By Lucille Parker, Head of Copyright, Hillgrove PR
Having lived a real-life fairy tale and married a world-famous rock-and-roll star, many women would be content to sit back and enjoy the ride — not Trudie Styler! This dynamic woman, wife of celebrity singer/musician “Sting”, has proved herself to be a multi-talented entrepreneur, having just launched a film production company in New York, hard on the heels of introducing a range of ready-to-cook meals in England.
Over the years Trudie — now 57 — has received as much press as her celebrity husband, renowned variously as an actress, film producer, farm overseer, yoga instructor, author, environmentalist, human rights activist, Unicef Ambassador, natural food advocate and estate manager. Many of these roles she filled simultaneously, while also maintaining a dazzling social life and nurturing her four children.
“I enjoy being busy,” said Trudie, “but I have never embarked on any enterprise that I did not believe had some beneficial effect — for people, the planet or spiritually.”
Among the highlights of Trudie’s independent career was the founding of her company, Xingu Films, in 1993. Initially making documentaries for the BBC, the company now also has several top rate award-winning feature films under its belt.
Trudie’s latest venture is also in the world of film — she has teamed up with Celine Rattray, Golden Globe winning producer, to form Maven Pictures, a film development, production and financing company based in New York.
“It’s so exciting,” said the indefatigable Trudie. “I love sniffing out a winning script and discovering talented new film-makers.”
Maven Pictures plans to release up to five “smart commercial titles” a year, with Hardy Justice as senior Vice-President of Production and Development.
Just before the announcement of the launch of Maven, Trudie was inEngland at her beautiful Wiltshire estate, Lake House, turning her head forbusiness and love of good, wholesome food towards promoting her range of hand-prepared “ready-to-cook” meals, known as Lake House Table Kitchen Suppers.
Food, like film, is an area in which Trudie has an impressive track record.
Back in 1997 Trudie and Sting (whose real name is Gordon Sumner) bought a 16th Century villa called Il Palagio near the village of Figline Valdarno, close to Florence in Italy. A few years later they added to the land by buying an adjoining farm, and Trudie set about making it into apaying concern, producing delectable wine, honey, olive oil and organic produce.
“I wanted to nourish my family with our own home-grown organic food, but when supply out-stripped our family’s needs we decided to go in for marketing the surplus,” explained Trudie.
The exclusive Harrod’s store in London literally gobbled up Il Palagio’s jams, preserves, oil and honey, and before long export avenues to the USA were also opened up. The estate’s wines have also earned a name for themselves and are enjoyed around the world.
Last year Trudie and Sting opened Tenuta il Palagio — a delicatessen store — on their Estate, selling their produce on site along with a range of salamis made from Tuscany’s unique breed of pork.
Things are ticking over nicely in Tuscany, but here in England at Lake House, there is also a history of Trudie’s commercial flirtation with food. It was here — where she brought up her four children — that she first went in for organic farming, leading to the publication of a recipe book (jointly authored with Joe Sponzo, the Sumner family’s chef).
More recently Lake House became the setting for the launch of a range of ready-to-cook meals, carefully researched and chosen by Trudie and business partner Ed Olphin, a food industry professional.
“Lake House Table Kitchen Suppers are very special because they are designed to make life easier, and healthier, for busy professionals,” said Trudie.
The range of three different meals — containing fresh, humanely reared meat and the best of British accompaniments — are hand-prepared and packed in Wiltshire, then put on sale in Waitrose branches in the London area, or are available to order online through the premium grocery service OCADO.
From fridge to table in less than 10 minutes, these tasty suppers are a boon for those who don’t have time to prepare their own meal from scratch, but appreciate sitting down to a good, well-balanced and healthy repast at the end of a busy day.
“Sting is hoping that if I keep on making a success of my business activities he’ll finally be able to retire,” quipped Trudie.