Some of the best business ideas have been dreamed up under a summer sun, as Wiggy Hindmarch, the woman behind resortwear label Wiggy Kit, can testify.
She started her brand when she realised that her stash of ‘summer clothes’ (the ones you get out every year as soon as the first hint of the British sun appears) were all about the beach. ‘They were skimpy, sheer, floaty dresses that would look great if you were tanned, barefoot and two weeks into a holiday. But for the school run or for a lunch with friends in town? You wouldn’t dream of wearing them.’
Wiggy’s own range of cotton and linen pieces work both ways: ‘They are still great as a beach throw-on, but then you can dress them up for the evening,’ she says. With flattering cuts, gentle frills, pleats and easy patterns, nothing is what Wiggy calls ‘too try-hard’. She adds: ‘Clothes need to feel good, especially in the heat. I have no time for anything uncomfortable or impractical.’
There’s no better place to test-drive her clothes than her home on Harbour Island in the Bahamas; her time here gives new meaning to the term ‘working holiday’. ‘I’m lucky that my work life and my downtime are almost seamless when I’m here, because I’m surrounded by sights, sounds and scents that inspire me,’ she says.
Wiggy and her husband fell for this off-the-beaten-track island almost five years ago. ‘I first heard whispers about it when I lived in America,’ she says.
Although the tiny isle is just three miles long, it has its share of stoolswell-known visitors, and India Hicks and her partner David Flint Wood have lived here for many years. But the vibe is low-key and unshowy. ‘The fastest thing on wheels here is a golf buggy and chickens have the run of the main street. It’s totally relaxed,’ she says.
The same could be said of their home, originally built for a reformed pirate, but more recently given a new lease of life under Wiggy’s design eye. The scheme is a combination of crisp whites, indigo blues and the natural textures of rattan and bamboo.
Gently weathered and worn vintage pieces, bought on trips to antiques markets in Ardingly and Kempton Park in the UK, are mixed with contemporary designs.
‘Outside, the island is teeming with tropical colours, but I wanted to keep my home pared back so it instantly feels calm when you step inside,’ she says.
‘I have the best ideas when we’re here,’ Wiggy adds. ‘From the moment I arrive, I get out my paints and mix up the exact shades for the next collection.’
And, naturally, inspiration happens at a gentle, Harbour Island pace: ‘I wake up and think, “What would feel good to put on today?” And then I start to design it…’
For further information, visit wiggykit.com