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Caprice interview

The Interview: Caprice

On how she made it in business, her London & Surrey homes and her secrets to wellbeing…

Caprice Bourret’s mantra is, ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get’ and looking at her career, she certainly lives by it. Having shot to fame in the 1990s as a model, gracing more than 350 covers, including the likes of Vogue and GQ, she proved her mettle in the business world. She launched the brand By Caprice in 2006, which she has expanded from lingerie into a hugely popular homeware company. Caprice now works to inspire other entrepreneurs, CEOs and students, and has just launched her mentoring and motivational mastermind programme. Oh, and she’s a dedicated philanthropist, too.

Born in California, she has called Britain home since her twenties, but she reckons that it’s the American in her that makes her ambitious. “My mom, who lives in LA, is an entrepreneur and I take after her,” says Caprice, who has big plans to take her company further. But, as was the case for most businesses, it has been a tough year. “The pandemic brought some challenges to our expansion plans but I’m focussing on taking the brand into international markets and we’ll be launching into different product areas, too.”

By Caprice has been a big success, and is stocked in Next, Wayfair and very.co.uk and has recently launched in America. It has taken hard work and persistence. She advises other budding entrepreneurs that tenacity and perseverance is everything. “You will get knocked down time and time again. Business is not for the faint hearted and it can feel soul destroying at times when you face hurdle after hurdle. But if you believe in yourself, are dedicated and have passion for what you do, you will succeed.”

And always keep testing your ideas: “If you are launching a new product, please don’t keep your idea “top secret” until you have invested all of your resources into the project. Talk to your friends and family. Use them as a focus group for research and development. They might save you a ton of time and money! Use any critique as feedback to enable you to move the business forward in a positive and productive way.”

She worries that there are not the same opportunities in business for women in the UK that there are in the US. “It is slowly getting better here but there are not many women in CEO positions, unlike in America where I know a lot of people who have climbed to the top of the career ladder very successfully. They are all from humble backgrounds, so it is not education or family connections that have helped but their hard work and dedication. Women don’t get as much support in the UK.”

Caprice interview

Caprice has two seven-year-old sons, Jax and Jett. How does she juggle parenthood with her business? “There is no easy answer and I wish I had a magic wand. We all just have to do what we can. I try and structure my days, so part is dedicated to work and when the kids come home from school (obviously back in the normal world) I dedicate my time to them then. Once they are settled, I tend to go back into the office and finish off my workday. This is the time I usually conference call my overseas factory because of the time difference. I find having a break late afternoon really helps me clear my head and I am more productive for it.”

Jax and Jett are her miracle babies, with one born to a surrogate and one which she carried, after a long struggle to become a mother. She met her future husband, financier Ty Comfort, when she was 39 and they were devastated they couldn’t start a family, with Caprice suffering a miscarriage and several failed rounds of IVF. They found a surrogate to carry their baby and shortly afterwards Caprice also discovered she herself was pregnant. On her struggles, she advises that young women plan ahead: “You have got to look after yourself from a young age. Start taking folic acid now. A lot of my friends are freezing their eggs, so they don’t feel the pressure of having to conceive right now when they don’t have a partner and they are building their careers.”

Caprice turns 50 in October. She looks – and feels – fantastic. “Strangely enough I am quite excited to turn 50. I think most people would want to hide it, but I feel good. In fact, I feel like I am still in my thirties. I love it when people ask me my age and I say I am almost 50! They say, “what are you joking?” ….. it is a real ego booster,” she laughs.

And her secrets to looking so fabulous? “I am all about holistic health and beauty. I am passionate about vegetarian and organic foods. I also take high potency vitamins and drink a green juice packed full of goodness once a day. Meditation can really help reduce any stresses which helps your complexion. Also ensure you drink lots of water as this helps flush out toxins built up in your body.”

As for style, she adds: “Keep things simple. It is great to look on trend, but the trend has to suit you and classic elegance is always the best way to go. You don’t want dozens of dresses in your wardrobe that after 12 months look so outdated. We all have them!”

Caprice lives in Notting Hill and has a home in Burwood Park in Surrey. “I love my Surrey house because I feel like I am out in the country but it is only a 40-minute-drive from my place in London. When I first moved in, a neighbour brought round a homemade raspberry pie…who does that? Wow…”

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She is a big fan of the shops and restaurants in nearby Weybridge. “I absolutely love strolling in and out of the boutique shops. There are also a few great furniture shops that sell some amazing one-off pieces. If you are not careful you will spend an absolute fortune! There are also some fabulous restaurants. There is a great tapas place called El Meson De Los Hermanos – very low key but the food is good. La Casa and Cantina41 also do yummy takeaway pizzas too. Meejana is perfect for a midweek date night!”

So, what’s next for Caprice? She is eagerly anticipating the lifting of lockdown – particularly for her boys so that they can get back to normality. “I would love to go to my favourite restaurants and visit family and friends. I would also love my boys to get back into a routine and start their favourite after school clubs again, and for them to be able to play with their friends would be amazing.”

She’s a supporter of many charities, including being a patron for Brain Tumour Research, and she helps with local community groups such as the Rugby Portobello Trust. “It has been difficult to undertake as many activities as I normally would because of Covid-19 restrictions but where I can I have donated to a number of charities. It is important to help where we can. I am really looking forward to getting back out there. Just before the last lockdown I donated and visited a local group who help young people. I am looking forward to visiting again soon and helping out.”

“And I can’t wait to get stuck back into my acting. I absolutely loved my West End days and was lucky to star as the lead in Rent and The Vagina Monologues. I also bought the rights to the hit production of Debbie Does Dallas which I produced and starred in. More recently I have starred in a number of Amazon Prime films which were really fun. I would love to do more…”

Any regrets as she looks back on what has been an incredible career so far? “There are always regrets, but you can’t get hung up on them and I cherish the blessings in life.  I wouldn’t have done anything differently but there were a few big opportunities I turned down during the height of my fame. Did you know I was offered the lead in Baywatch after Pamela Anderson left? I turned it down!”

www.capricebourret.com

Photography: © Rachell Smith

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