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'INSPIRED BY WOMEN'

Oliver Sweeney introduces its ‘Inspired by Women’ series, which goes behind the scenes and into the lives of women excelling in all different fields. These stories are personal, truly unique and have inspired us to make for you.

We sat down with Kirsty Whyte at Dean St. Townhouse. Kirsty’s the Creative and Product Director of Soho House and after her day-job finishes she is also the Founder and Creative Director of watch brand Freedom to Exist.

Name: KIRSTY WHYTE

Profession: Designer

Title: Creative & Product Director Soho House / Founder & Creative Director Freedom To Exist

Describe a typical day at work

My ‘day job’ is Creative & Product Director of Soho House retail. I head up the product development teams for both Soho Home & Beauty plus the creative team. Every day is different; from location photoshoots in the Houses, for new product for Home, to visiting our beauty suppliers working on new formulations. At this time of year there are several trade shows around the world, so I try to attend as many as possible to gather inspiration across beauty & home.

My ‘day job’ is Creative & Product Director of Soho House retail. I head up the product development teams for both Soho Home & Beauty plus the creative team. Every day is different; from location photoshoots in the Houses, for new product for Home, to visiting our beauty suppliers working on new formulations. At this time of year there are several trade shows around the world, so I try to attend as many as possible to gather inspiration across beauty & home. My days always fly by and before I know it it’s 6pm. I aim to leave the office on time & attend a HIIT session at my local gym, or run home; it really helps punctuate the day. Then the second part of my day really starts. I’m the co-founder for a minimalist watch brand Freedom To Exist. Thankfully the business has grown quite a lot over the last two years, so there has usually been a few orders throughout the day. Between my partner Paul and I, we do all the packaging and postage, handwritten notes and gift wrapping after our day jobs.

My days always fly by and before I know it it’s 6pm. I aim to leave the office on time & attend a HIIT session at my local gym, or run home; it really helps punctuate the day.


Then the second part of my day really starts. I’m the co-founder for a minimalist watch brand Freedom To Exist. Thankfully the business has grown quite a lot over the last two years, so there has usually been a few orders throughout the day. Between my partner Paul and I, we do all the packaging and postage, handwritten notes and gift wrapping after our day jobs.


Evenings are usually a mix of catching up on pressing Soho House emails and then my other job – being a co-founder for minimalist watch brand Freedom To Exist. Thankfully the business has grown quite a lot over the last two years, so there has usually been a few orders throughout the day.

And before this…what were your aspirations growing up?


Ever since childhood, I've been making, drawing and creating, my Mum is creative & my Dad was an engineer. I studied decorative arts and also took a university course in glass design in Sweden, which fuelled my love of material and process.


What makes up your typical work outfit?


Working in a creative department, it’s always the most casual team in the office! I try to keep smart but comfortable, as I might have a range of meetings in any given day. I love mixing vintage, and highstreet and of course I always wear a complimenting FTE watch! Good shoes, so I can power walk from location to location, without having to change my footwear.

How do you keep a work/life balance with so much going on?


Thankfully I love doing both jobs and each role lets me use different skills. In the rare times I don’t have a screen in front of me I love running, it’s a great way to “zone out” and focus on something that isn’t work. On lazier days Paul and I also love a good boxset; with Peaky Blinders & Black Mirror completed; we’re not sure what to start next!


The three people living or dead you would invite to a dinner party?


3 is pretty strict! Barack Obama, Audrey Hepburn, Queen Elizabeth I.

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