It’s all about solutions…
Welcome to an intimate conversation with the global tastemaker, Kathy Ireland, in her beautiful California home. Health Beauty Life Publisher Patrick Dockry recently sat down with the rule-bending design entrepreneur to chat about her astonishing career, her latest initiatives, and her innovative design studios. Nestled in the foothills of Santa Barbara, California, Kathy’s Tuscan estate is warm and inviting, reflecting her impeccable sense of style and approachable attitude. Like Kathy, the home is elegantly beautiful but not pretentious.
Kathy greeted the Health Beauty Life team casually dressed and barefoot, accompanied by two dogs and radiating a neighborly vibe that made us feel instantly at home. There is no doubt her days after the catwalk have been monumentally productive. In a relatively short time, she’s built a powerhouse brand with a jaw-dropping portfolio of over 15,000 licensed products, created best-selling workout DVDs, and penned two inspirational books, one devotional and three children’s books. Her ever growing merchandise list includes furniture, lighting, jewelry, bridal, fashion apparel, event destinations, and everything for the home, ringing up over $2 billion in revenue annually.
Surrounded by her team of Design Ambassadors and fiercely dedicated staff members, Kathy oversees her ever-growing empire with a laid-back grace that belies the size and scope of her corporation. When she mentions that she never had a family business, but now has a business family, it shows in every product offering from kathy ireland WorldWide. She’s found enormous success by applying the usual methods of hard work, discipline and intuition, and by the somewhat unconventional methods of actually listening to her customers (who she frequently refers to as “my girls”) successfully determining their wants and needs, and employing a design and manufacturing process that utilizes the many strengths of her fiercely dedicated team.
Together, they have established Design Studios where she and her team of Design Ambassadors design merchandise utilizing a process of allowing what she learns from store visits, direct input from her customer base and inspirations found in nature to inform product ideas, then evolving those ideas from concept to completion and ultimately to market. It’s a method that has propelled her organization to phenomenal success by adhering to a simple mission statement of “…finding solutions for families, especially busy moms,” “…finding solutions for people in love,” “…finding solutions for people in business™.”
“Moms are the “CEO’s” of their households and they deserve appreciation for being the decision makers.”
Kathy’s days as a globe-trotting supermodel provided her a rich and unique education, with intimate access to the world’s finest designers, and invaluable exposure to people of all cultures. Over the past 18 months, Kathy and her team circled the world two and half times to gather inspiration, create sketches and capture photos, returning to their Design Studios to bring those inspirations to life. Next, she and her Design Ambassadors, along with Global Creative Director, Jon Carrasco work closely with their manufacturing partners to take the ideas and inspirations from those early sketches to finished products and eventually, to retail.
Beauty from the Inside Out
To many, Kathy Ireland is a household name. We think of her as a Supermodel or the CEO of a giant organization. However, meeting her in person is like sitting down with a close friend. She is gracious, warm and friendly with an inner beauty that radiates from within. It’s a quality that shows in her work, her family, and her commitment to causes that make our world a better place.
In short, she embodies all that we care about at Health Beauty Life.
Meet Kathy Ireland’s Design Ambassadors
As one of Kathy’s Design Ambassadors, Nicholas brings a wealth of experience to the team and is considered one of the world’s most accomplished garden designer builders. He speaks on sustainability, the environment and a healthy, greener lifestyle and practices what he preaches by living in an off the grid, fully sustainable, green home in the Topanga hills above Malibu, California. Nicholas has been featured in Architectural Digest and frequently guests on numerous national radio and television shows with recent guest spots on The Oprah Winfrey Show, HGTV’s Designing for the Sexes,The Christopher Lowell Show, Home Matters, HGTV’s The Hollywood Gardener, and the popular Discovery Channel series Ground Rules, among others. With influence and inspiration from Kathy, Nicholas also shares with his audience, the knowledge that you can design your garden, with dramatic elements such as water and stone, without spending unnecessary dollars. A graduate of Providence College, Rhode Island, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, Nicholas went on to earn a Masters degree in Fine Arts, at the University of California, at Irvine. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. Watch Video
Chef Andre’ Carthen
When Kathy realized that there was a need for easy and nutritious home cooking ideas for families, she asked her good friend Chef André to partner with her to design culinary solutions. Andre’ has appeared in all of Kathy’s platinum fitness videos and had the privilege of working with Janet Jackson, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Halle Berry, Vanessa Williams, and others. Besides his passion for food and fitness, Chef Andre devotes his time to several non-profits including the Dream Foundation, Feeding America, and the Chef Andre is featured in Kathy Ireland’s book Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity, and Janet Jackson’s first book, NY Times #1 Best Seller True You where he contributed over 30 recipes for healthy meal plans. The innovative chef has appeared everywhere with numerous guest visits on Today Show, Access Hollywood, Anderson Cooper, Soap Talk, EXTRA, Inside Hollywood and others.