December is always one of the busiest times of the year, especially when you’re a wife, mother (of four) and businesswoman running your own hugely successful Concept Store in South London. Amidst the Christmas chaos, Nicola Eyre, owner of South London’s family fashion friendly store ‘Cissy Wears’ and her great friend Cassie Chung, carved out the time to escape to Beachspoke’s Little Cottage in Praa Sands for some crucial quality time with their families, with each other and for themselves. Time was spent enjoying some of the many unique features the property has to offer from the modern spacious design to the tiny secluded boltholes to where one can completely unwind.
We caught up with Nicola after her stay to hear all about how ‘Cissy Wears’ came to be, what it’s like to juggle the many responsibilities of being a business owner, mother, wife and friend and to find out why ‘Little Cottage’ was the perfect family escape.
Tell us a bit about Cissy Wears and how it came about?
Cissy Wears started in 2012 after I left the music industry and wanted to focus on doing my own thing within children’s design and fashion. I started it on a bit of a whim but It’s grown really quickly, and just seemed to hit a spot with a niche following of people who don’t want to compromise on style because they have children.
Running your own business, taking care of a family of four – how do you juggle everything on a daily basis?
I’ve just become very talented at multi-tasking. I have to break my day into manageable chunks and be realistic about what I can achieve during that time. It means I’m not always as up to speed with things as I’d like to be, but I try not to be too critical of myself, which keeps me sane. I have fantastic support from a tremendous childminder, and my husband – even though he has a stressful and really busy job as an ECD at an ad agency – does more than his fair share around the home.
How did you hear about Beachspoke?
I saw it on the Instagram feed of someone I follow and admire and instantly knew I wanted to come and stay
What have been the highlights of your stay at Little Cottage?
It’s amazing how 11 people – 7 children – can be under one roof and yet still feel like we are surrounded by space and calm. Everything is so child friendly and we love the fact that we are a minutes walk down to the beach. To be able to rinse off in the warm outside shower before heading into the walk in wet room from outside, and dump the damp, sandy clothes straight into the laundry before entering the house was fantastic. Everything was fully equipped and we wanted for nothing during our stay. I loved to have a lazy long bath in one of those amazing tubs with a coffee watching the surfers. Even though Little Cottage is situated in such a beautiful part of the world, we loved to be in the house.
Little Cottage was designed by famous architect, Alex Michaelis. What were some of your favourite features of the property?
Attention has been paid to every little detail. We loved the simple things like no door frames or skirting, and that everything is set back into the walls to give it a minimalist feel. Our favourite parts were the huge windows at the front and rear of the main living area which created such a sense of space, and the beautiful curved staircase. The children loved the little slide built into the hill in the garden!
At Beachspoke, design and interiors is key to our business. Running a very popular concept store, which interior and homeware designers you would recommend we look out for?
Sleek kitchenwares from Normann Copenhagen, and simple customisation from Design Letters. For children trends move away from the harsh monochrome trend, and incorporate much softer palettes – plaster pink, beige and cream with straw and wooden accents. Materials and textures are soft and natural. I love the colour palette from Grampa, a Parisian brand specialising in cushions and baby bedding.
With the stresses and strains of everyday life, how often do you get to get away?
Not as often as I like. We tend to have one big holiday a year, and a couple of small breaks away focusing on the children. We didn’t get a chance to go away last year because of the new baby, but going that we can do something special this year.
Do you manage to carve out time for yourself, whether at home or on holiday and how do you unwind?
I don’t really, but to be honest I enjoy myself kept busy with my family. I’ve learnt to take snatches of time where I can – be that a glass of wine in the garden, browsing social media, or taking a long bath, but mostly I love to go to bed early with a book.
Now that we are days into 2017, what have your highlights of 2016 been and do you have any aims or resolutions for the upcoming year?
Without fail, my highlight of the year was launching our concession store in Liberty of London in October. For 2017 I plan to roll out some more concessions internationally, launch our blog, start our own clothing label, and completely restructure the business. It’s going to be busy!
Not planning on traveling to Little Cottage with a family or in a big group? Beachspoke offers guests special rates on Little Cottage for couples or groups of 4, starting from £350 per night. Contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 740 3001 for more information
All photos are owned by Nicola Eyre and Cassie Chung