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HER MILIEU: India Hicks

SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT LIFE IN THE BAHAMAS THAT FEW PEOPLE MIGHT KNOW?

That the local Bahamian beer is named Kalik, after the noise the cow bells make that are rung during the Junkanoo parades each New Year. The noise sounds exactly as it’s spelled.

 

A FAVORITE LOCALE IN THE BAHAMAS?

Da Vine, a sushi restaurant. The chef comes from Nobu and knows what he is doing. Ask Linda to light the candles and set the table for you upstairs in the private room; she makes it look magical.

 

YOUR BUSINESS EMPOWERS WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD. WHO IS A POWERFUL WOMAN OF THE PAST?

Florence Nightingale, who changed lives for the better. Up until the Napoleonic Wars, absolutely nothing was done for the wounded. They were left to die on the battlefields. In the Crimean war, Florence went to our troops. She lived on a grand estate with very well off parents and had no need to do this, but she was determined to make a difference.

 

HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS HELP THE WOMEN IT EMPLOYS?

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

 

 A FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY FROM ENGLAND

Christmas at Broadlands was very traditional. A huge tree cut from the estate would be towering in the marble hallway. As children, we would hang up our stockings waiting to be filled by Father Christmas, the biggest and therefore most popular stockings happened to be my grandfather’s shooting socks.

 

MOST POWERFUL WOMEN OF THE PRESENT?

Being a prime minister always brings considerable power so, of course, Theresa May, but I would rate, Michelle Obama and Christine Lagarde prettily highly.

 

THE ONE THING THAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

I knew I would have to work harder, run faster, travel further than ever before, but I am still surprised at the pace it takes to build a business. However, every day I wake up believing in what I am doing, working alongside other entrepreneurial women feeling a sense of achievement, and am excited by what lies ahead for us all.  

 

THREE FAMOUS PEOPLE, PAST OR PRESENT, YOU’D LIKE TO HOST AS WEEKEND GUESTS?

Queen Victoria, Harry Belafonte, Noel Coward.

 

A PLACE YOU NEVER TIRE OF VISITING?

My mother’s garden in Oxfordshire.

 

SOMETHING YOU ALWAYS TAKE WITH YOU WHEN YOU TRAVEL?

India Hicks Black Hibiscus Candle, English Rose roller-ball fragrance.

 

A DESTINATION TO WHICH YOU’VE NOT YET GONE BUT WISH TO SEE?

Cambodia and Tokyo.

 

A SITE IN THE WORLD YOU’VE NEVER FORGOTTEN?

The sun rising over Bagan in Burma, lighting up the two-thousand-year-old pagodas.

 

THE MOST VALUABLE OBJECT YOU OWN?

I asked my mother this and her answer would be hard to beat: “Nehru’s letters,” which he wrote my grandmother, my mother’s mother, Edwina Mountbatten.

 

IN WHICH ROOM AT HOME DO YOU SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME?

In the Bahamas, my office—it’s pink and looks out across the tops of palm trees we planted. In England, my bedroom, as it has a fireplace and a sweet little desk at which I spend countless hours.

 

A TRAIT YOU ADMIRE IN PEOPLE?

Kindness, perseverance, and a wicked sense of humor.

 

A MOTTO YOU HAVE ADOPTED?

Plus et en vous: There is more in you than you know.

 

WHAT DOES THE WORD “MILIEU” MEAN TO YOU?

The people who surround you.

 

INTERVIEW BY DAVID MASELLO

 

This story appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of MILIEU.