Karine Candice: You were born in South Africa...How would you describe your childhood there?
Kelly Hoppen: I was born in Johannesburg but left when I was 2, move to London with my brother and parents but went back to Cape Town every year at Christmas until in was 16 and my time there was so very special as my grandparents played such an important part in my growing up. I then, did not go back for 20 years as I was very against Apartheid and felt very uncomfortable being there. So in fact, my childhood was essentially in London which was lovely in terms of home but had a very unhappy childhood at school as I was very badly bullied.
Karine Candice: What is your earliest happy or sad memories?
Kelly Hoppen: I can't remember however the happiest memory ever was the birth of Natasha, the saddest day of my life was my father's death.
Karine Candice: You have a brother who is now a successful photographer, can you tell us how it was to grow up together? Were you close? What's the funniest thing you used to do together?
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Kelly Hoppen: My brother was a professional photographer but he then opened Michael Hoppen Gallery selling photography and he is now one of the leading experts in the world. I have always been so close to him and looked up to him, he has one of the best sense of humor, he always makes me laugh. He teased me all the time then and still does.
Karine Candice: In your family, who is the person you admire the most and why?
Kelly Hoppen: I admire both my mother and brother hugely. My mother has been my biggest mentor and she is amazing.
Karine Candice: You started your career as an interior designer at 16. Most kids nowadays do not know what they want to do when they are mid-twenties. Did you always knew it was what you wanted to do in life?
Kelly Hoppen: I always knew what I wanted to do. I always believed I would be successful because I hated being at school and it was one of the reasons I wanted to start a business myself. I hated Sunday nights...that awful feeling of having to go to school on Monday morning. So I decided that I never wanted to have that feeling again and to be in control of this, I would work for myself.
Karine Candice: How influential were your parents in your career and the successful entrepreneurial woman you became?
Kelly Hoppen: I believe ones parents play a huge role in who you become and your values and morals. Mine both worked very hard to build businesses from nothing but also knew how to have fun. They had a wonderful and eclectic group of friends. They taught me so much on so many levels.
Karine Candice: Who did you call when you first found out you were appointed an MBE by The Queen in March 2009 for your services to interior design?
Kelly Hoppen: First my daughter Natasha and then my mother. Then called my brother, Sienna and Savannah [Miller, actress and the fashion designer]...I called everyone...I was so over the moon!
Kelly with Natasha. Photo courtesy of Kelly Hoppen
Karine Candice: What changed in your life when you became a mother?
Kelly Hoppen: Everything changes when you become a mother. You feel a love and a responsibility like you have never felt before. It's incredible, it is also quite scary as it certainly does not come with instructions. There is a love there that only gets stronger every day. Being a mum is the biggest and most important thing I have ever done in my life.
Karine Candice: What's your most fond memory of Natasha growing up?
Kelly Hoppen: There were so many I can't think of one in particular. She is an inspiration to me because she is such a very grounded and spiritual person. She has taught me a great deal. I am so very proud of her as she has just launched Honestly Healthy at Selfridges...I am as proud as a peacock!
Kelly with Natasha. Photo courtesy of Kelly Hoppen
Karine Candice: Natasha is also now running her own business: Ganesh Retreats. How much do you think you influenced her in carving her own career?
Kelly Hoppen: She created this on her own business in her own time I had nothing to do with it. However in the same way my mother and father influenced me in my values and drive I am sure it has rubbed off on Natasha. She is very focused and passionate business woman.
Karine Candice: Nowadays, the emphasis is how women strike the balance between having a successful career and being a mother? How was it for you back then when Natasha was little and you were working hard to build what is now an 18 Million pounds business?
Kelly Hoppen: Family always came first one hundred percent , I worked from home and was lucky enough to have help and a very supportive husband but there were times I had to juggle a lot. However it was not until Natasha went to boarding school with Sienna and Savannah that my business grew into a multimillion pound business as my priorities were different then.
Sienna and Natasha. Photo courtesy of Kelly Hoppen
Karine Candice: When you think about your close family, parents, siblings...Do you have any regrets?
Kelly Hoppen: I try not to have regrets in life. I believe everything happens for a reason. Learn from your past, live in the present and visualize your future.
Karine Candice: How do you switch off from the world of interiors?
Kelly Hoppen: Easily
Karine Candice: What new projects are you working on?
Kelly Hoppen: So many ........I am finishing my new TV show out in September, working on many new amazing homes and boats all over the world , designing a Kelly Hoppen yacht with pearl yachts launching next year , opening many shops all over the world as well as an exciting new venture into hotels. That's on top of my design work and designing for my Furniture and QVC collections ...........I'm exhausting myself just writing it! however one things for sure I adore what I do and love all the challenges that come my way!
Karine Candice: Kelly, thank you so much for this.
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