Image: Mary McCartney
December 17 2012
It’s a very busy and early start after the Christmas party, as our Chinese partner – who is absolutely wonderful – is in town. We have a lot to discuss and, guess what, my son Henri is ill. The poor mite is exhausted and has a terrible cold; this always seems to happen on the first day of the school holidays. We bring him to work with us, which he loves, and find him a desk to do his homework. He is looked after by our beautiful young team, who attend to his every whim. Phew.
My first meeting is discussing the product calendar for 2013. It all goes well and
I feel very inspired. Then I have a working lunch with Ing-Nan – our
aforementioned Chinese partner – and Christophe, after which it’s off to our
brand designer in west London, who is going to present to us the first brand
audit we have ever done. I’ve been working closely with them for a long time
and we have got them to do a brand analysis from the birth of Miller Harris, in
2000, right up until now, taking in the evolution of the brand and all the
products. It’s like therapy. I can’t believe it. We discuss lots of solutions
and ideas of how to improve, and they present to myself, Julie, Christophe and
our partners – who are, like us, extremely excited about the prospects that lie
ahead. Another phew.
I then pop over to the lab in Needham Road, as Caroline is still working on the changes to Christophe’s fragrance. She is juggling lots of customers and all my demands, and of course does it very well. She gives me two new trials that she’s been working on, so that I can smell and ponder them over the weekend. We then rush back to the office and pick up Henri, who has had the best day ever with Sophie from our PR team – they’ve been doing his homework together and playing with Lego. He is a happy boy. We decide to go out to Pizza East in Shoreditch. It’s a lovely start to the weekend and the boys are happy – which usually means I am too.
Saturday is always a lie-in for us, which is so precious. We have a lovely long breakfast together with lots of Thé Bergamot, of course, and St John’s sourdough bread toasted with plenty of runny honey. We read the weekend papers and Henri lies on the sofa enjoying his cartoons before spending an afternoon at my sister’s with his cousin Finn – his favourite play date of all. They bake Christmas treats for us. My sister is so amazing at looking after Henri, and we all try to help each other as much as we can. I don’t think I could do it without her.
Midday comes round all too soon, and I have to dash to Bruton Street as I love being in the shop at this time of year, listening to everyone’s comments on my creations. It’s the only way I can feed the brand with improvements and new ideas. This weekend, we have a gentlemen’s shopping event to help all the lovely men of Britain find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. We offer them Ruinart champagne and Ladurée macaroons to ease the Christmas shopping pain. Thursday and Friday were a sell-out, and today there are more couples than men, but it’s very busy still, and it’s lovely to meet our customers and catch up.
We have a great day, selling lots of fragrances, candles and
incense, and the Astier de Villatte ceramic products are just flying out, which
is really interesting. I put in a request to try to get more from Paris, as
everything is handmade to order and we have to plan well. I also get a lot of customers
asking me for bigger candles, which is something I am planning to bring out in
our new home range, launching next year. At 6.30pm I jump in a cab to go home to
my family and we all curl up on the sofa to watch television.
Sunday is, again, a late start – even later than Saturday. I slouch around in my pyjamas, make breakfast for everyone and read the papers. Henri draws some Christmas cards – he is very gifted at drawing.
I go to Pilates at 11.30am with my instructor Gina, who is the best at keeping me toned and at peace with everything in general. We always have great chats and put the world to rights. I stroll home and Henri has a friend over, so lots of noise fills the house. He’s definitely feeling better.
As the evening approaches, I prepare supper for the family, as my sister is coming round with her partner, Ray, and Finn. Christophe cooks, of course, and we have a fish supper courtesy of the amazing French fishmongers in Primrose Hill, with mashed potatoes and green beans, followed by sticky toffee pudding and custard. A busy, yet lovely and relaxing weekend.