“We’ve just launched our Summer Collection which feels like a hot and beautiful Mediterranean mood board – pastels, lemons, gorgeous swim wear and cute beach accessories. Very ready for a seaside trip!” Founder of Gigi & Olive, Georgie Le Roux on what’s new at the brand
After stumbling across Gigi & Olive’s enchanting imagery on Instagram – which instantly lures you in with its achingly chic, romantic vibe – little did I know that it would be mere seconds until I fell in love with the brand. Carefully curating an edit of beautifully crafted, irresistible gifts for the bride, bridal party and others you love in tow, in their own words, Gigi & Olive is “based on the principles of sisterhood, friendship and kindness”, and “is a fun, beautiful bachelorette and bridal boutique where customers can buy a premium, personalised and stylish selection of products and presents for bridal occasions that will last way past the party.” Not only do I love that this brand keeps the longevity of its products in mind, but I love their approach – aiming to only partner with female-founded brands, supporting emerging entrepreneurs and labels that produce items that are ethically sourced, handcrafted and made to keep – for more than just the day. I caught up with Gigi & Olive’s founder, Georgie Le Roux to get the low-down on her lockdown…
#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:
Before: “Confused, anxious, skeptical.”
After: “Calmer, inspired, grateful.”
#2 What time do you get up? Did this change in lockdown? Was life a little slower? Talk to us about your usual daily routine and how this was changed by lockdown…
“7am – the same time I used to get up, but I feel I have more time in the morning than I did before. I also started an online pilates class which is something I had always wanted to do but put off, and now I enjoy it and love putting aside 30 mins of my morning for it. As coffee shops re-opened for take-out, a few of weeks ago treating myself to a flat white each morning really has been a highlight!
I actually feel I have more structure than before and more time in this slower pace of life. I was always rushing to meetings that would take up entire mornings or afternoons, and now it’s a quick 30 min Zoom call. I tend to get back to any pressing emails first thing. Then the rest of my mornings are spent packing boxes and fulfilling customer orders. Orders are collected from us by our logistics partner each lunchtime. Then the afternoons I spend talking to suppliers and brands, managing the finances, getting back to any customer queries, managing stock, social media, planning new shoots – the list goes on! But I honestly love all of it.
I try to go for an hour walk before cooking dinner. Some nights after dinner, I go back to work and other nights I read or watch a film.”
#3 How did lockdown impact your business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support you now?
“When lockdown first happened, I was very nervous. I only launched Gigi & Olive last September, and although I’d had very positive sales, I was worried heading into lockdown that as brides began moving their hen dos and weddings people would visit our site less.
That’s when I thought of the idea of Gifts for Brides and Gift Boxes which have been a huge success. Friends and bridesmaids have wanted to send their brides-to-be something special as they have sadly had to postpone their weddings. We added the option for handwritten notes and Build your own bride box to give the customer an entirely personal experience, and that’s been fantastic for us. I’ve loved seeing all the thoughtful, kind, loving notes that friends have written.
Our Veil Collection has also been very popular for brides to wear on their ‘would-be-wedding day’ or ‘would-be-hen-party.’ We also offer lots of items that aren’t necessarily just bridal. The non-bridal apparel and accessories were very considered as we want the items to be something people love and cherish after the wedding celebrations have ended. For example, we offer gorgeous stylish white swimsuits that are handmade, high-quality investment pieces that may be perfect for your hen, honeymoon or beach party but that you will wear again and again. We have also branched out into other gifting opportunities, and we recently launched Gifts for Mama as well as a Home & Living section as we had feedback for candles and diffusers which we now stock. We are planning Christmas already and want to be the online gift shop destination where you come to buy items for your sister, best friend or colleague whether you’re looking for an engagement, new mum or birthday gift.
There are so many brides, grooms, friends and people in general being so supportive, which I appreciate so much, especially in such a trialling time. I think there is definitely a movement to try and shop local and support small businesses, and we are so grateful for every order we receive.”
