deVOL Folk: Helen’s Story
14th July 2016
You may have seen my very first deVOL Folk blog about our lovely London Showroom Manager, Emily. Well, next up we have our super talented and incredibly cool Creative Director, Helen…
Helen on the first day our London showroom opened
H E L E N P A R K E R
C R E A T I V E D I R E C T O R
An incredible knack for predicting trends and the ability to move a few pieces and change the whole look and feel of a room are skills that saw Helen work her way up to be appointed Creative Director of deVOL in 2011. I’m actually lucky enough to have known Helen since I was a kid. My childhood is speckled with memories of her amazing cooking, camping holidays on the beach and the occasional wine fuelled evening dancing with her and her sisters. It’d be hard to come across someone more laid back than Helen, she completely embodies deVOL’s effortlessly cool style that she continues to help create. From styling the showrooms and photoshoots, to creating brand new pieces, to training new designers, Helen has had a huge part to play in deVOL’s success and is an integral part of its future.
Helen styling the cabin at Cotes Mill for its first shoot
What’s the latest trend that you’re most excited about?
Well, I recently went to a Smeg launch and there was a Dolce and Gabbana designed fridge. The D&G theme for this autumn/winter is Sicilian folk art and by pure chance I had just been watching a programme on the very subject, crazy colours, horses, tradition, fashion, all the things I love in a beautiful Mediterranean country full of passionate people who love life and food. I need to go to Palermo I think, definitely not a place for the faint-hearted though.
Helen with her three sisters
Whose Instagram account do you love at the moment?
I find some of the Instagram accounts that are too styled and colour coordinated, a bit samey and there is only so much gorgeousness you can handle without feeling dissatisfied about your own photographic skills or your wardrobe!! So I prefer to follow people I like such as Anthony Bourdain the food writer, he doesn’t post much but it’s kind of fun to see the random things he puts up. I also like to follow people who live or work in a city I may be visiting, so I can get tips for places to go. I followed Skye McAlpine before going to Venice, she is a cook who has lived there all her life so knows the best places off the beaten track.
Helen exploring the Greek islands
Pink inspiration from Helen’s trip to Venice
I loved exploring Venice through your Instagram account and on your blog. What has been your favourite holiday escape?
I like beaches and sun and shops and markets and great food, so by default the places I visit tend to be a bit touristy, but somewhere like Palma in Mallorca is perfect for me. It’s a fabulous town full of real people, tradition, amazing architecture, great food, style and sunshine. It is so close to all the beaches of Magaluf and all those proper package holiday areas, yet it is so very different. It’s wonderful, and when you get fed up of culture you can pop on a bikini, drink a beer and lie on the beach.
Helen holidaying in Skopelos, Greece
I know you love films, do you have any recommendations?
I love anything foreign where nothing much happens, I like if there is a bit of a link to food or culture or something a bit edgy. I love ‘For water like chocolate’ a Mexican film about Love and Food and I also love ‘The Grocers Son’ a film set in Provence that gently wafts through the life of a young man who takes over his father’s grocery van and spends his days selling fresh produce to the locals, the scenery and the feel for Southern French life is delightful.
Helen driving around St Tropez in the South of France
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
I have two… One, helping raise two amazing kids and seeing them both being successful and happy, beautiful, brave and humble. And two, landing the job of my dreams by fate and being lucky enough to be involved in the incredible adventure that is deVOL.
Helen with her two children, Max and Zoë
Helen is based in our Cotes Mill showrooms, but she also comes down to the London office every couple of weeks and travels all over the UK to take pictures of our customers’ amazing kitchens. In the office you’ll often find her writing beautifully whimsical text for our brochures and the blog, although she has been known to be found pottering around the kitchen cooking up fresh pizzas or bacon and egg cobs for the whole team!!
– Take a read through some of Helen’s blogs here.
– Or browse her Pinterest board or Instagram for lots of beautiful inspiration.