You were training to become an actress. What made you stop? “I went through all the typical training programmes that aspiring kids would go through. I remember one time when Jessica Alba and I were the last two girls auditioning for a television series called Flipper. Jessica had a robe on and her mum was helping her to put on her slippers. In contrast, I was running around in my bathing suit. My mother threw a towel at me to wrap myself in. That was an interesting time, but I eventually realised acting wasn’t for me – I didn’t love it and I was always a little shy.”

 

 

At 18, you started your first business, called Girl Boy By Koco. What did that experience teach you? “I learned the basics of running a business, since we sold a wide range of products. I also learned that even if somebody says they don’t like what you are doing, you just get up and keep going. Business is all about perseverance and trans­forming criticism into a positive force. I’m always about trying something new, and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I love creating something out of nothing. My mum is very entrepren­eurial, so it probably runs in the family.”

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How did you come to create Vita Fede’s jewellery pieces in italy? “I once received a bracelet from a good friend. It came from Italy and I was amazed by the quality and craftsmanship. I had never gone to Italy before but a week later I went to Florence. I walked all over the city before eventually finding this bracelet store. I asked the shop if I could buy five or 10 of them, change the colour and metal and sell it in my showroom. My customers loved them so much we ultimately sold 10,000 pieces.”

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Your mother worked for the Fendi family in rome while your father was an architect. What are your favourite memories? “One time, in the third grade, I had a school project and we had to make a 3D model of pilgrims and native Indians. My dad stayed up for a week to help. The model was architecturally drawn, there were little eggs inside the basket, little people, little buildings and a wall with someone climbing up. It was the nicest project ever. When I brought it to school, everyone else had a little dinky model while my dad’s was a super-huge one. My classmates and teacher knew I didn’t make it, that it was my dad’s pet project, and that we come from a perfectionist, overachieving family [laughs].”