an interview with Linda Griffin of The Sugar Mill ...and a giveaway!

Today I am very excited to bring you and interview and a giveaway with The Sugar Mill! 

THANKS FOR CHECKING OUT THIS FUN POST...
THE GIVEAWAY IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED

Mr. K. and I got married in Harbour Island. People have asked me why we chose it for the wedding and my answer is: I just knew. I had never been there before but something told me it was where we were supposed to get hitched.  And Mr. K. said 'ok, sure!'. One week before our wedding we flew to Harbour Island (my wedding dress was lucky enough to score its own seat on a teeny tiny plane) for the first time and we have never looked back. It is a place we return to as often as we can and feels like a place that will continue to have that indescribable pull for us.


My favorite stop on the island is The Sugar Mill. I am always inspired by of course the selection of clothes and trinkets, but more so I am inspired by the creative spirit with which it is put together. 


Owned by friends and business partners Linda Griffin and India Hicks, The Sugar Mill is a treasure trove of goodies. I walk in the door of this store and immediately smile. It is cheerful, cheeky and stocked with a perfect assortment of clothing and accessories. There is always something that catches my eye and makes it home in my suitcase. The store stocks a fabulous mix of elegant and casual. You could arrive on Harbour Island with an empty suitcase and find everything you needed for a week's vacation. 



I wanted to ask these talented friends and business partners a few questions about how The Sugar Mill came to be. They were most gracious and after a few emails back and forth I had a great picture of what makes their partnership work. 

Here is my conversation with Linda Griffin, co-owner of The Sugar Mill:

Q. What inspired you to move to the Bahamas?  A big change from chilly Toronto...

A tall blonde blue eyed Fishing Captain, named Bob and the perennial sunshine he lived in.


Q. A little back-story perhaps? How did you and India meet? 

As a former student of Visual Merchandising at Sheridan College, being connected to the “outer world’ was paramount for me when I moved to the tiny island of Eleuthera. Having no internet, television and barley a working phone, books and magazines of all types were my connection to world, both visually and mentally. One day I happened to be flipping through an Avon catalogue and noticed a familiar face. I was sure it was the women who drove the same jeep as I did, dressed in similar clothing, (no big gold chains and hair weaves on us) arriving daily to drop her son off at the same makeshift island pre-school that my son attended…but really, could it be? It was indeed India. 

Our friendship grew out of happenstance and two little inseparable boys. Little did I know how my life would change from that moment on. India is a font of creativity and meeting her was like re-charging my batteries for life. 


Q. It almost sounds like life put you in each other's path ... how did you recognize that a business together was a good idea? Was it a single 'ah-ha' moment or a few moments strung together?  

We do have a lot of " ah-ha" moments but I would have to say it was many moments strung together as well as our fondness for good design and Cadbury chocolate. We tend to consume vast amounts whilst brainstorming. She inspired me to take a leap of faith and all the money I had in my bank account to start a little boutique with her on Harbour Island. In 2005 The Sugar Mill had been born and I knew we did the right thing.


Q. Describe your partnership, what works and why.

Our partnership is clear, she does the buying and I do the selling, but together we add our distinctive style, taste and humor. We are competitive in nature, from our fitness routine to our gift wrapping skills… I might have her beaten in that department.


Q. How has the store evolved and where you see the brand going? 

We have no set plan for the future of The Sugar Mill, as we fly by the seat of our creative pants, just simply to keep offering our customers a global and fresh array of unique items that keeps them coming back for more….
“A bottomless treasure chest full of captivating takings.”


Q. Do you have any frank, nitty gritty advice for friends starting a business? What does it take to take a great idea between friends and turn it into a real business? 

Friendship is one thing and business quite another, fortunately we have a blend that works. I think we motivate,challenge and compliment one another enough that it keeps the motor running. At the end of the day, follow your gut! ( just let the chocolate digest first.)


Q. What do you covet this season from The Sugar Mill?  

A Seaton Cashmere zip hoodie. Simply because it works whether I’m on a boat in the balmy Bahamas or zipping around the city in my hometown of Toronto.

Thank you Linda for a peek inside The Sugar Mill.  I so enjoy your insight.  I can't tell you how many  times I have heard friends say to each other "we should open a..." or we should start a business doing..."  I hope this inspires those friends to take a leap of faith and change the "... " into the next step.  

But wait, there's more!
The lovely ladies of The Sugar Mill are giving away a his and hers skull towel set. 
(colors to be chosen at random)

The giveaway is officially closed. Thanks for checking it out!

to enter simply:


1. like The Sugar Mill's facebook page
and
2.  follow me on twitter
(you need to do both to be eligible to win)
then
3. come back here and leave a note on the blog saying you have done both 
and include info on how to reach you via your email, facebook or twitter

enter by noon EST Wednesday February 27

* apologies but open to US residents only *

We will announce the winner next Thursday on my twitter account so be sure to follow. 


For more Sugar Mill goodies, take a look around India's website.
There you can see more beautiful items from the store, her highly covetable jewelry line, her bath and body line, adorable kids clothes, and lots of other things that will most certainly catch your eye.

Thanks again ladies, it has been a pleasure!


all images courtesy of The Sugar Mill except for the tree, that is moi.