We catch up with Gemma Lilly from the Loughton-based Style Sisters
PUBLISHED: 10:54 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 19 November 2018
Gemma Lilly is one half of the Loughton-based Style Sisters. We talk personal style, top tipples and favourite places to shop in West Essex
Where do you live and why?
I have lived in Loughton since my family moved here when I was nine. I love the area and the fact that we are so accessible to London, yet also have the forest on our doorstep.
Have you always been interested in fashion and design?
I studied it at college and have been obsessed with it ever since. I love that clothes can make people feel good.
Tell us a bit about your career before Style Sisters
I was a buyer and merchandiser and then went on to own my own clothing boutiques in Loughton and Brentwood for five years, but sold my share a few years ago! I loved my shops but I had lots of other things career-wise I wanted to achieve. After that, I was a freelance stylist for various editorial shoots and campaigns.
How did Style Sisters come about?
Myself and Charlotte Reddington have always pushed and supported each other in our careers (we’ve known each other since school). I have been more fashion-based and Charlotte has been into the interior design side of things. We had both been brainstorming about business ideas for each other, but it wasn’t until after a night out that we had a light bulb moment and decided to merge our two passions together!
How would you describe your personal style?
I am a comfort queen, I don’t really follow trends as such. I like to just take key pieces and create
a relaxed and effortless look.
What local clothes shop would you recommend and why?
I love House of Windsor in Woodford. I’ve known Danielle, the owner, for ages and she is great at putting outfits together. Definitely check her out!
How do you relax?
I work so much, that when I’m not, I really love to spend as much time as possible having fun with my family. This relaxes me as it helps erase the mum guilt.
Do you have a fitness regime?
I love walking and running and also try to do either yoga/Pilates whenever I can, but it’s never as often as I should.
Where do you go in West Essex for a good night out?
For me a good night out involves dinner and live music, and for this reason I love the Olive Tree and the new Tom, Dick and Harry’s is very good too.
What’s your top tipple?
Make mine a Southern Comfort and coke.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Chilli Heatwave Doritos - I’m obsessed! I’m adamant they put something in them that makes it nigh on impossible to put the bag down once you’ve opened them. I’m eating a giant size bag daily. I need help.
Tell us something surprising about yourself?
I once dressed up as Cinderella for a children’s birthday party. A customer came into my shop all upset and stressed as she had been let down by a children’s entertainer and it was her little girl’s party the next day. I offered to do it for her and spent two hours convincing these five and six year olds I was the real Cinderella and playing on a bouncy castle.
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
Having my son has undoubtedly been my biggest achievement, but work-wise I am very proud of Style Sisters. We’ve manage to create such an amazing brand in such a short space of time - I’m so excited to see where our journey takes us next.