Life at Ogbury House is as idyllic as you’d imagine. “My favourite Wiltshire day is waking early and taking the dogs, horses, children and husband to Salisbury Plain for a ride. You can ride for hours without any roads or gates. Then back for a late brunch and play in the garden, ending with a movie curled up on the sofa,” she says.
It’s clear that animals are a big part of their life in Wiltshire. “I am mad about animals; we have a cat, two dogs, two horses, two ponies and lots of fish. I would have many more, but I have been told to stop,” she says, laughing. “The children spend most of their day outside with their ponies and animals. I had them on a pony at the age of three and they are pretty good riders now. They love animals and nature. We will go for walks before school and look at flowers and discuss what they are and how they smell. Summers are the best in the country, but they love Christmas the most,” says Jolly, describing their life in the country. We told you: really dreamy.
Jolly grew up in the country and wanted her children to have a similar upbringing. She was raised in Lincolnshire and later went to school in Harrogate. “I went at the age of 10 and only came home in the holidays and half terms. It did teach me the art of writing a letter, but being dyslexic no one could understand my letters anyway!” she says, with a laugh. She would often sit in class, looking out the window and dreaming of moving to London and becoming a makeup artist. “I wanted to be on fashion shoots, it all seemed hugely glamourous. I would do makeup for all the school plays and in the holidays, I started doing work experience at various magazines.” At the age of 15, she left school and moved to London.
“I loved everything about the job,” she reflects on her days as a makeup artist (celebrities such as Kylie Minogue and Goldie Hawn were clients). “It’s more than a job, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a job that works best if you do not have a husband or children as you’re flying between jobs in different countries. Weekends do not exist and you never go on holiday as you are shooting in amazing places and your friends – stylists, models or photographers – are normally on the jobs with you.”
When her twins were born, she was the spokesperson for Maybelline NY and continued to work for the first year of their life. “I realised I could not stay being a makeup artist and be a mother. It was hard and I hated being away from the girls.” She put down her makeup brushes in the second year. “It was a hard thing to do. I used to feel lost when people would ask what I did. For 24 years, makeup had been my life. I did start writing for magazines about beauty from home, but it wasn’t the same. In the end, I wrote a letter to makeup, “Dear Makeup, thank you for giving me my independence, money, friends, travel, act. Then I burnt it, after that I never felt sad about leaving it behind,” she says.
During her time as a makeup artist, she studied shamanic healing in her spare time. “I studied for nine years and worked with shamans all around the world. This work gave me a wonderful framework for becoming a mother and raising children. The shamanic work is about intention and connection. It’s wordless so perfect for young children. A child needs to feel your full attention eye to eye and feel that they are being heard and loved.”