Founder, LUXWHO Communications
Once at the helm of publishing at Net-a-porter and with an impressive resume including Harper’s BAZAAR and InStyle, Wyten left the corporate world for a life much different. She has a home office with French/Greek fiancé George in the seaside town of Hove just outside of London where she runs her boutique consultancy agency LUXWHO. Wyten’s stable of brands all share one mutual attribute – to re-imagine the luxury space through ‘a less not more’ approach to design and branding. Think Common Projects, Kinfolk and Celine.
She shares with Emballage the pleasure of trading her morning commute for breakfasts in bed, her commitment to eco living and why life drawings and French radio is where it’s at.
On her relationship…
While living in Paris, I picked up a few sayings I adore and they seem to sum up George and I pretty well and our seaside lifestyle; ‘Vivre d' amour et d'eau fraîche’ – in essence to live on love and water alone.
As George is such a minimalistic, authentic soul, he has made me re-appreciate life’s simple luxuries and what it means to be truly happy inside and out. In essence you should only really rely on yourself to make yourself happy, or as the French say; ‘Bien dans sa peau’ - being happy in your own skin. I love the way this culture describes even the most innocent of phrases in a romantic way.
On working with her partner…
We make a very strong team in all areas of business, home life and entrepreneurial endeavours but most importantly in love and family. But, it isn’t easy living, working and playing together and sharing a home office but we make it work. Also the calming sea-views help!
Once you remove all the clutter, unnecessary objects and obstacles in life, life becomes simpler. George is so committed to simple, eco living he once wrote a blog; ‘More Life, Less Stuff’ … and then he met me.
Top: Carissa with George at home | Left: Pieces from client, Spanish label 'SUNAD' | Right: Minimalistic details in their home and client 'HER Swimwear'
On working from home…
I enjoy breakfast in bed, every day! Also … no commuting, office politics, endless meetings or distractions. If you are able to maintain a level of self discipline, working from home can be much more productive. Loving what I do and working with such amazing clients makes the task easier.
I occassionally miss the London city buzz but I still visit regularly to see my clients. I love stopping by Notting Hill, grabbing a Soho House juice or perhaps enjoying a famous Cecconi’s white omelette. I usually get in a cheeky cocktail with friends in the evening before heading home. After a dose of the city, it is so refreshing to return to Hove which is much more calming and bohemian so it reenergizes me on a different level.
What is your advice for someone wanting to make the transition from a corporate environment to working from home?
Why haven’t you done it already? Honestly the hardest part is deciding to take a new path on your own and then committing to it. Do your market research but be transparent. The rest, if you are hard working and adore your clients, is easy.
Can you tell us a little more about your role as Associate Publisher with Russh?
RUSSH is so special I can’t even begin to explain. You have to respect and admire a magazine brand that has built an international following without the use of celebrities and blogger endorsements. It has always stayed true to its editorial DNA and premise of discovering new talent in the arts, fashion, film and music industries.
Led by the most eloquent and modest of Editors, Jess Blanch, I work alongside an incredibly charismatic team in Sydney and all over Europe and just adore my role as their Global Associate Publisher.
Top Left: Client collaboration 'THE NUDE LABEL & SUNAD' | Top Right: From the Paris Dior show
Bottom Left: Featuring clients 'Russh', 'HER Swimwear' & 'Tama' | Bottom Right: Working from home
Perhaps not everyone in Australia has heard of Hove. Can you tell us about why you chose to live there?
Hove or as George calls it – HOme + LoVE is a microcosm only an hour out of London. Here, the air is cleaner, the people calmer and a unique creative environment can be found almost on every street corner.
Being close to nature is essential for us, as G grew up near the French Alps and I, the South Australian coast.
While the majority of people are stressed out in London and highly competitive or speed dating, we are here doing yoga on the pebble beach . There is a certain freedom of energy here that seems to lack in London.
