5 Minutes With… Alice Wingfield Digby
Starting out at her kitchen table creating her own hand-crafted designs inspired by the great British countryside around her, Alice Wingfield Digby has evolved her vision into a successful independent family-run company, which has now been trading for over 7 years.
Wingfield Digby is renowned for its luxury gifts and accessories which include the use of feathers, encapsulating the essence of country sports and British heritage that look stunning in any home, from country estates to London apartments.
The collection of beautiful products is ever-increasing and range from photo frames to candles, coasters to table centres, giving plenty of options for when it comes to looking for the perfect homeware gift.
The iridescent colours of the feathers make for an eye-catching piece whether you prefer the bright green of the Peacock feather, the mesmerising patterns of the Guinea Fowl feather or the muted soft tones of the Duck feather.
View the full range of Wingfield Digby photo frames here
Wingfield Digby has also added a menswear range that includes silk ties and leather and canvas belts with enchanting animal motifs, again inspired by nature, which have proven to be a sell-out success.
We managed to catch 5 minutes with Alice to ask her about her inspirations and the importance of British made brands…
What first inspired you to create luxury gifts and accessories?
It all started with feathers; growing up in the countryside I ate a lot of game and saw countless beautiful feathers being discarded. I felt that it was such a waste of a beautiful resource that was being overlooked. I have always been mesmerised by the iridescent quality of feathers and set out to find a way to encapsulate them in luxury products that would last a lifetime.
Which product from your own range do you wish someone would gift to you?
I adore our large table centres – they’re a real statement piece. They have just launched and every time I see them I can’t help grinning – it’s almost embarrassing! The feathers spiral out in a large intricate pattern – they are eye-catching, a real piece of art, but ultimately they are also practical. They make a great centrepiece and are made of heatproof, reinforced glass so you can put hot dishes, candles and vases of flowers on them.
How important is the conservation of the countryside to you (and your business)?
Hugely, I’m passionate about the countryside and want future generations to enjoy it to the full, as we have been able to. Many of our customers are country lovers, and our work is all inspired by nature and the great British countryside. I’m sure this is part of our brand’s appeal and is responsible for much of our success to date. We support many countryside charities including Country Food Trust and Countryside Alliance who we are promoting in some of our upcoming campaigns this year.
How important is made in Britain to you?
I think it’s very important, I began the company during the last recession when jobs were harder to come by. I hoped that through the success of the business we would be helping provide more employment and opportunities here in the UK. I’m incredibly proud of Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit and hope that by creating new products that hark to Britain’s incredible heritage and landscape, Wingfield Digby in some small way contributes to Britain’s status as a world leader in innovation and luxury goods.
What must you always have with you in your bag?
Keys, wallet, phone… I always chant that to myself as leaving the house! Curiously I usually have a tape measure in my bag. I spent most of my life never needing one but as I’m always thinking up the next feather-adorned creation, I find myself using it regularly.
If you could choose one Tusting bag to take home, which would it be and why?
I love the Kimbolton leather tote black quilt. It’s classic and adds a touch of glamour to any outfit.
If it wasn’t for Wingfield Digby, what would be your (other) dream job?
I enjoy talking to others about their entrepreneurial journeys, I would love to advise and mentor start-ups, passing on the tips and advice I’ve learned along the way.
Visit www.wingfielddigby.com to view the full range of stunning gifts.
Alice Wingfield Digby talks to Tusting about how her inspiration from the countryside helped her design luxury gifts and homeware accessories.