Shaper: Kelly Hoppen

Show aired on 24th December 2016

Transcript

Elliot Moss
Welcome to this very special edition of Jazz Shapers, the live session. I am Elliot Moss here from the beautiful Everyman Cinema in the heart of Islington. It’s been a cinema since 1913, over a hundred years and I am really happy Everyman have helped us this evening in bringing this beautiful place to life in a slightly different way. What is Jazz Shapers I hear you ask. Well I haven’t heard you ask but you might be asking in your head, well I will tell you what it is, Jazz Shapers is the place where you can hear the very best of the people who are shaping the world of jazz, blues and soul and alongside them we put a fantastic Business Shaper. Someone who is shaping the world of business right now. More of that person, that special person coming up in a moment. And alongside them we usually play music from the shapers of jazz, blues and soul. I am very pleased to say that we have got one special guest, Bill Laurance, Grammy Award Winning pianist, composer and producer and also one of the co-founders of Snarky Puppy back in 2004. Bill is going to be joining us for some live music which you as our live audience, let’s just make sure you are there…. Hello, can I hear you?

Yep, they are live, they are really here, there’s lots of them and they are looking very happy. So without further ado, let me introduce my special Business Shaper, her name is Kelly Hoppen, she is at the top of her game. Her game is interior design but she is not just a designer, she is an entrepreneur, she’s not just an entrepreneur, she is also a writer. She has written I believe at least ten books. She has been fated around the world for her design. She has been called and I quote ‘The Mistress of Monochrome’. It’s true. The queen of cream and I love this just before I ask her to come up and join me on stage, she said I believe and she will tell me if this is wrong ‘Nothing is too big and nothing is ever big enough’. Please put your hands together ladies and gentlemen for Kelly Hoppen.

Kelly, thank you very much for joining me.

Kelly Hoppen
Thank you for having me.

Elliot Moss
Now you’ve been interviewed so many times and I’ve gone through many, many of those interviews and I’ve thought this is a person who knows how to answer a question in a smart way. How am I going to be sneaky, how am I going to actually get to the heart of what Kelly Hoppen is all about. Forty years, it’s a long time to be good at what you do. Tell me about where you think your ambition is derived from? What makes you that fiery I am going to do it every day kind of person? Where did that start?

Kelly Hoppen
I think, I think I was born into a family of people that were very driven, very creative. My mother is you know, nearly eighty and still has a gallery and still works and travels. My father was very creative. My brother is creative and I was always sort of surrounded by people in our home. It was never like the children were here and these were the adults, so there were always people, people like poets and artists and people in theatre so I was constantly round incredibly inspiring people and my father sadly died when I was sixteen and I think that moment I decided, it was the most horrific thing that ever happened to me, so I just wanted to succeed on my own and never rely on anybody else but I had always had this real driven passion to be an interior designer and from an incredibly early age my mother would sort of say what do you want to do on weekends and I just wanted to look at show flats. I mean I was so boring and you know I loved seeing the way people lived, I loved family, I loved all of that and that kind of was very much my family upbringing in South Africa. I left when I was two but I used to go back every single Christmas and I loved that kind of unity and it was more the feeling of the way I felt in my grandmother’s home and I wanted to sort of recreate that and I guess, I don’t know, at sixteen and a half I started a business and literally for forty years I have been doing it. I gave up for nine months to a year when Natasha was born but I couldn’t wait to get back to it and family is the number one in my life but I am very passionate about creating homes and designing anything to be honest.

Elliot Moss
That energy is obvious still, I mean I am just looking at you now and the eyes say a lot. I want to talk about interior design for a moment because you said well I just… it was the thing I was going to do. But why and do you remember the time when you started playing with different textures and different materials. I mean that’s a strange, it is a strange thing to want to go and see a show flat generally.

Kelly Hoppen
Well it’s funny because I gave a bit speech at the Literary Festival in Cheltenham when the book sort of came out a couple of weeks ago and my mother was down there and she went and sat in the front of this audience of say a hundred people and I was a little bit nervous because she is very outspoken and I was asked the question what… you know how young were you that the interviewer sort of said I hear you designed your room when you were very young and I said well actually I did and it was you know, cream shag pile carpet and chocolate brown felt walls you know, bordered in chrome and I was like literally telling them how it was and I said but I don’t remember how old I was and my mother stood up and said ‘you were eleven darling, you were eleven’ and from that moment on…

Elliot Moss
You can depend on mother.

