MY LIFE (IN A NUTSHELL):
I have lived in the Cotswolds since I was three. I have travelled the world but am always blown away by the beauty of this area every time I come home. I lived in York for four years to study for my BA in history and my MA in English and then came back to Oxfordshire to work out what to do next. For a while I worked in hospitality and administration, saving for the next big adventure and not really worrying about where these jobs were taking me in terms of a career.
Buying a house and having a mortgage to pay really focuses the mind on the job you do to pay it and I have found that writing creatively for small businesses is what makes me happy. That and walking my border collies, running in new destinations worldwide and spending time with the wonderfully eclectic mix of talented and interesting people that now fill my life.
I have such a long list of new places I would like to visit and places to which I long to return. I travelled to Africa in 2007 and did the entry level qualification to be a safari guide. This was never going to be a career choice, but I didn't just want to go and see, I wanted to know more too. It was such hard work, but nothing beats sitting in your tent at the end of a long day and listening to the unfamiliar noises of animals in the wild and beautiful landscape outside.
I cannot wait to take my son, Ned, to Africa when he is older! I did not see a leopard on any of the safaris I went on and seeing one in the wild is now firmly on my bucket list. I'd love to share that sighting with Ned.
THE LITTLE THING I DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
I will always pick up any (portable!) litter on a dog walk or when I take Ned to the park. It is so easy to do and if everyone did it it would make such a huge impact on the landscape.
THAT ONE MEAL I ALWAYS FANTASISE ABOUT:
My dad has a tendency to get carried away on long walks in unfamiliar places and many a childhood holiday involved my brother and I grizzling in the drizzle while dad tried to work out where exactly the map reading had gone wrong!
I have now inherited this tendency and my husband and I are often surprised by the good nature of our toddler, as we stand on a windswept plain and wonder which direction we need to walk in to get back to the car and our (by now very overdue) picnic lunch. Nothing tastes better than a torn piece of fresh bread with a roughly cut piece of good cheese when finally reunited with the car.
CURRENT FAVOURITE SMALL BUSINESS:
I have met so many wonderfully passionate small business owners recently, that it is really hard to pick just one. This area thrives on the efforts of people who have rejected the rat race and want to build a business doing what they love from the countryside and not the city.
I have recently discovered Salted Clothing; beautifully simple organic cotton clothing, ideal for creating a versatile capsule wardrobe for trips to warmer climates. Company owner, Des, is a truly international business woman who is working hard to transfer Salted from its birthplace in South Africa to Gloucestershire.
FAVOURITE DESIGN IN THE WILD & FINE RANGE:
I so enjoyed writing the stories for all the designs in the Wild & Fine range. Each one has its own unique tale and I am so wrapped up in the narratives for them that I can almost smell the warm, cinnamon-tinged aroma of a blackberry and apple crumble when I see the blackberry charm, or feel the sand between my toes when I look at the shells.
I think my favourite design is the conch. I remember studying Lord of the Flies for GCSE English and instantly recalled that this shell was a symbol of democracy and fairplay. I like to wear mine in situations where it may be difficult and uncomfortable to stand up and make your voice heard. Sometimes it's worth facing your fears and standing up for what you believe in and this tiny conch charm is great reminder of that.
FOUNDER & SILVERSMITH
An affinity with the ocean and the desire for a creative outlet led Jessica, the owner/maker at Wild & Fine, to develop her range of jewellery inspired by the natural world.
When not busy in the studio, Jessica can be found scuba diving in exotic locations or renovating her home wearing inappropriate shoes!
Usually to be found with her picture-perfect whippet, Luna, Tracy joined the Wild & Fine team at the end of 2019 as our Distribution Manager. Passionate about travel and fashion and with a keen eye for detail, Tracy ensures that all Wild & Fine orders reach their destinations on time and looking gorgeous. Her work is the lifeline of the business during the coronavirus lockdown - we literally could not do it without her!