We catch up with Gemma Lilly from the Loughton-based Style Sisters

Gemma Lilly

Gemma Lilly - Credit: Archant

Gemma Lilly is one half of the Loughton-based Style Sisters. We talk personal style, top tipples and favourite places to shop in West Essex

Where do you live and why?

I have lived in Loughton since my family moved here when I was nine. I love the area and the fact that we are so accessible to London, yet also have the forest on our doorstep.

Have you always been interested in fashion and design?

I studied it at college and have been obsessed with it ever since. I love that clothes can make people feel good.

Tell us a bit about your career before Style Sisters

I was a buyer and merchandiser and then went on to own my own clothing boutiques in Loughton and Brentwood for five years, but sold my share a few years ago! I loved my shops but I had lots of other things career-wise I wanted to achieve. After that, I was a freelance stylist for various editorial shoots and campaigns.

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How did Style Sisters come about?

Myself and Charlotte Reddington have always pushed and supported each other in our careers (we’ve known each other since school). I have been more fashion-based and Charlotte has been into the interior design side of things. We had both been brainstorming about business ideas for each other, but it wasn’t until after a night out that we had a light bulb moment and decided to merge our two passions together!

How would you describe your personal style?

I am a comfort queen, I don’t really follow trends as such. I like to just take key pieces and create

a relaxed and effortless look.

What local clothes shop would you recommend and why?

I love House of Windsor in Woodford. I’ve known Danielle, the owner, for ages and she is great at putting outfits together. Definitely check her out!

How do you relax?

I work so much, that when I’m not, I really love to spend as much time as possible having fun with my family. This relaxes me as it helps erase the mum guilt.

Do you have a fitness regime?

I love walking and running and also try to do either yoga/Pilates whenever I can, but it’s never as often as I should.

Where do you go in West Essex for a good night out?

For me a good night out involves dinner and live music, and for this reason I love the Olive Tree and the new Tom, Dick and Harry’s is very good too.

What’s your top tipple?

Make mine a Southern Comfort and coke.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Chilli Heatwave Doritos - I’m obsessed! I’m adamant they put something in them that makes it nigh on impossible to put the bag down once you’ve opened them. I’m eating a giant size bag daily. I need help.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I once dressed up as Cinderella for a children’s birthday party. A customer came into my shop all upset and stressed as she had been let down by a children’s entertainer and it was her little girl’s party the next day. I offered to do it for her and spent two hours convincing these five and six year olds I was the real Cinderella and playing on a bouncy castle.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Having my son has undoubtedly been my biggest achievement, but work-wise I am very proud of Style Sisters. We’ve manage to create such an amazing brand in such a short space of time - I’m so excited to see where our journey takes us next.

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