Kelly Hoppen
…every ten minutes she stood up and said something and you know it was really… and I was eleven and I was always moving things around in the home. My mother had you know, exceptional taste and I just loved home. I absolutely loved it.

Elliot Moss
You talked about coming from South Africa at quite a young age and obviously you know, I had two year old children and a few of them as well. They are not going to remember much. Do you remember feeling different when you were here growing up though in that you were from somewhere else.

Kelly Hoppen
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
And if you did feel from somewhere else, what kind of impact did that have on the way you looked at the world?

Kelly Hoppen
Yeah I mean I didn’t fit in at school at all. I was very badly bullied at school and every Christmas we would go back to South Africa and I just used to dream and wait for that moment to go back and I did, I always felt that I had this other world and I guess as a kid I would come back to school and go oh we did this, we did that you know, I was probably obnoxious and horrible at school because I was always talking about this incredible feeling and life that I had with my grandparents. It was really important to me and so I feel like I am South African but I am British because my father was English so you know but there is something about Africa that is in my blood, I don’t know what it is but there is a feeling that I was definitely born there and it is very much a part of who I am today.

Elliot Moss
And we are going to hold that thought right there. Stay with me here on Jazz Shapers the live session because we’ve got some music and it’s none other than Mr Gregory Porter.

That was Gregory Porter with Don’t Lose Your Steam. Where did creativity become commercial? When did you suddenly go do you know what, I can make a living out of this and… because it strikes me that if you have come from a well-to-do family, sometimes that’s difficult for kids.

Kelly Hoppen
Yeah absolutely.

Elliot Moss
You’ve gone the other way. You’ve gone no I am going gungho, I’ve got this idea, I package up stuff and them I am going to make some money. Why?

Kelly Hoppen
Well I think both my parents worked and they were real grafters you know, my mother still is and I think you are absolutely right. I have seen lots of families of people that go the complete opposite but in a way I was so respectful of the way my parents were and I loved their life and who they were and are and I think I was very driven by that and I like the feeling of being successful in something that I do and it wasn’t driven by making money which is quite an interesting thing. It was driven purely by the passion of the feeling that I got when I designed something and I handed it over and that moment when you kind of give birth to something and you see the expression on someone else’s face where they go ‘oh my God this is exactly what I wanted but I didn’t know I wanted it and I love it’. That fed me with something that I needed and it became more like a drug in a way that I just kept wanting to do it and then of course it turned into a business and yeah, I like making the money.

Elliot Moss
Well I was going to say it did strike me as you were talking about it that it is like drug, it is a buzz, it’s the fix of creating something that makes you feel good and it is almost in a good way, selfish.

Kelly Hoppen
Yeah positive.

Elliot Moss
Positive but also for you.

Kelly Hoppen
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
So you may have other people’s agendas to fix but it feels like it’s got to make you happy too.

Kelly Hoppen
Yeah and I don’t think, I am very fortunate that my business for forty years hasn’t felt like a job, you know I still bounce out of bed at 6.00am in the morning and go for a run and I go into the studio. I mean it amazes me that sometimes in interviews people say you know, ‘so how often do you go to your office’ and I am like you know, what do they think I do. I am a working person every single day and I love it and I like having all my young staff and I have had people working for me for over twenty years you know so you create this bubble and this kind of environment which constantly changes and grows.

Elliot Moss
Let me ask about that bubble because creativity is an oft-used word and often misunderstood and people think it is something incredible when in reality it is just a lot of hard work and tenacity and persistence. Are you a massive iterator? Is it a, that isn’t right I am going to come back to it? How quickly do you get to the yes that feelings is…

Kelly Hoppen
Immediately.

Elliot Moss
…really?

Kelly Hoppen
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
How do you do it?

Kelly Hoppen
I don’t know. I have this, this brain where I can design right now in my head a room in 3D and I can move things around in it before I’ve even put it on paper. When I walk into a room, I mean John always laughs, we will walk in to our home and I will literally go up to the table and move something like that and he will go ‘really that makes all the difference?’ and I went ‘all the difference’. You know I can see it, I can scan a space, it’s kind of the magic I was born with. It is a really lucky tool and I’ve met other people who have got that ability. It is almost like I see a screen in my head with lots of lines, it’s like a grid system and I can place things and move things and it can be incredibly annoying because you have to switch it off but it also is amazing because I am fast. I mean I can design six rooms in a day if I am left with music playing in my design studio. That’s my dream. It doesn’t always happen because I am in meetings and I am travelling and doing all kind of things but I can design very fast because I can see it before it happens.

