With the launch of our new Sunday Girl series, it would seem only natural to sit down with the creative visionary behind the Joie brand, our very own VP of Design, Rachel Wilder-Hill. Between trips to London, unveiling a covetable new collection, and chasing around her two boys, Jaxon and Skyer, one might say this New York-to-LA transplant has found her joie de vivre. Here, the designer opens up her enviable Beachwood Canyon abode to talk work-life balance, travel, and Sundays spent at home. Who says you can’t have it all…
Describe your typical Sunday.
Sunday starts with the paper and some snuggle time. Brunch with the kids, various flea markets, farmers markets or a day at the beach. The one thing we do every Sunday is bake a pie. The great thing about California is that at least once a month we pick apples or strawberries or blueberries and then make a yummy treat to enjoy for the rest of the week.
Since you moved from NY – what secrets places have you uncovered in LA?
We love California. We love taking mini adventures every weekend to Ojai, Malibu, and Big Sur. Our area, Beachwood Canyon, has a lot of little hidden gems. We love our little cafe, and the beignet truck that pulls up on Sunday mornings. There is an enchanted garden down the street called Oz, which is a mosaic paradise for the local kids. The owner had my kids swear an oath and then gave them a key. Also - Yuca’s Taco Stand—proof that good things come without frills and in small packages. The best things are often simple and don't need bells and whistles. I feel like that is a good motto to live by.
Where do you like to vintage shop while at home in LA?
For vintage I love the Rose Bowl, The Way We Wore and Tavin. I always find something new and something I cannot live without.
Your house looks like a Joie set. What is your philosophy when it comes to décor?
My philosophy is kind of something old, something new with probably more of an emphasis on something old. I love to travel and collect treasures along the way. I am also lucky enough to have inherited some great art and antiques. I am super nostalgic and sentimental. I can't seem to part with anything so I have to make it all work together. I have the same philosophy with design. You kind of want every piece to tell a story and have an emotional reaction to each piece.
Do you find that you pull more inspiration from your life into your work or that you take inspiration from your work to incorporate it into your life?
In terms of which came first, the house or the clothes- they kind of happen at the same time. I do take a lot of inspiration from home and textiles. Usually if I’m turned on at the moment by Shibori printed textiles, they will end up in a collection and draped over my couch. I am lucky to have an understanding husband who indulges my eclectic spirit.
You mentioned that you love to travel, where are you dying to go next?
I’m dying to go to Africa. I love the idea of a tented safari with my kids. We love to explore and discover. I have permanent wanderlust. I love seeing the world through my kid’s eyes when they discover something for the first time.
Where is the best place you have been to find inspiration?
I always seem to find treasures while traveling in London. I have several vintage dealers I have been working with there for years. They know what I like and make it really easy for me, but I also love going to obscure places that I have never been and digging for treasures.
What advice would you give to women about work/family life balance?
It is hard to do it all. Balance is a funny word. I try not to think of myself split into two different roles. I love what I do and I love being a mom. I think that working makes me a better mom and my family is the biggest inspiration of all. I guess I just try and be in the moment wherever I am. I try to focus on the quality of the time we have together. It’s important for me that my kids learn that work is important and that having a passion for something is important too.
Who are your favorite female icons?
I must say my favorite fashion icon has to be Jane Birkin. With her effortless worn-in denim, thigh-grazing mini dresses and shirts with the sleeves casually rolled up—she took a free-spirited approach to dressing. Especially her Parisian bohemian cool meets an almost tomboy style. She has inspired me for decades. A true bohemian.
What do you think is the essence of Joie?
Joie in a word is effortless. Always feminine with a real appreciation for the details and little vintage touches that I love. Joie is never overdone—I never want someone to have to think too hard, or really at all.
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