Kelly Hoppen is one of Britain’s most successful businesswomen.
From running one of the most successful interior design businesses in the country, to making entrepreneur’s dreams a reality on Dragon’s Den, Kelly Hoppen MBE is a real success story.
We chatted to business influencer Kelly about her secrets of success, and her advice on how to impress in the business world.
You started your path to success at a very early age. Do you feel that the early start helped you gain an advantage over the competition in terms of gaining recognition?
I’ve know that I wanted to be an interior designer from a very early age. I do think realising your passion and going for it at such a young age does give you that extra edge. It all comes down to hard work, determination and really studying your industry. This is a joy when you’re doing something you truly love.
What would you say was the turning point of your career?
There have been so many highlights and amazing moments in my career that I’m grateful for. However being honoured by The Queen with an MBE is definitely one that stands out. It is one of the achievements I’m most proud of and I’ll remember the day forever.
As a ‘Dragon’ on Dragons Den, you saw some brilliant and some not so brilliant business plans. What did entrepreneurs have to show you to impress you?
I always looked for someone who had a confident belief in their company. Then someone with passion who knew their stuff but who wasn’t afraid to be challenged on their visions. I really enjoyed the younger people that came in fighting for their dreams, it was really inspiring.
People needed to show me that they had a full business plan. They needed to be ready for anything and it had to be clear that there was a return on investment to be made. Take Skinny Tan for example, I invested in them all those years ago and now look at the brand, it is huge!
And, on the flip-side of that, what mistakes did some others make that made you immediately say ‘I’m Out’?
I would say I was out if they were badly prepared. If they didn’t have a vision for where they were taking the company that was always a red flag for me! And to be frank, some of the ideas were just bonkers and just had no potential for growth. It was certainly an experience to say the least!
How would you describe the ‘Kelly Hoppen look’?
The Kelly Hoppen look is a classic, timeless aesthetic. I believe in the beauty of simplicity and love to use gorgeous neutral, shades as they’re perfect for creating that elegant yet welcoming look.
What are some of the main interior design trends for this year?
Times have changed and I think that people are looking for sustainable and modern luxury, whilst holding onto classic pieces that will last the test of time. For 2017, I think we’ll see a lot more interiors pieces that have a juxtaposition between the old and the new.
Then overlaying both the old and the new, particularly with fireplaces, will be seen everywhere. Creating modern modular fireplaces with a twist of old, mixed with metals, will transform them, making them current and chic. My new collection with Chesney’s, which will be coming out in September, will showcase this beautifully.
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