Elliot Moss
And you are never wrong?

Kelly Hoppen
Absolutely not. Do you mean, do you mean in design?

Elliot Moss
Well do you ever look back and go do you know what, actually I thought I was right because I trust my instincts and this is about instincts right and you’ve just learnt that you are always right but occasionally do you go actually I could have made that better?

Kelly Hoppen
Do you mean in design?

Elliot Moss
Yeah in design.

Kelly Hoppen
Honestly. When I did my retrospective now and I had to choose you know, out of a lot of body of work there was early work that obviously I looked at and thought God I could have done better but there was a point at which from that point on I would say I was really happy with everything that I’ve done and it’s a kind of, you know and I am not saying it with a big head because it’s just in my eyes it seemed right and certainly in the client’s eyes and people that I design for and I go back into these homes years later and nothing has changed so I think part of my development in designing is that I like to get into people’s heads. I love that feeling of extracting that information and then working with a couple and playing the game of whose going to get what and how do you get that sort of balance that everybody is happy and I like that, that was very much a part of my forty years of having relationships with people to get to that point and I won’t ever design until I get that green light in my head that goes ‘okay, Kel go. You’ve got it’. You know what they want and I am very, very rarely wrong unless somebody I am working with changes their mind which happens.

Elliot Moss
There was something you said when I asked you that question or rather you looked at me and said and so you meant in terms of design. I want to come back to that because life isn’t just about design for any… it isn’t just what you do so we are going to hold that thought for a moment.

Kelly Hoppen
Uh oh.

Elliot Moss
It’s okay, don’t worry it won’t be a heavy interrogation it will be a relatively light one. Please give Kelly a round of applause for so far. Brilliant. Stay with me for more insight and truth from my Business Shaper today, that’s Kelly Hoppen, forty years and I am going to have to condense it into one whole hour. Time for some music and I promised you a treat and indeed we’ve got one, as I said earlier, Bill Laurance is providing some live music for you this evening. Bill is not just a pianist, not just a composer but also a producer. He is classically trained which is why he is really good. He has been playing since he was fourteen I’ve been told. He is the founding member of Snarky Puppy and Snarky Puppy for those of you in the know are one of the most fantastic bands around, jazz bands around in the world today. He has played with ML Chibber, He’s played with the Metropole Orchestra, Miss Dynamite and so many others, please join me, ladies and gentlemen in welcoming Mr Bill Laurance.

So unusually for Jazz Shapers what we are going to do is actually have the opportunity to talk to the musician which is a first I have got to tell you. Bill firstly thank you for joining us this evening.

Bill Laurance
Thanks very much for having me. It is a treat to be here.

Elliot Moss
Name of the song?

Bill Laurance
That song is called Cheer which bizarrely actually I came up with the melody in a Chinese tea house in Beijing but I guess it doesn’t really have a very sort of Chinese sound to it but that’s where the melody came to me so yeah, that’s where the name comes from.

Elliot Moss
It occurs to me and the reason why we have created this programme of Jazz Shapers is that musicians and entrepreneurs, especially jazz musicians have a lot more in common than they might realise. Tell me about the feelings that were evoked in you when you started writing and started thinking that you could be a musician?

Bill Laurance
Well, I mean I think certainly something Kelly said earlier about it feeling like a drug, you know, I remember the first time I looped myself, it was actually on a four track and it was just vocals and I was just kind of doing a beat box and then like humming a base line and then singing a melody and I must have been like thirteen or fourteen years old and I remember it was the first time I had ever kind of heard myself multiplied and it was this kind of revelation moment and I remember just thinking you know the potential possibilities were suddenly so exciting and you know for a long time I struggled to try and find a sound that satisfied me and you know I tried various different albums. I did a kind of very straight ahead jazz record and then I did a very sort of, well it was like a pop record where I was singing and then I quickly realised I wasn’t a singer so that album is on the shelf and will stay there forever and then so I started looking for singers and I found a singer, one of the single Rhianna Kenny and we did an album as well and you know, those three records that I made were kind of the coming together of the first album that I officially released, Flint, in 2014 and it was hugely kind of cathartic to finally sort of find that drug you know. I just remembered like recording it in the studio and it was, it was just this thing that I had never experienced before and something I am going to be addicted to for the rest of my life you know and I will continue searching.

