“No matter where you are and how you got there, you have to work to be successful; celebrate the wins, learn from the mistakes and continue to be grateful along the way.”
What does a day in your life look like?
No two days were ever the same before COVID, and I miss that. When I am home, my day generally starts with coffee, emails, news and a workout of some kind; usually SoulCycle, yoga or Heartcore pilates. I juggle several roles between my corporate job and private investments I do on behalf of our family office. My focus can range from being in the office for meetings to visiting a potential property or going to the design centre to choose fabrics for a project. In the evenings, I unwind by experimenting with new recipes, visiting my friends, meditating or even getting a drink with colleagues. I generally travel for work every other week, so there are days where I am at Heathrow as early as 5 in the morning. But despite my busy schedule, I try to look for ways to improve myself, so I try to weave in some elements of learning and growing during the week – at the moment, it's Portuguese and tennis lessons.
What do you value most in your friends?
I’m blessed to have friends from many different periods of my life. Their kind, honest support and thoughtfulness truly make a difference to me. I love how diverse my friends are, and a lot (unfortunately for them!) sit on my sounding board. I value their ability to help me see something from a different angle, and sometimes they are there just to listen and make me laugh. I am also very grateful they are open-minded to embark on many adventures in life with me; we have created a lot of special memories over the years.
How do you create elegance in all different scenarios in your life?
Elegance to me is synonymous with comfort and confidence. I believe being elegant means having the ability to make anyone around me feel at ease. To do that, attention to detail and the ability to understand the context of any situation is key — whether it’s the design of a room or the people that fill it. I try to understand what the people around me need and adapt to my surroundings to connect with them. I also feel that when I am wearing something that I love (like diamonds), I tend to be more confident, and people can sense that. I love wearing subtle jewellery pieces to add that extra sparkle to my step. My favourite 64Facets piece is the Cushion Diamond Drop Dangle Earrings!
What is the best advice you've ever received?
I am lucky to have many mentors and people I look up to in my life who have given me great advice. I think the most prevalent advice in today’s environment would be: “Always be humble. The day you think you can walk on water is the day you drown.” You never know when things may change. There is so much that is out of one’s control. No matter where you are and how you got there, you have to work hard to be successful; celebrate the wins, learn from the mistakes and continue to be grateful along the way.
What inspires you?
Oh my goodness, so many things: the passion and determination in budding entrepreneurs, an amazing work ethic, when someone overcomes a challenge they have worked really hard on. There is inspiration everywhere. If I had to pick someone who inspires me, I would say my dad; he continues to work so hard and his humility and ability to make anyone and everyone feel comfortable around him is truly admirable. I hope to continue to learn from him as I work by his side.
During this time of staying at home, adjustment and uncertainty, what strengths have you found within yourself?
I think I've learned to see the bigger picture and be a bit philosophical about the whole situation the world is currently facing. A lot of it is out of our hands. We do our best to adapt, and although this has been a very difficult period for business, I am looking at it as a really valuable learning opportunity. I have also been trying to stay positive and support friends and family by sending little reminders that this too shall pass— mostly through sending funny memes for some comic relief or helping to spin a negative into something constructive. It’s even clearer to me that supporting others and making them feel loved brings me a lot of happiness.
How do you foresee the future of hospitality in the post COVID era?
It will be a slow recovery, and we have to adapt in order to make our guests feel safe and welcome, but I firmly believe people will want to travel soon again. We just re-opened our hotel in the Côte d'Azur last month, Hotel Royal Riviera in St. Jean Cap Ferrat. It will continue to be a challenge to find that fine balance between abiding by the health and safety protocols and providing guests with a luxury five-star experience.
In the medium term, I believe hotels in urban locations that cater mostly to the business traveller may follow more of a grab-and-go concept with less face-to-face contact, like Moxy and Citizen M. On the other hand, I think people travelling for leisure will continue to want authentic experiences with more customised service.
There will also likely be a continuation of remote working which means people can be productive from home or wherever they are. Could this be the birth of the 'working nomad' market?
Discover other inspiring women on our Multifaceted Women Spotlight Series.