In our third instalment of our potted history of Lotty and the Pink House, we found out how it came about that Lotty moved to Mustique:
In 1992 the British Medical Journal put out an advertisement: “Doctor needed on small private island for one year.” We had recently arrived back in London from working in a missionary hospital in Zululand. Mustique sounded like an ideal place to spend the first year with our brand new baby. My husband, Michael, had been a doctor in the British army for 7 years before our travels in Africa, so his combined previous experience suited the job well as a solo doctor on a remote island.
What was it like raising a family on the island?
"Idyllic" sums it up best. 30 years ago Mustique would be buzzing for Christmas and Easter but no one visited during the summer months, so from April to November we had a Robinson Crusoe island lifestyle for the children to grow up in. They could swim before they could walk; climbing coconut trees was second nature and adventuring through the bushes to find tarantula nests and scorpions was a great pastime. Neither of these are poisonous here on Mustique, by the way, so life was pretty stress-free as a parent and we could let them run free. The island school took them up until the age of 11 and classes were mornings only, which suited us all perfectly and we could spend the afternoons at the beach, riding or playing tennis.
(Photographed by Lord Lichfield)
The summer months have now become very popular for visitors and life here is pretty busy all year round so our timing was perfect as far as bringing up a family. At the age of 11, each of our four children went to boarding school in England and got to know their grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins, so life was pretty good and I don't think they missed us too much, although we, of course, missed them! They always came back home for Christmas, Easter and summer holidays.
Well, it has been a very strange year for us all, worldwide, but we have managed to see all of our children at one point or another. We hope that soon enough they will all be able to come home for a holiday!
So, to the business: what is next for the brands?
For Lotty B: a series of Limited Edition silk pieces all made in the UK. We are very excited about this new project and hope to be launching the first pieces in the next couple of months.
For Pink House: I’d like to continue to add more to our interior collections. I started designing china a couple of years ago and it is all made by hand in England in the famous historic china factories of Stoke-on-Trent.
My latest venture is into furnishing fabrics. I worked with the Interior Designer, Tristan Auer, who re-decorated the Cotton House Hotel and he invited me to design all the curtain fabrics to match the name of each room, for instance: Papaya; Mango; Jasmine and Guava etc. I have also designed fabrics for several private houses and my current project is creating a collection of indoor-outdoor performance fabrics made by 'Sunbrella'. These are all island inspired designs, which I hope to have available on my website in the new year… (‘which new year?’ I hear my husband say. This has been a dream of mine for quite some time!)
The Jasmine room at the Cotton House.
We are in production right now with the first runs of the furnishing fabrics, so please do get in touch if you are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Mustique Mule is a well recognised sight and sound on the island. These little beach buggies, which are known on the island as "mules", are the only form of motorised transport here. We think of them as workhorses as they are used for everything you can think of!
We have learned that the VSPCA is under a great strain to continue feeding animals that are still abandoned in the red zone, nearly five months after the La Soufrière volcano had a catastrophic series of eruptions.
We are very excited that our new Limited Edition Lotty B silk pyjamas are in production - and within an hour's drive of our UK HQ!
As part of our sustainability plan, we are planning more production in the UK, but this is our first project for a long time and we can't wait to share it with you...