Elliot Moss
You talked about that particular song that you just played and it came from a moment in a Beijing coffee shop. People have described your music as genre melding and it strikes me that again when I was talking to Kelly, she talks about those two worlds, at least two worlds, probably three actually coming together. Do you do that consciously or is it just to Kelly’s language, it feels good, it makes sense to you. Is that why that happens?

Bill Laurance
Yeah I think in a way the thing I am trying to do is for it to be as unconscious as possible really. I find the strongest things I have written I’ve written in twenty minutes you know and they’ve just kind of come to me in a split second and the challenge is kind of trying to access that part of your brain because when it happens it’s like okay that’s great but how do I you know, keep…

Elliot Moss
Can you tell all of us how you do it because I’d love to know. Because that is, that’s the truth of it isn’t it. Kelly has obviously found that knack, it sounds like you are on the way to finding the knack but that must be the hardest and most frustrating thing when it isn’t there?

Bill Elliot
It really is, it really is and you know, I think the only thing I can say is persistence is key you know. I kind of never really stopped searching and I remember my time at University in Leeds there was just this kind of constant deep rooted frustration that I felt in, in you know, my tummy, it was just permanently there until I released my first record and I was, I was just always kind of feeling like I hadn’t done myself justice you know and it was… it just kind of tore me apart for years and I was just like, you know, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t stop until I kind of felt like I’d answered that, I’d scratched that itch you know and as soon as I did now I am just hooked.

Elliot Moss
And for you, are you happy out here on a stage in front of an audience or are you happier when you are at home or in your studio and you are creating?

Bill Laurance
Umm I think they both have their place. You know I think the beautiful thing about a live concert is that it is completely finite. It is of that moment and it’s about capturing that one moment and it will never be the same again and you know I think kind of embracing that to its you know, to its fullest is the challenge in performing and it can be nerve wracking but I think you know, I think it is the more I do it, the more I enjoy it.

Elliot Moss
Well you have got a chance right now to do another one if that’s alright. So I would like you to embrace the moment.

Bill Laurance
Sure.

Elliot Moss
Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hand together for Mr Bill Laurance as he goes into number two song this evening.

You are listening to Jazz Shapers, it’s the live session here from the Everyman Cinema in the heart of Islington which is in the heart of London and I am very happy to say that Bill Laurance who you just heard has been playing the magical golden hour and we are going to have one more track from Bill before the end of the programme but right now it is back to Kelly Hoppen my Business Shaper. You are the business Kelly. You talked about young people being in the business and of course working for you for twenty years is testimony to the fact that that obviously is a happy bunch. What’s it like being the eponymous heroine every day and having to be you? Because I imagine some days you may not feel like being you and having to…

Kelly Hoppen
You know most of the time it is okay but it’s because, I mean it’s very funny just listening to Bill and him talking because there is so many similarities when you are creative. I think we all go through the same emotions and being a creator you are in that zone most of the time. Even though I have a really large company I still see it as a baby company you know and so I try and run the business in a way that it is just a big family and that we are all there doing something that we love. There are moments when you are a boss when it is quite lonely because your staff are always going to see you as the boss. As much as them saying that you know, them getting on with you and you working together and doing everything else. There is a big divide between you being at the top but from a very early age I worked with a life coach in New York who explained to me that the only way you can build a business and grow a business is to let go of the ownership in a certain way and create this umbrella and that’s Kelly Hoppen and underneath all the people that work with you should be allowed to grow and become as big as they want and to be underneath your umbrella and your leadership but they are their own person and so from a very early age I created this kind of environment and its worked because everybody owns their own chair, their own space, their own ideas but I am still looking at everything you know. I am controlling it in a way because it’s a brand it’s a certain look and a feel.

Elliot Moss
And I understand all of that and I think that makes perfect sense and it explains why you have had sustained success rather than a flash in the pan. The thing that’s different in your business though to many of the people I meet is that yours is a far more public facing role. I mean you happen to be on television. You write. You are the face of the brand and other people are the face of the brand too but you are constantly on? I mean you constantly have to be hold on a sec, how does the hair look? Is it black today? Is it… I mean isn’t that a pain or do you love that?

