I am looking through the airplane window, and I am almost blinded by the glittering aquamarine waters of Croatia. Finally we are landing, and I am already grabbing my sunhat and sunglasses; well I am going to be strolling the Croatian streets and feeling the sun on my skin.
I came to visit the lovely and fun to be with Susie Ambrose, who has retired and lives in Croatia in the summer, Miami in the winter, and from time to time stops by her London house. She comes out of her beautiful and picturesque villa to greet me, and I instantly feel at home. Susie founded Seventy Thirty at the beginning of 2000, and what is amazing, as with any other genuine entrepreneur, is that she spotted the gap in the dating market and went for it, creating the first exclusive luxury matchmaking company.
Fast-forward to 2019, the brand is sold, and Susie with her friend Tina who is an architect, are refurbishing several stone houses they bought in Croatia, creating amazing and luxuries homes for Austrian, German, and Swiss buyers.
How does it feel being retired after such an amazing and dynamic journey that you had?
It feels very natural to me, probably because I am more creative and ‘outdoorsy’ now. Working on an old gorgeous stone house, on a top of a hill, overlooking Adriatic Sea, and creating a modern finish to it doesn’t feel like retirement to me. I am surrounded by workmen, and I have to micromanage the restorations, particularly when Tina is away. She is the mastermind behind these stunning designs; I am the management – Susie jokes
I am working on my next book too; therefore I don’t think retirement is the right word to describe my situation at present!
Do you miss London, and dynamic lifestyle you had?
I always loved the beauty of London at the beginning of December. The streets are excitingly decorated, the shop windows look more like a fairy tale then a shop window, and people’s faces change; they look divine to me. But then the streets would become so busy, and just before Christmas we would leave and go to a warm and sunny part of the world.
London will always be in my hart, as some amazing and magical things happened to me over the many years I lived there. Every time I board a plane to fly to London, I have a smile on my face.
How was your transition from CEO to house restorations?
I did a few properties in London years ago, and I still own a few, so transitioning into restoring old stone houses in Croatia came logically. When it comes to “not being a business woman or CEO” that is a different story. I worked very hard, and built everything on my own. I am extremely proud of myself today, but a few years ago I felt it was the time to slow down and give the wheel to the youngsters. When you start and run your own business you don’t have ‘working time’ you work all the time. Personally, I thought 15 years of working every single day, for who knows how many hours a day was enough. I wanted to travel, take my daughter to many wonderful places around the world, and do something creative and very different. I achieved that and I am very content with myself.
Susie is a modest person, an immigrant with a fire in her heart, great values and a unique business idea to put smiles on people faces. Some statistics say that each person has several ideas in their lifetime that could be make them millionaires. Susie’s success is found in the execution of an authentic idea.
I am 27 and listening to Susie, inspire me to push myself, and do more and achieve more. But for this weekend, I am jumping in the azure swimming pool, and drinking a Bacardi breezer with Susie Ambrose.