Happy Christmas! December 01st 2015
This year has flown by. For me it has been a fun filled time - a new grandson Stanley was born, my mother celebrated her 92nd birthday and with my American grandchildren and family and all the other grandchildren we spent a blissfully happy summer. I have no complaints about the English weather - I simply love it. Summer in England for me is magical - my garden is gorgeous and in August, London is empty and parking plentiful and easy. I even love the winters here - I wear fur!
French Sole has had a very good year too - we celebrated the launch of our Little Dax shoe with the Made in Chelsea cast and finalised another super exciting collaboration with the completely beautiful and delightful Alice Naylor-Leyland.
Our Summer party with Birchbox was great fun and I tried to convince the Duchess of Rutland that she and her fabulous family could be the new aristocratic answer to "Keeping Up With the Kardashians"! Lady Alice Manners arrived wearing an amazing vintage Chanel skirt and on closer inspection I realised that I had the matching top!!
Becky and Harriet have done an amazing job in the publicity and press office and Becky continues to delight everyone who meets her with her charm and dazzling smile. The Press office girls have had a lot to contend with this year, but have bravely soldiered on!
I have started Christmas shopping - but only at French Sole so far. I am giving all my girl friends the trilogy of Madame Chic books - everyone loves them and they make the perfect gift, either alone or as a set of three. My mother and various daughters in law, my sister and sisters in law will all receive one of our gorgeous cashmere scarves - although they are selling out fast. This year I will be giving the pink cashmere Ballerina scarf and the pale grey and blue French Sole Poodles scarf.
The shoe charms are a great stocking filler as are the shoe care products and I am giving all the men on my list a shoe care kit as these have proved so popular as gifts for the men in our lives.
I am giving our famous red leather "Bucket Bag" to my daughter and our Ethel bag to my mother.
I would like to extend a huge "thank you" to all our wonderful and loyal customers - everyone who shops with us and to the customers who have loved our shoes and respected the heritage of our quality and style for almost twenty seven years now!
Lastly, my incredible staff at French Sole - so dedicated, so hard working and so loyal and charming. We were very sad to say goodbye to Nora this year who very sadly left us after seven wonderful years and also to Lauren, Shelby, Sophia and Amelia - however we have been joined by the amazing Lucy Whittaker who has worked for us on and off for the past six years but now is Head of Retail and ECommerce and doing a spectacular job where all the staff and customers alike adore her. Katie -Jane also, after five years of working part-time joins us as my Lead Designer and we are all breathing a sigh of relief (especially the wonderful Katherine!) and Lily replaces Lauren doing a great job as our marketing assistant. The warehouse boys continue to charm us all, Stuart is urbane and delightful, the IT boys continue without complaint and Mail Order do a terrific job of "picking and packing".
The retail girls are all amazing and after a difficult time for Chloe Derham, she left us as manager of the Kings Road store, but we all send our love and wish her well for the future. All the other girls continue to look after the customers in their usual charming and helpful way and I am truly grateful to you all. Amy and Ailsa take care of the franchise customers and always look like models and both have just become engaged to be married - so we congratulate them both.
We opened three new stores this year - Canada, Philipines and Kuwait with a further two more opening in the New Year.
Last, but not least I would like to extend my most heartfelt gratitude to my amazing plastic surgeon Barry Jones, to anaesthetist Doctor Angus Hayward and to the incredible nursing staff of the King Edward the Seventh Hospital in London.
Just to wish everyone who reads this a Very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful, Prosperous and Healthy New Year.