Riddle me this… Alice Wingfield Digby
Up close and personal with the designer at the family run luxury gift and accessories business
If you knew then what you know now… would you still do it?
Definitely, 2016 was a hugely successful year for us which makes all the hard work and challenges over the last six years feel worthwhile. It’s amazing to see how fast the business has grown. The early days of me working solo on a few products at the kitchen table has transformed into a solid team based in brand new offices in SW London – with a range of over 70 products.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t overestimate what you can do in a year; don’t underestimate what you can do in five years.
What’s the weirdest rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
Sadly I haven’t heard any bizarre rumours but it is always interesting being at events in person since most people assume I’m just an employee, as I started the business quite young. Listening to customer comments when they don’t know the company founder is a fantastic way of getting impartial feedback.
What was your biggest break?
It is hard to pinpoint one thing as the turning point for the business, but finding the fantastic frame manufacturer who we have worked closely with to produce our most popular real feather frames was certainly pivotal to getting us to where we are today. We have also been blessed with a very loyal customer base so we are always busy thinking up the next products to present them with. Our Guinea Fowl feather frames, Duck feather range and hand feather-encased candles all fast become new favorites upon release.
Do you consider yourself lucky?
My family’s moto is ‘Faith, not luck’. There is definitely an element of luck but also a lot of preparation and hard work.
What’s most important in your life?
Family first without a doubt. The business also plays a huge part of my life, family all get involved to help and the team are very close knit which feels like an extension of family.
What other brands do you admire?
The White Company, Jo Malone and Links of London, all of which are founded by women and have been built into iconic British brands. They have nailed the gifting market – the products always come beautifully packaged which is part of what makes receiving the products so special. This is something we have emulated with our striking black and cream boxes and gift bags.
Do you have a guilty pleasure – if so what is it?
Shopping! We attend a lot of events throughout the year, from Spirit of Christmas to Burghley Horse Trials, and it’s great being able to carry out my market research alongside a good shopping trip at these events.
Describe your personal sense of style.
Comfortable by day, glamorous by night. Driving vans around and plucking feathers can be particularly unglamorous so when we’re going out I like to make a big effort.