Happy Christmas December 20th 2013
Christmas is now firmly upon us and the year is drawing to a close…
It has been a happy and successful year for French Sole with our first new store opening in Beijing in China, with a translated Chinese website! We also opened in the Philippines in Manilla, just a few weeks prior to the terrible storms and floods that have engulfed and destroyed part of this beautiful and proud country. Luckily our store was not affected at all and the shoes continued to sell so well that our partners are in talks about opening further stores in the near future.
Despite the fire which broke out in our Mayfair offices, we remained un-daunted and are looking into opening more stores in other parts of the country - I am busy now designing interiors and buying crystal chandeliers for them!
It has been an interesting year for our charity work and we have had a lot of enjoyment collaborating with Beulah London and the UN, in support of the work they do by designing, making and selling the Blue Heart Shoe. We are very proud to be able to donate 25% of all the profits generated from sales of this shoe straight to the United Nations to help with their work to eradicate human trafficking and the suffering of children.
French Sole continues to support the Starlight Foundation by selling the specially designed Starlight shoes to both children and adults and donating 50% of all profits to this amazing charity. As a result, we have been able to grant wishes for Miller and Skye. Miller - a five year-old boy from Kent who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, was given his wish of going on holiday to Thomas Land with his family and Skye, an eight year-old girl who is now in remission after having kidney cancer, had her greatest wish of a trip to London to see the Lion King.
My charity work - donations and collaborations continues to grow and this year I was very proud to be selected by the Women of the Year Foundation to be one of this year’s Women of Achievement. The Foundation - established in 2001 helps women to fulfil their potential and become ‘Women of the Year’. It is funded by donations and fundraising initiatives and this year a wonderful lunch was held at the InterContinental Hotel in Park Lane on October 14th. The United Nations have also honoured me by an award recognising the work that French Sole is doing with our Blue Heart Shoe.
This year I celebrated along with my family, my mother’s 90th Birthday. Incredibly she had five days of continual partying - drinks parties, lunch parties, cocktail parties and a very funny Tea Party at my house in the country which was for her to celebrate with the grandchildren and great grandchildren. We hired a Bouncy Castle and we all sang Happy Birthday with a Rap version added by the young ones and then while my Mother blew out the candles on her cupcake tower we all proceeded to dance the Harlem Shake - instigated by the great grand children! Very, very funny. It was a lovely, happy day with my mother aged 90 looking youthful, happy and stylish as ever, amazing and an inspiration to all of us. The entire family gathered the next day for a more sedate and formal affair and my mother even managed a wonderful speech.
I have attended several Charity Christmas Fairs and lunches and three Christmas Carol services - the best being at St George’s Junior School in Weybridge, where my darling granddaughter Bee attends. The singing was beautiful and the Junior Choir excelled themselves. As I watched my adored Bee singing in perfect French the carol Trois Rois I thought I would cry with pride, she was word perfect.
I have completed my Christmas shopping, celebrated my own birthday with a group of my closest girlfriends, ordered the turkey, spent a fortune in Hermes and Chanel, started to pack for my trip to California and am now starting to look for inspiration for my Spring/Summer collection for 2015!!
I will be spending my Christmas at home in the country with my wonderful husband and family, we will go to Mass on Christmas morning and indulge in a frenzy of present opening after a traditional lunch cooked by me!
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas