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Indagare Insider: India Hicks

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The daughter of a British aristocrat and design legend, India Hicks grew up with a zest for adventure and an eye for style. After backpacking through Europe and modeling for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Hicks fell in love with Harbour Island‘s distinct charm and settled there with her family, developing several properties and embracing Bahamian life. Indagare spoke to the entrepreneurial business woman about her successful lifestyle empire and which cities inspire her most.

Tell us about your lifestyle brand, India Hicks. What was the original inspiration and how has it evolved since its founding?
I founded the company in early 2015 with two experienced business partners, Konstantin Glasmacher, a serial entrepreneur and developer of innovative and disruptive business models, and Nicholas Keuper, former Managing Director with The Boston Consulting Group. Don’t be fooled, they both sound deadly serious, but they’re not. They have a very acute sense of humor. Most of our conversations are unrepeatable.

Konstantin suggested we launch the IH lifestyle brand as a Direct Sales model. It took me a while to get my head around this. But now I could not imagine selling my collections any other way. Entrepreneurial women join us and run it as their own, on their own time and on their own terms. The women we attract are certainly savvy, sophisticated and spirited women. Every day I wake up counting my lucky stars that I work alongside them.

You are a bona fide globetrotter. Have your world travels influenced your brand?
Enormously; I was lucky enough to travel a lot growing up. As a child, my mother and father were fascinated by other countries and cultures. They both had inquisitive minds and were voracious explorers, discovering architectural wonders and surprises. At age 18, I went around the world with only a backpack and a thirst for adventure. In my early twenties I traveled on modeling assignments that took me everywhere from the deserts of Egypt to the outback of Australia. And now as a mother I try to instill my love of travel in my children. My eldest son and I shared a trip to Haiti, where we were involved in an orphanage. We witnessed the menacing chaos of Haitian city life but also felt the spiritual ecstasy of a country trying to survive.

Related: Dispatch From the Bahamas

What are some of your favorites markets around the world?
Portobello market in London. All of my teenage sons love to trawl through the stalls for hidden treasures, finding anything from vintage Jordan sneakers to silver crucifixes. But I am always excited by markets in India, which tend to be explosions of emotion: taste, color, smell and touch.

What are some of your favorite items to buy abroad?
When I’m abroad in London I stock up on marmite and licorice.

What is always in your carry-on bag?
My India Hicks English Rose rollerball and my Casuarina hand cream. They are FDA-approved and ideal for nightmare airport experiences.

What is your favorite travel splurge?
Without a doubt, but not very often, a first-class seat.

What is your favorite travel ritual?
When I travel for work and business I have small things that help me cope. I usually bring family photos to display in my room and candles to remind me of home. When I travel for pleasure nowadays, all I can wish for is to have my children with me and be off on an adventure.

Related: Slideshows: Harbour Island Escape

Which cities most inspire you?
I’ve had so many experiences in so many cities, but at the moment Los Angeles captures my attention because it’s the headquarters of my business. It offers such different pockets of life, and you can go from hiking a canyon in the morning to walking a red carpet in the evening. Since launching this lifestyle business in America I’ve had the great experience of traveling from one coast to another and stopping a bit in the middle. From rodeos in Idaho to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, it’s taught me about the extraordinary diversity of this great country.

What is your favorite long weekend getaway?
I recently visited Jackson Hole. I not only had all my kids with me, but we were also on a ski slope with a moose, drinking hot chocolate and snowmobiling through virgin snow. When you live in the tropics, a week in the mountains is very attractive.

Can you think of a moment that made you fall in love with travel? (At Indagare, we might call this a ‘transformative travel moment)
No, it’s been in my blood for so long. I’m probably a gypsy at heart but I do think it’s an extraordinary education. Backpacking at age 18, I learned more in those months than I ever did through any textbook.

Related: Top Tables Harbour Island

– Blair West on March 24, 2017

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Quotable

Travel has been in my blood for so long. Backpacking at age 18, I learned more in those month than I ever did through any textbook.

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