Sally Herbert and Philippa Fergusson of Philippa Herbert are related by marriage and work. Heading the extremely successful business Philippa Herbert, they produce beautifully intricate fingerprint engraved jewellery and bronze, glass, silver and gold castings of baby hands and feet. Both worked before they had their children (there are no less than six between them) but, like many mothers, decided to set up a business of their own. The lady who had cast Sally’s two eldest children’s feet had given it up to concentrate on her work as a sculptor and Sally suggested they give her a call to see if she would train them. That was seven years ago and, since then, they’ve been sculpting feet, hands and even baby’s bottoms the world over.
What did you do before you started the company?
Sally worked in advertising before she had Oscar, the eldest of her three children, and I worked for an art dealer. We both studied history of art at The Courtauld Institute and I was at Chelsea Art College before that.
Q: What is your first childhood memory of travel?
Sally: Going to a place called Mijas in Spain, aged 7. It was the first time I’d been on an plane and I was so excited. I was the only girl in the class who hadn’t been on an aeroplane.
Philippa: Being woken up ridiculously early to catch the Ferry to France and Mum and I taking sea sickness tablets in preparation of our journey. Not very glamorous!
Q: Where have you had your best holiday to date?
Sally: My honeymoon in Mexico
Philippa: That is really hard. We had a couple of holidays before we had the children which were great: Wilmington, North Carolina, the Maldives and a weekend in Venice (which was one of our first dates!)
Q: Where was the first place you went with a little one in tow? How did it go?
Sally: Scotland. Oscar was four months old and it was rubbish; I nearly left halfway through the week. It was cold, wet and very hard work.
Philippa: Scotland, too (Sally’s family has a house up there). Douglas was six months and I felt the same as Sally. It is not the best holiday with babies, particularly if you are the only one there with a baby!
Q: How do you find the experience of travelling with children generally?
Sally: It is getting much easier as the children get older (Oscar is now 9, Coco is 6, and Phoebe is 5). I love road trips – they are great fun – plane trips are a little more stressful. Holidays are definitely a bonding experience; I think you need to make sure you are prepared for every eventuality and try and relax. That is easier said than done, I know!
Philippa: I agree with Sally. Generally, people are pretty kind when you travel with kids and, nowadays, you can buy things you need if you forget them, but it is best to be prepared. Expect everything to be delayed and you’ll be pleased when it isn’t!
Q. Do you ever travel with your children for work?
Philippa: No we don’t. Travelling for work is the only time either of us get a proper break. Eight hours on a plane with movies and champagne? Blissful!
Q: Where was your best holiday with your children? And your worst?
Sally: A villa in Fayence near Nice in the South of France. We went for two weeks last Summer and it was gorgeous. My worst was Scotland.
Philippa: We went on a ‘glamping’ weekend with Wild Luxury in Norfolk and it was brilliant. We are going again with Sally and her family this Summer. My worst was probably Scotland, too. I think it will be more fun when the children are a little older but they are just too small at the moment.
Q: What is your must-have travel accessory when away with children?
Sally: Wetwipes! And a travel potty. Audiobooks for the car and on your phone are fantastic (with an adaptor so you can have more than one set of headphones, of course).
Philippa: Lots of snacks, plenty of water, colouring pencils and paper (which are great in restaurants!) An iPad if you are travelling by plane. And a sense of humour.
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