Former London "It-girl" Caroline Stansbury founded her online venture Gift-Library.com three years ago, catering to high-end gift giving. She shares with us a few of her favorite things.
Style File: Caroline Stanbury
Shopping for a living has become a dream come true for Caroline Stanbury. The former London "It-girl" and fashion stylist founded her online venture, Gift-Library.com, three years ago. Since then it's become a go-to luxury site for men and women but especially the who's who of society to find the perfect present. Items range from quirky and affordable photo frames and candles to designer clothes, jewellery and original art by Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst.
"My initial inspiration was a serious lack of time for myself. Having been a stylist for a few years plus a working mother, I found I never had time to shop for gifts and was constantly turning up to dinner parties empty-handed," says Stanbury. "I realised that there was a niche in the market for one-stop shopping for beautiful and unique gifts impeccably wrapped and delivered to your door."
Having grown up in London's inner society circles - Princess Diana and other royals were often guests at the Stanbury home - she knew from an early age the importance of etiquette and stylish entertaining. Though this proved influential, Stanbury also contemplated other career paths - acting, for one (she lived with the actress Rachel Hunter in Los Angeles while exploring the world of Hollywood) - before she found her real passion.
Previously romantically linked to Prince Andrew, Hugh Grant, Sylvester Stallone and the Manchester United star Ryan Giggs, Stanbury is now married to the Turkish financier Cem Habib. They live in London with their three children. She shares some of her favourite things with Jemma Nicholls.
STYLE IS... someone who "owns" her look and wears it with confidence.
MY CAREER HIGHLIGHT IS... seeing my first advertising campaign on the side of London buses. I had a profound sense of achievement.
MY LIFE MOTTO IS... when things get too comfortable, change them. You should always challenge yourself.
MY GUILTIEST PLEASURE IS... buying clothes! I'm a compulsive shopper and my husband often tries (unsuccessfully) to ban me from this pursuit.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS... you can only really rely on yourself and your instinct.
TIME FOR ME... my parents' country house in the Cotswolds is where I go to relax. It's beautiful and tranquil.
FAVOURITE THING... The last thing I bought and loved was a VBH clutch that arrived at my office - my job is dangerous for my credit card!
BEST DRESSED... I love Céline clothing because it's classic and well-tailored. I invest in key pieces and then every season throw in something en trend. For the evening, I adore Christian Louboutin heels as well as dresses.
SOMETHING FOR HOME... Nina Campbell's scented candles are bliss. They are one of our biggest sellers on Gift-Library. I love Marie Daâge hand-painted French china - there's nothing more chic.
ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES... I wear my engagement ring every day. But depending on my mood, I'll swap from classic jewellery to more modern, such as this ring by Hannah Martin.
BEAUTY REGIME... I cannot live without having regular facials at EF Medispa in Kensington. They can work magic. My favourite beauty product is Rodial cleanser.
WHERE TO EAT... My favourite place to have breakfast is Tom's Kitchen in Chelsea for a full English breakfast.
SIGNATURE SCENT... I love Armani Rose Alexandrie perfume. It's light and floral with wonderful warmth.
EVERYDAY... During the day my look is usually J Brand jeans, Chanel biker boots and a T-shirt with a fabulous coat.