GRACE MEETS JULIA SMITH
Tell us about London Cashmere Co. and how it all began?
It all started with years of Dan working in the cashmere industry prior to and alongside his professional rugby career. Dan knew that he wanted to create cashmere that ticked his three big boxes: fair pricing, high quality and an ethical and responsible product with a traceable and direct supply chain to its customers. My involvement initially was from the store side, through my career in the London property industry, but I quickly became immersed in all areas of the business!
Can you explain a little about sourcing your wool and the cashmere process?
We source all of our fibre from nomadic herders in Mongolia, and we also knit all of our cashmere in Mongolia too. This is a big priority for us as most of Mongolia’s fibre is taken to be knitted in China, which means that the Mongolians lose out on a lot of the economic benefit of the cashmere industry. This year we purchased our fibre from the South Gobi Project – a project on the ground in Mongolia and backed by some large researchers and organisations with the aim of being fully sustainable.
Cashmere has such a luxurious quality – what makes it so exceptional and superior?
Cashmere fibre is the undercoat of the Cashmere goat – it’s both extremely soft and incredibly warm (eight times warmer than wool) and much lighter, making it the perfect garment material. Most people wear cashmere primarily in winter, although its breathability make it a fibre that can be worn year-round.
Hardest challenge you’ve had to face as a business woman?
As far as business challenges go, 2020 has been a challenge. Covid-19 forced us to really change our plans for the business in 2020 – I am really proud of how we have adapted!
Your proudest achievement?
Running London Cashmere Co. and achieving growth in such a challenging year has definitely been my proudest achievement. This year’s aim was to really build our online sales
What advice you would give your younger self?
Probably the same advice I give my current self – try to live more in the moment and don’t focus so much on what’s next. I find it very hard advice to actually take!
When you’re not working, how do you unwind and relax?
I try to get to the gym regularly as exercise is really important for me to relieve stress. When I am home it’s a TV series or a magazine with a candle lit.
Dan and I went to Goa for New Year 2019 and I loved it! For a place that I keep going back to though it would be New York – I have been five times now and each visit is so different.
One wardrobe staple you cannot be without?
A great long wool coat!
Top beauty ‘must have’ in your makeup bag?
I love Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser.
Desert island disc, book and luxury item?
Ooh this one is tough!
Disc – One of my brother’s Spotify playlists. He always puts together a great selection of songs for me to listen to.
Book – Does Conde Nast traveller magazine count?
Luxury Item – SPF, I am very fair!
The only constant in life is change.