Lauren Ho, travel editor of Wallpaper* magazine, meets Sophie Lis, founder of Sophie Lis Jewellery.
Sophie Lis spent a decade working in global fashion PR and marketing, before taking the plunge to launch her eponymous jewellery brand. Spotted on celebrities from Sienna Miller to Cara Delevingne, each of the pieces – made with white diamonds – are inspired by the cosmos and carry different symbolic significance, intended to inspire and empower the woman who wears them. Filling a gap in the market for meaningful, luxury jewellery at affordable prices, the brand continues to grow, particularly in the US, which holds a special place in Lis’ heart. Spending much of her time on the road, both professionally and personally, Lis says she loves the unpredictability of travelling and of being taken out of her comfort zone.
What has been the most unexpected experience you’ve had on your business travels?
I recently visited Lamu, part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Its flag includes an image of both a moon and a star – very Sophie Lis – so I spent the whole week working on different ways to include it into the next collection.
How has travel impacted your life and your business?
While it has become a bit harder to travel since starting a family, I have always loved travelling. In the past, I would spontaneously book flights on a whim and the freedom this gave me was incredibly invigorating; it breathed so much life and inspiration into me. Travelling for business is always a bit different, but it’s always worth it, because sometimes it is easy to forget that there is a whole world outside of London.
What are the three things that help you achieve a good work-life balance while on the road?
Exercise, healthy eating and seeing friends when possible.
Describe your travel style in three words
Minimal, monochrome, chic.
What travel destination has been the most important to your business and what have you learnt about it?
America. I have a large customer base there, so have multiple trips to both NYC and LA planned for later this year- I am planning an exciting launch event for the brand in The Hamptons towards the end of the summer. What have I learned? Tax, Tax, Tax!
What are the most important factors in a good piece of luggage?
Usability and durability. I like my luggage to be light and easy to handle as I always carry my full jewellery collection and laptop, so it needs to protect these items and also not give me a bad back!
What is the one surprising thing that is always in your carry-on luggage?
I am a notoriously bad sleeper, so eye mask, ear plugs and sleeping pills!
What is the ultimate packing tip?
What makes a trip a journey?
Unpredictability. The journey is writing the story, which joins the dots.
Where are you off to next?
A mix of business and leisure: Mustique, Turkey, Sienna, Beirut, the US and Hong Kong.