Kelly Hoppen
No, you know the hair’s the most reliable thing in my life let me tell you.

Elliot Moss
You know what I know everyone just wants to know how do you do the hair? I mean I know it’s a facile question but I just want to know.

Kelly Hoppen
It has never let me down. It is the only thing in my life.

Elliot Moss
You have cultivated a look there. It always looks the same in a good way.

Kelly Hoppen
I wake up looking like this. Honestly my hair is my hair, that’s fine and I love fashion and I love clothes and yes I think about what I put on every day but it’s not like because of who I am going to be. I am me every day. There is a problem when your brand is your name and had I thought about that at sixteen and a half I probably wouldn’t have had my name because if I ever want to exit, you know, what do I do? Do I give my business to my staff. Do I, you know, none of my kids want it. They are all doing brilliantly on their own. So when you are the name at the top of the door you are constantly looking for perfection but then having said that, I am a typical Leo. I, perfection is important to me so it’s never really been an issue that it just has to be right. It is just not an option you know.

Elliot Moss
So we talked about getting it right and you have that ability to look in 3D quickly at a space and fill the space and fill it properly or not fill it as the case may be. Mistakes along the way? I mean one arguably is the, well I put my name above the door though of course there is massive, massive value in that as well.

Kelly Hoppen
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
What have been if you were to be honest, the things that you regret from a business perspective because I think creatively there is no question. Are there investments you shouldn’t have made? Are there people you shouldn’t have backed and if you have learnt… what have you learnt rather from those things?

Kelly Hoppen
Well I think as an entrepreneur the one thing that you know is that if something doesn’t work you, for me anyway, I literally shut that door because I’ve already got another idea. I think if you spend so much time wandering why it didn’t happen and what went wrong… of course there have been mistakes along the way. You know in terms of interiors there’s been furniture you know, years and years ago that didn’t fit through a door and you had to slice it in half and re-sew it up and take it in you know those kind of things happen. But I think in terms of business deals, I have never had investment in my business. I own it completely. I have made some investments on Dragons Den that were a complete waste of time you know. I’ve made investments in people that haven’t worked out in the business but not many actually considering the amount of years I have been in business. I think you make mistakes sometimes just by choices but you literally shut that door and there is already another opportunity there so I am not somebody that harps on something that’s gone wrong, I genuinely go ‘okay, now what?’ Because it is just the type of person that I am.

Elliot Moss
And I understand all of that. How do you hold it together when the heart is feeling strange one day when you are not, for you personally, there is stuff going on in your life. How have you managed to go do you know what I can shut all that out and I can focus on my business?

Kelly Hoppen
Because I think in the times that I have had tragedy in my life or somethings happened in my life, I have literally thrown myself into my business. It is the one thing that has never let me down so it’s, it’s actually always grown bigger in moments like that and I think that if ever I have a creative block which sometimes if I am designing, you know we’ve got forty seven projects running at the moment. You get to the point sometimes where you just think, do you know what, I just need to go away for a weekend and I will go to Paris and I will sit in a café and I will go shoe shopping or I will you know, buy some clothes and I am already like ‘oh this is great’ and then I go back to work and I am like right I am ready. You know a new pair of shoes can do wonders for a girl.

Elliot Moss
Please don’t go saying that.

Kelly Hoppen
But it is true right. It’s true.

Elliot Moss
I am going to hold it there. I am going to ask you all to please join me in thanking Kelly Hoppen so far. For being Kelly Hoppen.

The Q&A will be coming up in just a moment but before that, it’s time for some music. It isn’t Bill Laurance although we are going to be hearing from him very shortly. It is Nina Simone, Ain’t Got No, I Got Life.

The future is an interesting place for someone that has been doing what you do for forty years.

Kelly Hoppen
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
I can see why you have still got drive because that isn’t going to go. What does it look like though? What does success look like for someone who is so successful?

Kelly Hoppen
It’s weird because I keep saying to people I am going to slow down and then you know, something else happens and we’ve got some big announcements next year of things that I have been working on for a couple of years and it just seems to get bigger but it’s not, it’s different things. You know I always think of a business like a mind map, it just grows and you kind of watch it and you see where it is going and I am in a position now where I can kind of choose the things that really excite me and I love challenges, I like things that are not easy. But it’s, you know, my life just gets better in terms of business and what I am doing and yes there will come a point because someone said the other day here’s to another forty years and I thought I’ll be in a wheelchair I’ll be so old so I look at things day-to-day and you know and I am enjoying every moment and I am somebody that likes to not plan so far ahead, I like to leave gaps so that things can happen along the way and I love meeting people and creating things and so there is lots of exciting things that are going to happen.

