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The Sassiest Mama: Kathryn Hawkes

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The Sassiest Mama Awards 2015

Some people just have the creative touch – and this mama is no exception. If you’ve followed our interiors posts then you’ll know all about her amazing ability to transform any space or piece of furniture into something magical. And as for her instagram account – mega inspiring! We tune in daily to check out her latest projects.

Who’s The Mama?

Full Name: Kathryn Hawkes
Occupation: Interior stylist / Blogger, Founder of House of Hawkes
Children: Ethan (6) and Kailtyn (5)
Nationality: South African
How long have you lived in Dubai? Almost 10 years

1) Tell us about your business/businesses and why you started them.
Design and decorating have always been my passion. Despite living in rented accommodation since arriving in the UAE, I’ve always made every effort to make our house a home, as if it were our own… within reason, of course. I am simply too affected by my surroundings not to. I am also a strong believer in living in the moment, so I want to make the most of whatever the status quo is. I’m often asked for advice on how I decorate, where I shop and what suppliers I use for various things. A few years ago, a friend suggested that I start a Facebook page to share my decor secrets, complete with a directory of tried and tested shops and service providers. She planted a seed in my mind that day and it eventually came to life as my blog – I’ve loved every minute of it!

2) What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
Let’s just say that the smartest decision I’ve ever made thus far was agreeing to marry my wonderful husband. I couldn’t ask for a better life partner and my kids have won the daddy lottery.

3) As a child what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?!
For most of my childhood, I thought I would study medicine or law. Who knew I’d grow up to have such an obsession with design and interiors?!

4) If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
Good health for my family. One more day with my dad. An unlimited decorating budget.

5) What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
I think sassy mamas embody the term ‘multi-tasking’. As moms, we take on many roles and I think we are all striving to keep everything in balance.

6) What’s a typical day in your life like?
Weekdays get off to an early start as we leave for school around 7am. I try to plan any meetings for the morning so that I can go straight from the school run. I’m usually out for most of the morning and will be lucky if I manage a few hours at my desk before leaving to pick up the kids. Afternoons are dedicated to the smalls and their busy after school agendas. My hubby usually makes it home in time to manage bedtime stories and I couldn’t be more thankful. When all is quiet, I tend to spend some time replying to emails and finishing off whatever I wasn’t able to get to before the school pickup. Nothing spectacular there!


7) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Antiques Roadshow.

8) What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust your gut.

9) What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
Mornings at the beach and camping, although we don’t seem to do either of them often enough.

10) What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, something fellow mamas should know about?
House of Hawkes is a roadmap of my best kept secrets. 😉

11) Which three words best describe your personality?
Trustworthy. Determined. Impatient.

13) What advice would you have for a new mama?
My best advice would be to trust your instincts, unfortunately motherhood doesn’t come with instructions and it is often a process of trial and error to discover what works best. The newborn period is so fleeting, enjoy it – don’t wish away those precious moments. Before you know if they’ll be full of cheek with opinions on what to feed them, how to dress them and how they want their rooms decorated!


14) What advice would you give to a mama who wants to go back to work or start her own business but is worried about juggling family and career?
This is a tough one because, as with being a new mum, there is no specific formula that will work for everyone. You have to do what makes you happy and what works for your family. No matter how you look at it, balancing family and career will always be a juggling act – and only you can determine how many balls you can manage in the air at once!

15) If you were on an island and could bring only 3 things (family not included) what would they be?
Chocolate. Water. A life raft?

16) Top 3 books?
I’m actually reliving old favourites at the moment, as my hubby is reading The Wishing Chair to the kids. My all time childhood favourite however, was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey stayed with me long after I finished the book. And last but not least – Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd.

17) Describe your style
Barely existent. Casual and neutral. If I’m in heels, there had better be something big on the agenda.

18) If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
Charlize Theron. She probably says ‘ja’ and ‘dude’ as often as I do, and she’d get the accent right. 😉

19) Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done.
I’ll never forget one incident when the kids were really small, probably 3 and 2 years old. They were both going through a biting stage and things were getting pretty brutal. I’d turned my back on them for a few seconds and Kaitlyn screamed one of those ‘serious’ screams. Assuming I knew what had happened, I bellowed at Ethan, asking if he had bitten his sister. He replied, ‘not yet, mommy’. Oh the honesty of a child.


Thanks to The Studio for the gorgeous pics! Book your photography experience on (+971) (0)4 347 1745.

Special thanks also to Sassy Mama Dani for coordinating mamas and photographers while juggling 3 little ones too!

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