This month, in honor of the Hill House pop-up in Nantucket, we are spotlighting some of the founders from our favorite brands popping into our store. Mrs. Alice is the world’s first tablescape brand founded by entrepreneur Alice Naylor-Leyland. And if you've ever seen any of Hill House's campaigns, you know...we love a tablescape. Her eponymous website offers magical home goods that "take the hassle out of hosting," and make your home an Instagrammable wonderland.
Take us through your morning routine.
I run out of bed, wash my face as quickly as I possibly can and get three children up and dressed all by 7:15 AM. It's like a military operation! My secret to success is remembering to check the weather the night before and lay out outfits for myself and the children before I crawl into bed.
What was your first job?
My first job was interning at the Chanel Shop on Sloane Street when I was sixteen. I was amazed by the level of detail allocated to every single bottle of perfume and box of makeup and was in awe of the wonderful shop girls and their work ethic. They would stay in the shop for hours after closing, counting the stock and making sure everything was perfect for opening the following day. This was my first experience in retail and I was incredibly impressed with how everything worked.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I think the great thing about inspiration is that one doesn't really need to look. It's all around us on a daily basis. I constantly feel inspired by my friends and family; I've grown up looking up to my mother and now find myself looking to my kids - I think they continue to strengthen me and I'm always inspired by their bravery. I think inspiration can manifest in so many different forms, not just through the usual mediums of books and past heroes but from those that we encounter every day, the heroes of our present.
What is the quickest way to up a tablescape?
I think the quickest way to up a tablescape is to add some big centerpiece items that don't need to be rebought or changed every time you lay a table. Adding Pagoda Lanterns or a big Chinoiserie Bowl with limes instantly makes your table look laid before you even add your place settings. Using the center of the table to play with height and movement, without needing to change flowers, is a top tip. My mother, Serena, always pots fresh mint or basil and it always looks amazing and adds that extra feel to a table.
What's your favorite way to celebrate success?
I'm not the best at celebrating success. I think I tend to worry so much in the run-up to an event that I never stop enough to acknowledge the end product. However, where I fall short of recognizing success, Tom, my husband, is very good at saying 'come on - stand back - look at what you've created' and so it is in these fleeting moments that I take a quick breath and am reminded of all the hard work myself and the team have put in.
If I had a choice in how to celebrate, it would mean me putting my phone away and just being with my kids, staying up for a family movie and enjoying being in the moment. The people I would always choose to celebrate all and every success with would be my gorgeous family.
Who do you call for a pep talk?
I called my friend Mary Charteris for a pep talk last night. We've been friends since we were 14 and she's still the person I look to for a few words of encouragement, and I'd like to hope I can do the same for her too. Mary is an instant mood lifter and a constant pillar of strength and support - so thanks Mar!
What's your pump-up song?
For a pump up I'd play Sia's Unstoppable.
Dream dinner party guest?
I don't think you can beat the Queen? So it's got to be the Queen every time.
What career would you like in your next life?
I'm not sure I have the brain for it but I'd love to work on a maternity ward as a midwife. I think it would be incredibly rewarding to deliver babies into the world and obstetrics fascinate me.
What are you reading right now?
I'm reading Anya Hindmarch's, 'If In Doubt, Wash Your Hair' - it's brilliant! A quick read but full of fabulous details and advice, and I'm always in awe of women such as Anya, so brilliant and good at multitasking. A wonder woman who triumphs through the Christmas retail period whilst mothering her kids too is always an inspiration to me.
What's the best life experience you ever received or heard?
Don't put off for tomorrow what can be done today. I remember this one daily and it motivates me to check more off my to-do list knowing it will give me that bit more time and space the next day to enjoy time with my family and friends.
What's a charity/organization that you feel passionately about?
I am constantly inspired by all that Save The Children does. The way in which they've responded to the heartbreaking crisis in Ukraine is remarkable; helping refugees find safety and helping those directly in need by providing fundamentals...shelter, food and water is incredible.