Elliot Moss
And do you plan in those times to be creative? Rather to give yourself space to be creative. You said oh if I go to Paris for the weekend and buy a pair of shoes, that’s fantastic shoe therapy. But are there other times when you say hold on a minute I am feeling low on energy and do you actively plot those in the diary or do you deal with the feeling as it comes?

Kelly Hoppen
No I hate… my diary is my… the menace in my life. It is like a Rubik cube. It’s, you know, my diary is planned until you know April next year. That’s the thing I hate about my life. Listening to that music now I can’t thank you enough because I just designed a room while listening to it. You know I am working on a hotel at the moment and I was listening to that music and it took me into the design room and that’s what I am about, being creative. If I get to a point where I don’t feel creative I just leave the studio and I go and have a coffee or I go home or I just chill at home or we go down to the country or something. It’s not, I think when you are creative you can’t plan to put in your diary I am going to be creative today. I know that I have days when I don’t have meetings and they are joyous because I can just literally bypass everyone in the studio and go to a room which is about this size where I literally design and have everything at my fingertips. That’s when I am most happy and yet doing this makes me really happy so you’ve got to have the balance don’t you in life otherwise you just get bored doing the same thing.

Elliot Moss
Finally before we go to our Q&A. We’ve talked a lot about how – and you are the talent, you are the creative force but you are also running a business – how involved are you in the numbers? How involved are you in the big strategic decisions about property and other things that you might have to get involved with and if it is not you or if it is you to a point, have you built up a team of people that you feel comfortable with commercially. I imagine the answer is yes but where have they come from and how does a creative person learn to trust a commercial person?

Kelly Hoppen
I was self-taught as a business woman and I am dyslexic and I control everything. I am the biggest control freak.

Elliot Moss
As you are saying it I am not actually that surprised. You are looking at me and I am going she probably does control everything.

Kelly Hoppen
I know everything. I know every number in my studio. I read everything email, nothing passes me. I watch from afar but I am involved. I had the same financial guy in my company for twenty three years. He drives me mad. We are the complete opposites. I like to spend money, he likes to save it. You know we are in the middle somewhere. But no I control everything that I do and that in a way it’s been to my detriment sometimes because I think I could have let go of a few things but that’s the way I am and I am not going to change now.

Elliot Moss
Okay now it’s time for the bit where we lose complete control and I think Kelly will be hiding under her director’s chair right in front of me. It’s a question and answer session. It’s your chance to ask anything you like. Put your hand up. Someone with a microphone will come and find you. Please say who you are and then fire away.

Hi I am Geoff Gould. We’ve heard how you design for your clients and you find what suits them and their space and then you find that that works and then you can come back years later and see that it is still working. Is that the way it works for your personal space?

Kelly Hoppen
Ha ha. Umm yes I mean people think I move all the time but actually I don’t. Once I have designed a space. We’ve just moved a year and a half ago. I am constantly, if I can’t sleep at night I will lie in bed and redesign the entire space but I don’t physically do it because I am very happy with what I have done in the first place. Also time, you know, I am so busy that to redesign and redecorate your home all the time would be difficult and I kind of get it right. I am the worse client of all which is why I have been successful with other people because I am a nightmare so by the time I have actually designed something for myself it has taken me so long that I am going to live with it until I move.

Elliot Moss
We have got time for probably two more questions so yep, there’s a couple of hands that have zipped up.

Thank you. Hello. My name is Sarah, Sarah Ratty from CL. I was really interested that you said that you had a life coach from quite a young age. Do you still have a life coach and what do you think the benefit is of having one?

Kelly Hoppen
I didn’t have one for a long time. I met somebody that introduced me to this man called David Zellman in New York and I had like a morning with him and it was an amazing experience to talk to him. I had felt that my business had got to where it could go and somebody had said to me if you go and work with this man he kind of just opens up the door and shows you that there is no limitations to how big you can build a business or something that you are trying to do in your life and it was a really extraordinary experience and I only did it the once but I have never forgotten all the things that he told me and I did all the things that he told me and it was extraordinary how it literally kind of exploded from that moment so it was fascinating. It is not to say that I wouldn’t do it again but it was just the once.

