For the past two years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with the super-organised, exceptionally efficient and simply fantastic Pearl Thompson, who runs the business side of thing here. I thought it would be interesting to give followers of this blog an introduction to the solid business brains behind it all.
When did you first come across Skinny laMinx?
I first met Heather, very briefly, at a friend’s wedding in 2003. A few years later, while living in San Francisco, I started following SF Girl by Bay, where I came across a post pointing me to Heather’s blog and online shop. I had to send a gift to a friend in New York (the same friend whose wedding Heather and I were both at all those years ago), so I chose some Skinny laMinx products, which seemed the perfect gift for a girl who is African at heart but has a very NYC design aesthetic.
I guess I’ve been a Skinny laMinx fan for a while – first from afar, and then up close 🙂
How did it happen that you and Heather started working together?
A couple of years ago, I was working for myself, and had the idea of approaching a couple of independent Cape Town-based creatives to see if they needed someone like me to help with the running of their business while they got on with the design side of things.
My criteria obviously included someone who’s design aesthetic I loved, but also I wanted to work with people who’d had proven success in setting up their business. I approached Heather with the idea, she said: “When can you start?”– and I never had the time to take on anybody else!
Why do you think the two of you work so well together?
Heather and I have similar life values, but different life approaches. We are both very respectful and appreciative of what the other brings to the business.
I manage the business side of things – dealing with issues of pricing, ordering, communicating with wholesale clients and analysing the data – while Heather can get on with design and communications. With the help of the rest of Team Skinny, it’s working out great!
Which is your favourite Skinny design?
I can’t choose one, it has to be three:
Flower fields in penny black, because it marks a big – and beautiful – move for Skinny laMinx;
Duikers in aloe red, I can’t imagine who couldn’t love that design;
and Pebble in pollen for sheer gorgeous fabulousness.
Where do you live these days, and why?
I am living in Paris at the moment. We moved here last year when my husband, Steve, got a contract with UNESCO. With the help of Skype, email and other internet wonders, we’ve managed a year of working remotely remarkably well. Heather calls my home office ‘the Paris branch”, which sounds awfully grand.
What do you do in your free time?
I am a voracious reader and I love being outdoors in summer, or in front of a fire in a cabin in the middle of nowhere in winter. When we live in Cape Town we spend a lot of time walking on Table Mountain, or discovering hidden corners of the Western Cape.
Here in Paris, it is all a little more urban. One of our favourite walks starts in the Jardin du Luxembourg, continues up rue de Seine past one of Paris’ best patisseries and a whole heap of small, independent galleries, then follows the river past the two islands and into the Marais, where we stop for lunch and vin rouge. (Of course, it goes without saying that relaxing in Paris involves a lot of very delicious food and vin rouge!)
Cheers, Pearl! Enjoy a glass of vin rouge for me, will you?