We love to share other women’s voices and opinions here at Annabel & Grace, especially positive pieces that prove age is just a number. Welcome to guest contributor Zoe Gibson who is our latest Woman of the Week…
Tell us a little about yourself
I am married to Rupert and have two children, Harriet 24 and Hamish 21. I live in Leicestershire and my passion is my horses and my business – although my children’s requirements come before all else! I probably cannot say quite the same for my husband!
What age you feel right now?
The brain 35 and the body 55 (I am 53). I just want to do more, meet more people, travel more. I am fortunate to have a lovely life and my business is a key part of that. How lucky am I to do what I love and I cannot wait to start work each day. I do a 7 day week (apart from skipping off to ride) and I love the contact with my customers who I have missed in the past 16 months.
So what is your business?
I worked in wholesale for some years and wanted to start my own brand. I saw a beautiful mosaic detachable buckles, and being a regular jeans wearer, thought it was a great idea that, with very little effot, you could get ready to go out in the evening simply by putting on a clean shirt and swapping your daytime buckle for a glitzy diamante one. And that’s how Peachy Belts was born.
I started sourcing leathers and found that Italy had the best quality. The benefit of the high quality full grain leathers is they will soften and improve with wear and last for many years. So I import from a company who are owned by Chanel and produce the finest embossed (printed) skins. I use a local company in Leicestershire to hand make my belts and visit the factory every few weeks to understand the production issues they have.
I love coming up with the new range each season. I may see a fitting on a bag or a pendant that I think could work well as a belt buckle… and many ideas come from my customers. The buckles are produced in Cheshire and Italy and I wear all new designs for a week or so to check that they will look good, do and undo easily and are comfortable to wear. If my belts are not lovely enough for me to want to buy, I will not sell them.
Peachy belts are very popular as presents – you can add a new buckle for each birthday and so build up a range for someone. Also we can change anything that is not quite right which is good to know.
What you like to do in your free time?
If I am not working I am probably riding, and some of my best ideas come to me whilst I am on a horse. I also enjoy cycling, socialising, fitness, reading (not housework or gardening!) I love to do something that creates a bit of risk too!
What else I would love to do? Ski better and go once a year and do exciting trips with my family to experience new places. I learnt to ride a motorbike to travel around India with my family last year which was a brilliant experience, so more of this kind of adventure would be good. I’d love to speak another language but not quite got there yet. Meeting new people is something else I love and seek out.
Who do you most admire/aspire to?
Anybody who grabs life and lives it. Those who put time into helping others. Love positivity, energy and ‘just do it’ attitude. Dislike moaners, those who do not see how lucky you are to have health, somewhere to live, food to eat, and family and friends.
Your top tip for #womenover50?
Ignore age and just get on with it!
Zoe has offered A&G readers free P&P when you use A&G – browse website
Read more of our Woman of the Week articles here