Elliot Moss
One more question. Only one more. Please. The person I recognise there, my mother. Yep we definitely have to have her ask a question.

Kelly Hoppen
Is she safe?

Elliot Moss
Over there, over there. She’s safe Kelly don’t worry. She’s been briefed.

Kelly, it is very interesting you said that you had total control over your business and you are hands-on on every aspect whether it is financial, whether its new buildings, creativity. There must be inherent problems in running the business. Does that not hamper you in creativity so you’ve got a wonderful new project on and you’ve got a hassle with another project or you’ve got a hassle with a building or finance. How do you keep your creativity going when you are hands-on administratively and in every other area of your business?

Kelly Hoppen
Well I have a staff of fifty so let’s not, let’s be clear I am not like literally doing all the cad drawings and you know, we’ve got architects, we’ve got now three designers. For thirty eight years I designed every project that came out of my company so I have now got a team of designers that I have trained so you’ve got people running the projects and you’ve got people doing the drawings and they are working with you and you’ve got people in finance who are doing the accounts and everything else. When I say I control it, every Monday or once a week unless I am travelling we sit down and we run through every single project, make sure the finances are in place, we don’t work without deposits you know, in that sense I control it. I have to see the whole picture of the company otherwise I can’t sleep you know in that sense. But I have an incredible team of people, really brilliant and we work as a team together.

Elliot Moss
I think that’s a great note to end on. Kelly thank you so much. I think you have been super honest. I can see you have been super honest, you are giving me a glare now.

Kelly Hoppen
No, no I am, you are very close with these glasses on.

Elliot Moss
Better take them off then. Thank you so much for your time…

Kelly Hoppen
Thank you.

Elliot Moss
…helping putting this together. Please everyone, ladies and gentlemen put your hands together for Kelly Hoppen.

And to play us out this evening please welcome to the stage one more time, it’s Bill Laurance.

Bill and Felix. Bill Laurance and fantastic Felix. So it just leaves me to say thank you so much for joining me here at the Everyman for this the very first Jazz Shapers live session. Fantastic conversation with both my brilliantly creative people, both Jazz Shapers and Business Shapers.

Kelly Hoppen MBE

Kelly Hoppen is a Designer, Entrepreneur, Author and Educator. She has 40 years’ experience in the interior design industry and is founder of Kelly Hoppen Interiors Ltd. During her career, Kelly has designed the homes, yachts and jets of private clients and her clients include Pearl Motor Yachts and British Airways. In 2014, Kelly launched her affordable luxury e-commerce site, kellyhoppen.com, selling a variety of homeware products and accessories

Alongside her interior design ventures, Kelly is a serial author. To date, she has published ten books, including her latest, ‘House of Hoppen’, a 40-year retrospective, released in October 2016.

Kelly is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and sits on its committee. She is also an ambassador for the Government’s GREAT campaign, which aims to promote the UK internationally as a GREAT place to visit, study and do business. Kelly is a supporter of the Lady Garden, which raises awareness of female cancers; and Diana Award, which supports young people.

In 2016, Kelly joined BBC Two’s “The Great Interior Design Challenge” as a judge on the show – due to air in early 2017.

Follow Kelly on Twitter @kellyhoppen.

Listen live at 9am Saturday.

“At sixteen-and-a-half I started a business and, literally, for forty years I have been doing it”

“I still bounce out of bed at 6.00am and go for a run and I go into the studio. It amazes me that sometimes in interviews people say, ‘so how often do you go to your office?’ and I am like, what do they think I do?”

“I didn’t fit in at school at all. I was very badly bullied.”

“I have this brain where I can design right now in my head a room in 3D and I can move things around in it before I’ve even put it on paper. I can see it, I can scan a space, it’s kind of the magic I was born with. It is a really lucky tool.”

“Even though I have a really large company I still see it as a baby company…and so I try and run the business in a way that it is just a big family.”

“In the times that I have had tragedy in my life… I have literally thrown myself into my business. It is the one thing that has never let me down.”

“If you are not confident and you don’t believe in what you are doing, you are constantly looking for an answer and then you can never be creative.”

“I am in a position now where I can kind of choose the things that really excite me and I love challenges, I like things that are not easy”

“My diary is the menace in my life. It is like a Rubik’s Cube. My diary is planned until April next year. That’s the thing I hate about my life.”