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Kit Kemp

Author, award-winning Interior Designer and Founder & Creative Director of Firmdale Hotels

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Annoushka Ducas:
I'm Annoushka Ducas and I've been designing jewelry for 30 years and collecting charms for as long as I can remember. In this new podcast, I'll be asking a series of extraordinary women to tell me their life story in seven charms. Today I'm meeting Kit Kemp MBE, co-founder and creative director or Firmdale Hotels.

Annoushka Ducas:
So today, I'm outside the Ham Yard Hotel. It's such a peaceful spot. I'd completely forgotten what a tranquil place this is. Just a few minutes walk from Piccadilly. I'm really looking forward to meeting Kit and hearing about how she and her husband and co-founder, Tim, reinvented and reimagined what we now know as the boutique hotel. It's my great pleasure to welcome Kit to My Life in Seven Charms.

Kit Kemp:
Thank you.

Annoushka Ducas:
What I was so struck by when I came in again today was just the warmth and the welcome. Because I actually think, from my own experience, a hotel, kind of corporate hotels, are quite intimidating and they're a bit hush-hush and you're kind of worried that someone's going to watch you approaching reception.

Kit Kemp:
Yes. Well, actually it's when you approach reception and then they all turn round and go the other way. That's the thing, I'm actually quite shy about going into, for example, a gallery or anywhere where there's a velvet rope.And I love art and I love craft, but I wanted it to be viewed in such a way that it felt like your own home, not completely white walls and a gallery feel. And actually, I feel the same way as you do. I find lots of hotels very, very corporate and not welcoming. And I wanted this to feel more like a home, rather than a hotel.

Annoushka Ducas:
Well, you've done it so well. It's absolutely gorgeous. Right. I think we should talk about your life in seven charms. So charm one's an airplane. So, for me, I'm absolutely obsessed with making things as perfect and working as possible, in miniature. I think that is the charm of charms. I see this as three dimensional, I see it as a locket, I think the pilot should be able to climb in like he did in a-

Kit Kemp:
Cockpit.

Annoushka Ducas:
... cockpit. Thank you. I see it in yellow gold. Spinning propellors that really spin. I think it should have a little jumpsuit in it, somehow. I think it should have a beautiful rock crystal window, so he can see out. Dark
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