Style guru and TV personality Susie Coelho is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Her brands accounted for more than $100 million in annual sales through proprietary licensing deals with the likes of Mervyn’s department stores and QVC, she’s written four books, coined the phrase “undecorating” as the host of HGTV’s “Outer Spaces,” and starred in the ’80s film “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.”
Now, the former Ford model — and third wife of Sonny Bono — has founded House of Sussex: a luxury company based in the heart of Los Angeles that takes the essence of street art culture and combines it with the high-end details of luxury fashion accessories, which features contemporary artist Louis Carreon’s work on its leather backpacks.
Los Angeles is known for the clashing of two worlds, where poverty and abundance cross paths. House of Sussex reflects the beauty in the grittiness of the streets, and places its bags in the hands of those who never step foot in them.
How do you take your coffee?
I don’t. I never got into caffeine. I find it wires me up too much, and I’m naturally already wired!
Three things that you always carry with you?
My House of Sussex backpack! It’s important for promotion; now my Chanel and Dior sit in the closet. I always have sunglasses. When I was with Ford Models in my early 20s, a plastic surgeon friend of mine told me always to wear sunglasses when I was out exercising or playing tennis. Not to be cool, but to prevent wrinkles and saggy skin. And it worked! Lastly, my phone, which is, unfortunately, something I can’t live without.
Most embarrassing app that’s on your phone?
The wine app, WTSO. I’m always looking for great wine deals.
What’s a song that calms you down? One that makes you feel invincible?
If I feel stressed out, I play “Babylon” by David Gray. It just takes me away. To make me feel invincible, I love “I am Woman” by Helen Reddy.
Hardest habit to quit?
I have a habit of leaving my car dirty and not taking it to the car wash. It’s a white SUV Range Rover; I think it has more character when it’s dirty, so it looks like I was off-roading rather than driving around Beverly Hills.
Window or aisle seat?
Aisle! I never like to be boxed in.
How many alarm clocks do you have set?
Only one and I get up right away. It makes no sense to me that people have to set multiple alarms.
Biggest guilty pleasure?
Going to fabulous restaurants and tasting everything. My husband Mike and I are big foodies!
Last text you sent?
“I love you…” To my husband.