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Interviews, Kiss House Team  |  22 May 2020

Humboldt penguins and other passions with Hilary Wilson Customer Support.

Hanging out with Stanley in the Berkshire countryside
Canoeing on the RIver Thames
On the River Thames
Hiking in an Oxfordshire forest
Hilary at Marwell Zoo
Hilary in Meteora, Greece
At the top of Beacon Hill, Hampshire
Hilary Wilson, Kiss House Customer Support

Introducing Hilary Wilson who manages customer queries and is likely the first person you’ll speak to at Kiss House.

Her role is all about ensuring things run smoothly.

She loves connecting people to new experiences; she regards wellness as central to leading a happy life and she brings this approach to all she does personally and professionally.

We started by asking Hilary what she does at Kiss House.

Tell about your role?

As Customer Support, it’s my responsibility to ensure buying a Kiss House is a smooth, stress-free, and dare I say it fun experience! I’m also really interested in wellbeing so I’m always busy working on ways to enhance the welfare, security and overall happiness of our team. It’s great to be part of something relatively new as we get to help mould and shape the culture and we’re actively developing a culture that puts people first.

“My career has centred on creating meaningful relationships through public engagement and customer care. ”

Can you give us an overview of your career to date?

Most of my roles have focused on finding ways to inspire people to make a positive change in the world; previously in zoo education management and wildlife conservation, and now in healthy and sustainable housing. My career has centred on creating meaningful relationships through public engagement and customer care. Unlike many people I’ve always really enjoyed public speaking and presenting, I think this is because it’s offers such immediate engagement person to person, so I’ve usually had roles that involve a lot of this.

Can you share any career highlights?

My previous role was Public Engagement Manager at Marwell Wildlife where I helped people form lasting connections with the natural world, a subject I remain hugely passionate about. This was a career highlight as I built the public engagement team from the ground up. At one stage, the team consisted of just me but 7 years later, I had a team of five permanent staff and over sixty volunteers. 

What are you passionate about?

Many things! Nature, travel, outdoor activities. The ocean and yoga are definitely at the top of the list. 

“Kiss House is special because we put wellness first. Wellness for our customers and team, as well as for our planet.”

What makes Kiss House a special project to work on?

Kiss House is special because we put wellness first. Wellness for our customers and team, as well as for our planet. What is most important to me is knowing that I can have a positive impact every day. 

“I’d never experienced a Passivhaus before and the positive effect it had on me was tangible.”

Which of the events you’ve hosted at Kiss House did you enjoy most?

My favourite event so far was our customer visit to The Deerings, a certified Passivhaus. I’d never experienced a Passivhaus before and the positive effect it had on me was tangible. It was great to share this experience with some of our customers. Once you experience the peace of a Passivhaus, you’ll want one for yourself!

We also organised a panel discussion with Wood for Good which was amazing. I learned so much from the experts on the panel and we received awesome feedback from our guests.

Most recently, I hosted my first online Q&A session with Mike Jacob and Adrian James. It was fun! Judging by participants’ comments, this format worked really well. We have plans for another Zoom Q&A session in the coming weeks – we’ll share details via our mailing list and social media platforms so be on the lookout!

What is your favourite animal?

So many favouritesany marine mammal scores high. Add to that Humboldt penguins, muskox, mountain goats, long-horned cowfish, beavers, lobsters, bumblebees, bears, salmon, dogs, cows, sea turtles, badgers, lowland anoa To be honest I can’t think of an animal that I don’t have an appreciation for. 

What do you do to relax?

Walking in nature always does the trick! Yoga works well, too. 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I would have the ability to be in the UK and Canada simultaneously. 

“Home is a place where family is. It’s where I feel 100% at ease and can be myself. ”

What does home mean to you?

A ton of things! Home in the literal sense is a rather confusing subject for me. I moved to the UK 15 years ago from Canada and even after all this time I still feel like I’m away from home. At the same time, I’ve laid down roots in the UK through my husband, his family, and amazing friendships. Because of the direction my life has taken I think this will be an eternal head scratcher for me – I’m okay with that.  

From a more emotional perspective, for me, home is a place where family is. Home is a place where family is. It’s where I feel 100% at ease and can be myself. Home is that safe place where I always feel comfortable and welcome with a sure sense of belonging. 

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A nurse or a veterinarian. I quickly realised that I am far too squeamish for either one. 

Which designer or artist do you admire and why?

I love William Morris. I find peace and comfort in his designs. 

Where are you happiest and why?

Laughing with friends and / or family. 

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

This too shall pass. (Even when it REALLY doesn’t feel like it ever will). 

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