, and morning walks to the beach past a delicate white flower that grows, inexplicably, from the pink sand.

Your personal favorite in your skincare line…

Perfecting Polish + Mask
A scrub polish and mask all in one, this mask is an absolutely essential complete rejuvenation treatment. Utterly packed with enzymes, which are the new superhero skincare staple and quite possibly the reason I love this. Put it on before you soak in the bath.

Is your skincare line for all ages?

Yes, absolutely. Unexpected Beauty is formulated to create healthy, balanced skin – whether you have oily or dry skin, are young, or young in spirit. It’s low maintenance skincare so can’t-be-bothered teenagers and regimented mums can all use it – and it’s handmade and micro-batched, which we love.

India Hicks posing in city street

Your vision for founding your company…

Our mission is to inspire women to live extraordinary lives. We do this by designing an exclusive collection that women want to wear, enjoy and share with their friends– and by empowering spirited entrepreneurs to build a thriving business for themselves, in their own time and on their own terms, but never alone.

India Hicks is a lifestyle, a community and a growing movement in which women define extraordinary for themselves and become an inspiration for others along the way.

Our mission is to inspire women to live extraordinary lives.

Your personal wellness routine…

I carve out time for exercise, preferably a run on the beach, but a hike in a canyon works too. It’s about getting a quiet hour to myself. No phones ringing, no screens to watch, no kids to handle, no decisions to be made.

You have the most gorgeous hair! What are your secrets for beautiful hair? Please share with us your favorite products of the moment…

My Mason Pearson hairbrush. Tying my hair back into a ponytail after a good, scalp-tingling brush-through always rejuvenates me. Our Lovely Balm tames flyaway hairs and smooths ends in a pinch.

Your travel schedule is non-stop. Please share with our BWB readers how you unwind and manage all your worlds of home, family, work and play…

As often as we can, we have dinner together as a family, wherever we may be in the world…as time passes and the kids grow and begin to make their own way in the world, it’s even more important to have that bond. Thankfully living on an island with a pink sand beach means they always want to come home whenever they can. I like to think it’s me they are coming home to, but I suspect it’s the beach. Despite that pink sand beach, most of my hours are now spent in an office. At the end of the day, I take my dogs for a run….that’s the moment I unwind and when I do my best thinking.

India Hicks posing poolside with luggage

Advice for those starting their own company…

Know your own strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to play to the strengths and work on the weaknesses – or find someone with those strengths. Understand that you’re going to make mistakes. Those mistakes make you human and make your company better. And be prepared to pivot. Most start-up’s pivot– it’s painful but necessary– like the scene from Friends when they are carrying the gigantic sofa up the stairs and trying to squeeze it round the corner. “Pivot, pivot, pivot,” they shout to each other.

Understand that you’re going to make mistakes. Those mistakes make you human and make your company better.

Recent favorite trip…

Last summer (2017) David and I and our five children traveled to Africa to experience the landscapes and wildlife from desert to jungle, and human life from remote tribal village to teeming metropolis. We fished on the Zambezi river, amongst crocodiles and hippos, and found baboons helping themselves quite literally to the cookies from our cookie jar. We had a gigantic bull elephant wander into our camp in the Okavango Delta, and at dawn we followed a pride of lions hunting for breakfast. We came home filled with the spirit of this great continent with its imprint on our memories.

On your nightstand…

Claiborne Swanson Frank’s gorgeous and tender Mother and Child. It just fits on the table, it’s a BIG book!

Who inspires you…

The women I work with — our India Hicks Ambassadors who took a leap of faith and joined us, together we are learning. And collaborators like Figue Founder Stephanie Von Waltzdorf– she works her butt off, believes in giving back and has the coolest sense of style– and beauty expert Catherine Walsh, with whom I developed our skincare line, Unexpected Beauty. She is the definition of beauty.

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a junior at Columbia University majoring in English and Creative Writing. As President of the Columbia University Glee Club, she loves to sing, make music, and celebrate multiple modes of artistic expression. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. While she has spent most of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

Katie von Strasser

Katie von Strasser is a former ballerina with a background in fashion and art. She is a devoted advocate for people with disabilities. Katie has a passion for travel and all things beautiful.
She resides in San Francisco with her family. (Photo by Darryl Nitke)

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