Between filming with her high profile clients and spending time with her gorgeous son Ivor, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Pickle Jar Films, Liz Robinson still manages to find space in her diary for cocktails with her husband. This busy mum on a mission tells Our Edit how she makes it work.
Tells us about what you do?
Our office is just off Marylebone High Street. My working days are really varied which I love; I can be in a studio, in the middle of a field in Wales on a shoot, editing in the office or in meetings in town. No two days are really the same. I oversee the day-to-day running of the company alongside the Creative Director, Kevin, who is also my husband, we founded the company about 3 and a half years ago.
Where is home and who will we find there?
I live in North London with my husband Kevin and our 1 year old son, Ivor. We live in an Edwardian house, which we completely gutted and renovated last year – whilst pregnant…
What’s the best way you’ve found to balance family and a career?
Even though I am a relatively new mum, I have found striking a balance between work and family life, as challenging as everyone said it would be. When Ivor was around 3 months old, the business became busier than ever and the juggle was very very difficult, we were working every evening and weekends to get things done. But the saving grace for us is that as we own our company, we can devise a schedule that is flexible and works entirely for us. When I have more projects on than Kevin, he has extra days with Ivor and vice versa. We are in quite a unique position, in that way.
What three items help you juggle everything?
It sounds terrible but my iPhone is probably the main thing; apps that make my life simpler – Ocado, Uber, Trainline, Dropbox… just being able to work remotely is amazing. I also can’t live without my diary and pencil case – I need to be able to make notes and lists constantly in order to declutter my brain!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to face?
I think a very challenging period was being pregnant whilst entirely renovating the house. We were lucky and had good builders but we were living with a friend throughout, spending every night selecting paint colours, tiles, radiator valves, varnish, door handles – the decisions just felt like they went on forever!
And since we had the baby, the business has been extremely busy which has been amazing but as Ivor became increasingly mobile, I found it harder and harder to do any work from home.
What do you most enjoy about your role at work?
I just love that Kevin and I are only answerable to ourselves. We each spent over a decade working in TV as freelance Producers and Directors, before we started the business and now we find it so freeing to be in charge of our projects from end to end. It’s tough but when it works it’s exceedingly satisfying.
This year I feel as though we have produced some of our most beautiful films to date, for Liberty London (coming soon!) and for a collaboration between British Vogue / Genesis Publications.
Is there anything you struggle with and how do you deal with it?
Kevin and I both suffer from what we call ‘busy brain’, lying awake at night, the cogs are turning and you can’t switch off… that’s hard when you just need to sleep. And then when you finally drop off, the baby wakes up!
How do you spend any precious me time you get?
Truthfully, it’s quite rare for me to get alone time, but when I do, I appreciate it more than ever. Simple things like getting my nails done whilst drinking a coffee and flicking through a magazine is bliss.
But, last Friday afternoon I went and got my haircut and met a couple of girlfriends for cocktails, before joining Kevin for a very belated anniversary dinner – I was positively giddy!
Coming up, I am booked in for a one-day bread course at Leiths in January – something I have been meaning to do all year – and I’m really looking forward to it.
If your planning a family holiday where would it be?
We are currently planning a trip to Antigua for next summer as our friends are getting married there – I’m dreaming of wraparound verandas, stunning views and sundowner cocktails… I’m also hoping we can head to the Lake District for a long weekend in the New Year.
How do you switch off?
On weeknights, I love to cook and that really helps me wind down. At the weekend, a long walk and coffee in Grovelands Park is always great and often on Saturday night – because going out is less possible these days – once Ivor is in bed, we mix cocktails and cook a delicious meal and just catch up.
What exercise do you do?
I walk everywhere whether I’m pushing the pram or running around for meetings, I’m always on foot and counting my steps.
What are you wardrobe fail-safes?
Wardrobe wise, it completely depends on what I’m doing. If I’m on a shoot or having a day with Ivor, it’s my Whistles boyfriend jeans, Liberty print Nike Air Max, J Crew sweatshirt and my yellow Joules fisherman’s jacket.
If I have meetings it’s Topshop skinny jeans, leather brogues, Whistles silk shirt or a YMC jumper and my new Reiss navy wool jacket, which I’m in love with. This season I also got a long cornflower blue cotton dress from COS which I have loved for special occasions like my son’s first birthday party.
And accessories you couldn’t be without?
My daily stapes are my oversized Nautica watch which I’ve had forever, Alex Monroe feather necklace and Lily & Lionel silk scarf. I flit between a couple of handbags – a yellow bucket style Mulberry and a gorgeous but highly impractical brown leather doctor’s style back I got in Milan 4 years ago.
I have 4 piercings in my ears and I’m booked in for a 5th next week at Maria Tash at Liberty – I always wear earrings; my huge Dinny Hall hoops are current faves.
Hugo Boss, Jour.
Your hosting a dinner party – what’s on the menu?
Well, we are having friends for lunch this Sunday and I’m planning slow cooked joint of lamb on puy lentils with spinach and tomatoes and I am attempting meringues for only the second time in my life – wish me luck!
If you’re going out where is your favourite spot?
Last Friday we ate at Social Eating House and it was delicious, we have had some really special meals at Jason Atherton’s restaurants over the years. The service, food and atmosphere are always perfectly judged.
A great neighbourhood restaurant that I absolutely love returning to is Trullo in Highbury, so many excellent meals – we ate there the night we got engaged.
Is there a woman you really admire?
My mum. She moved to London from Scotland, on her own, when she was very young and worked hard to build her career as a fashion journalist. She worked full time through my primary school years and I have always admired her work ethic and we couldn’t be closer. So I’ll never let anyone tell me that working Mums risk not building a bond with their children – in our case, I just found her passion and determination inspiring.
What’s the next big thing in your life?
Well work continues on the house in February – we are overhauling the front and back garden so that will be fun! But mainly the focus is to settle into our new life as a three and keep working hard to grow the business further. We are taking steps to get our brand and work more exposure, so we are really excited to see where things go.
Thanks Liz and good luck with the meringues!!! X
To learn more about Liz and Kevin’s fabulous films visit www.picklejarfilms.com….