Is Christina Strutt, founder of the English fashion and home décor company Cabbages and Roses, the product of the lush English country lifestyle embodied by Northcote Range, her new line of fabric for Moda?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, she now lives in the country, enjoys working in her garden, and prefers not to stay up late. She says every surface in her home is covered with books and inspirational “bits and bobs.” And every window in her home is dressed in a Cabbages and Roses fabric.
And also no, because she’s lived in London and earned her living first in the upscale department store Fortnum and Mason, and then in the glamorous world of magazines, working her way up the ladder from secretary to assistant editor at Vogue Living.
In 1980, she left Vogue Living and continued to work as a freelance stylist and interior decorator, this time from her home in the English countryside.
Those two seemingly distinct worlds have melded perfectly. “My personal style is eclectic, probably eccentric,” admits Christina.
That style served her well when, in 2000, she started Cabbages and Roses. Today there are more than 25 retail outlets in the United Kingdom and most recently in Asia. She’s written four books, including Cabbages and Roses at Home in 2010, co-authored with her daughter Kate. (She’s also got a son, Edward.)
Christina’s accomplished all this thanks in part to her personal philosophy.
“The words I probably say the most are ‘How hard can it be?’” she says. “I say this mostly to convince myself that absolutely anything is possible. If you believe in yourself and do not allow doubt to creep into your psyche, you will succeed in achieving all you want to accomplish.”
When she’s asked to describe a perfect day, it’s clear that Christina enjoys her mix of nose-to-the-grindstone city ways with the simpler life of the countryside.
“It would begin with the delivery of clothing or fabric samples, when I would see the culmination of my work, and on this perfect day every sample would be perfect and extraordinarily beautiful,” she says. “With this delicious confidence that I am not rubbish at my job, I would jump in my car and drive down to my house in the country and in perfect weather set about gardening in my vegetable garden, have supper with my husband, and children and their partners, and go to bed early.”
While most of us may never have a day like that, we can be thankful that Christina strives to, and lets us enjoy the results through the serene and lovely fabrics of Northcote Range.