Since moving to Brighton I have re-discovered my artistic, creative side so we often spend evenings listening to French radio, drinking red wine and life drawing. I sketched a photo of George once in a rushed 10 minute pose session and actually I love it more than any photo of him.
On raising a multicultural family…
Ha, yes, he (George) is French/Greek and I am Dutch/Australian yet we live in Hove and our baby (due this Summer) will be English. I suppose that makes us truly ‘global’? Or perhaps just greedy? We feel so very blessed that we can live and work almost anywhere in the world and have family dotted all over the globe.
On maintaing a positive mindframe…
Meditate, Meditate, Meditate. I discovered Meditate in Brighton – a little Bodhisattva oasis that has become my weekly refuge. And read. My mind is so active and analytical that I find reading my only true form of escape.
Biggest life lesson you ever had to learn…
Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it. Life is there to explore, deviate from and to reinvent yourself. Oh and throw out your TV and microwave. Best advice ever given to me at a macrobiotic health clinic in Spain.
On gifting to your girlfriends…
I love giving flowers and candles as they can be so personal and emotive as well as sense-awakening.
Top Left: French office | Top Right: On holiday in Biarritz , France
Bottom Left: A leisurely breakfast | Bottom Right: Apartment view
We understand you are passionate about interiors. What are your main inspirations?
Design can lend itself to so many areas in life and recently I have enjoyed playing around with creative interiors, prompted by the converted Regency property we bought on the seafront. We have incredible 14-foot ceilings that allow light to stream in for most of the day and have original white grapevine ceiling covings. Our house is a mix of Bauhaus inspired, second-hand Eames furniture and flea market finds. Green plants and contemporary art help to break up the large white walls and interiors.
On personal style…
It really hasn’t changed too much over the last 10 years. I regularly cleanse my wardrobe and ensure I only keep what I actually wear. I like to invest in timeless high quality classic pieces (I have a healthy collection of Celine). Some of my most cherished items I have had for 10-15 years and hope to pass down to my own daughter one day. My current style muses and influencers are ones that work with classic pieces making minor updates to keep their look chic and relevant. Fashion should be passed down from generation and not be disposable. I am obsessed with leading luxury recycled and vintage clothing e-tailers Vestiaire Collective and RESEE Paris. With so many landfill issues in the world due to the textile industry it makes sense to buy pre-loved. Trust the French to set the tone.
Left: Carissa at home | Right: A favourite classic Celine handbag
CARISSA’S GUIDE TO WORKING FROM HOME
Can you talk us through your morning routine?
Normally I rise by 7:30am, like clockwork without an alarm. But since becoming pregnant I am enjoying the luxury of lying in until 9am most days (dependent upon early morning calls with my international offices). Georges brings me breakfast in bed. Then I read, check emails and try to do 15 minutes of CALM app meditating or reading before I rise.
What is on your office desk?
Minimal. Macbook, current magazine issues, product samples, a notebook, a cactus and lots of pencils. If it is really sunny, I will work from the living room where I am surrounded by green plants and an ever-changing large bunch of white flowers. Oh, and I always keep a large bottle of water in arm’s length. I don’t drink coffee anymore and rarely tea so either water or a cold pressed juice.
Working from home attire?
Silk PJ’s or Le Petit Bateau cotton basics for non-social mornings or when scouring breakfast emails and then on casual days I may change into jeans, cashmere jumper and a white tee with no makeup and just a dash of orange or nude lipstick plus a vintage scarf … if an international Skype call beckons.
For meetings, my normal French effortless masculine chic wardrobe is utilized; my go-to Joseph staples, Chalayan navy coat, Celine black bag, Helmut Lang leather trousers and leather loafers (or most often white Common Projects or Converse do the job!)
A view of Carissa's home office desk featuring client PUSS PUSS Magazine.
For more about 'LUXWHO' visit: http://www.luxwho.com
Photo Credits: Marc Hoyler and Jessica Steuart for the profile, house, product and desk shots
Carissa's instagram accounts @luxwho @cwyten