#4 Name three local businesses/small Instagram businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “@ALRMusic – if you’re looking for live music/entertainment for your wedding or event, then this is the company. They have a roster of incredible bands and musicians including roaming bands, party bands, quartets and DJs. They are based in London but travel anywhere and have honestly made the party at every wedding I’ve attended.”
No.2 “@Lihabeauty – a gorgeous skin and beauty brand based in Cheltenham /Hackney. Excitingly we are stocking them on Gigi & Olive from mid-July when we launch out ‘Beauty’ category.”
No.3 “@Sewnright – incredible sewing professionals who specialise in the bespoke fashion and bridal. Charlotte, who is the owner, made my friend the most incredible bespoke party dress for her to change into at her wedding; it was a satin mini dress with feather trim. If you’re looking for any bridal alterations or bespoke dresses I couldn’t recommend them more.”
#5 What is/what was your favourite isolation snack?
“Salt popcorn (I’m obsessed).”
#6 Before lockdown eased slightly, what was your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you were feeling down?
“Face-timing my sister and making cocktails – optimum enjoyment doing them at the same time!”
#7 What’s the item you could NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown…
“Ok, this is going to sound odd but ‘Garlic Salt’ – I cannot find it anywhere, and I love cooking with it.”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“The strangest thing that happened was I received an email from someone I didn’t know to the Gigi & Olive account trying to get in touch with my father. It turned out that this woman and my father had known each other in South Africa, where my father is from and grew up, and had both been Black rights activists fighting apartheid during the 70s. She was trying to get in touch with him as she has been part of an incredible documentary that is currently filming, remotely, about people jailed/banned from South Africa during this time for being anti-apartheid. I put them in touch, and so he’s been part of this documentary that they are making. He’s currently writing a book about South Africa so it was great timing and I’m pleased she was able to find him through me.”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Thinking about the unknown and not being able to plan ahead. Also missing friends and family special moments – birthdays, mother/father’s day, engagements etc.”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“I have loved long walks, the slower pace of life, evenings to myself, laughing and cooking with my boyfriend – I think having a companion, whether that’s a partner, sibling or friend, during these times has been such a privilege, I really feel for those who have been completely by themselves. Oh, and wine of course!”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“My sister, Olivia.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“A friend of mine sent me a delicious food package from @fedbyGeorge – it was such a treat. And every package you order they match and send one to the NHS.”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“We’ve just launched our Summer Collection which feels like a hot and beautiful Mediterranean mood board – pastels, lemons, gorgeous swim wear and cute beach accessories. Very ready for a seaside trip!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “My family.”
No.2 “My health.”
No.3 “All the incredible key workers.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“Our local pub, The Bird in Hand, does the best pizzas! I cannot wait to sit outside with a glass of rosé and eat a delicious pizza there when it re-opens.”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“I loved the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance. Also the BBC production of Sally Rooney’s Normal People – just so amazing!”
#18 What would be on your quarantine book list?
“In lockdown I have read the below books and have honestly loved them all.
• Educated by Tara Westover
• The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
• Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
• An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (I’m currently reading this one!)”
#19 For a little Instagram-escapism, what three accounts would you recommend?
No.1 “@condenasttraveller – keeps me dreaming of travel and beautiful places to go.”
No.2 “@iamlaurajackson – for lots of glorious food, I’ve loved her #makeamealofit movement.”
No.3 “@bettinalooney – I love her style and recommendations.”
#20 Name three things you bought online during lockdown.
No.1 “New running trainers – what a cliché I know.”
No.2 “Eye brow pencil from Charlotte Tilbury – very needed.”
No.3 “Paint! – we painted our outside walls in the garden.”
#21 What was your lockdown outfit most days?
“Long soft cotton dresses and a comfy jumper.”
#22 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“A margarita – I love making them and they’re so delicious.”