Jacqui Vaughan-Kells has an impeccable eye for design. Her interior and fashion sense are both timeless and individual. As New Zealand's sales manager for luxury jewellery brand Swarovski, she finds herself surrounded by classic style. Trudi Brewer steps into the jewel in her crown - her home.
In a remoulded villa sitting on the edge of an inner city park, Vaughan-Kells has a refined aesthetic when it comes to her lifestyle. Juggling family and the constant international and domestic travel, Trudi Brewer discovers her family, home and beloved dogs are the rocks in her busy world. Here's a slice of her glamourous life.
What’s a typical working day for you?
No two days are the same. Last week I was in Sydney to view the new Swarovski collection for 2017, which I start showing to media and retailers next week. And this week I am hosting two in-store events. The first in Tauranga showcasing the current in-season range and presenting current styling trends. The second in Hamilton is for Swarovski crystal society members, where the latest crystal creations will be on display.
What do you love most about your career?
The fact that no two days are the same, I love the flexibility of my role and being surrounded by beautiful products every day.
How has your career influenced your style?
I have always worked in fashion. I started in retail then transitioned through to wholesale. My days are varied, so I’m all about comfort, but I need to look good.
How would your describe your home?
Eclectic and full of objet d'art we have collected on our travels. If I see something I love, then it simply has to come home with us.
What makes a great interior?
Knowing your style – not just replicating another, and putting your spin on something. And creating living spaces that work for you, and your family and your guests.
What do you always have on your bedside table?
A stack of books and an alarm clock, oh and glasses so I can see both.
What is your favourite room?
The kitchen. We all love to cook, so this is where the magic happens in our home. Mia writes for a food blog Sugar Soil and is always creating something wonderful in the kitchen. I'm so lucky she loves to cook, and I love to eat.
Where would you send women for home inspiration?
Pinterest it's amazing for ideas; they are never ending. And once you save them to a board, new similar ideas just keep popping up; it's genius.
What are your most treasured possessions?
It has to be my friends and family – nothing matters unless they are all well, happy and close.
What is your style secret?
Confidence, stay true to what you feel good in – if you feel good you’ll look good. Just because it's in fashion doesn’t mean it’s a look for everyone. Also, know when to edit your look or get an honest friend's opinion.
What is the one fashion item you will be buying this summer?
Last year I got hooked on wearing dresses, so I’m hoping there are some fabulous new styles out there for me to enjoy. In winter I’m all about wearing pants.
Who are your favourite local and international fashion designers?
There are so many to choose from, I am a bit erratic when it comes to shopping. I love to invest in the basics, from Workshop or Superette. And then pop into Zara for something seasonal. I’m a fan of Camilla and Marc; they offer classic pieces with a modern edge. I also love watching out for Karen Walkers new season prints.
What handbag will you carry this summer?
I’m still thrashing my Marc Jacobs; I just love the colour, it's a neutral that goes with everything. It's also big enough to throw my iPad or laptop into, so it works for everyday and occasions. Unless I’m heading out for the evening, and then I use a small fringe clutch at the moment.
What is your fashion weakness?
Shoes, bags, clothes... all fashion really.
How has your career influenced your style?
Working with jewellery has changed my style. Now it's all about the jewellery, so clothes have become the more of a blank canvas for the jewellery to shine – it's amazing how the same outfit can look completely different with different accessories.
What has been your career high to date?
I have recently been nominated for an award at Swarovski – totally unexpected and am just so happy that the team and company are behind me and value what I contribute. It's been a fabulous five years seeing the brand go from strength to strength.
Swarovski Jean Paul Gaultier for Atelier Swarovski collection and Slake bracelets.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me is a smile in the eyes, something you see and feel radiating from within.
Who are your beauty icons?
Kate Moss, I guess every woman loves a bit of rock chic in her life. And she just oozes cool so effortlessly.
What are the products you would never be without?
YSL Touche Eclat for an instant makeup fix. Benefit ‘Whats Up’ Soft Focus Highlighter for the face and Lucas Papaw ointment to smooth and hydrate lips and Nars Lipstick.
Any other beauty advice do you find yourself sharing would pass on?
I tell my daughter: 'love the skin your are in'. Stay as natural-looking as you can, day to day, and use makeup to accentuate your features for those special occasions.
Who cuts your hair?
Michaela Powell from Blaze Hair in Newmarket – she is amazing.
What is your top anti-ageing tip?
Sleep, everything looks and feels so much better after a decent nights sleep. I’m not at my best unless I have had at least 8 hours.
How do you stay so fit and trim?
We’ve been ‘clean eating’ for almost three years now. I feel better and have much more energy. We also have two dogs that require loads of walking – a minimum of two hours per day. Mia, my 14-year-old daughter, runs a yoga boot camp at home for me, so she is responsible for getting me up early and keeping me active.
What is your wellness philosophy?
Stop and take the time to smell the roses. Make sure you take time for yourself and enjoy the little things in life.
How to you stay balanced and happy?
I do struggle with the balance sometimes, but my family are quick to remind me if I'm away too much or they need me to shut the office door and be ‘present’. And happy, well, I’m a glass-half-full kind of person really, I tend to look on the bright side - an eternal optimist.