My Secret Life: Jasmine Guinness, model & designer, 33

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The Independent Online

The house/flat I grew up in ... I grew up with my parents in a cottage on my grandparents' farm. It was a small whitewashed cottage with red roses on the front. It was tiny and fun – quite a madhouse!

When I was a child I wanted to be ... so many things: a vet, an artist, a writer, a photographer, a jockey, an actress, a designer, a model. I had my head in the clouds but always knew I wanted to try lots of different jobs.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I would look after myself better.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... buying and selling toys.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... cooking for my husband; I'm good at cooking for myself, though!

At night I dream of ... vivid things; I still remember dreams I had when I was a child.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... I look great just before I go to bed but terrible all day so I avoid mirrors as much as possible.

My favourite item of clothing ... At the moment, either a silk satin cowboy shirt or a red cotton dress with white and red heart underskirt that I designed myself.

I wish I'd never worn ... ski pants with those stirrupy things – horrible!

It's not fashionable but I like ... solitaire or patience card games – typical only child!

I ride ... a fat pony in my dreams.

Our house is ... too cluttered but I love it.

My favourite building ... The Marino Casino in Dublin; Castletown House in Kildare, Ireland; Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

My favourite work of art ... 'The Kiss' by Rodin; anything by [the urban realist painter] John James. I love photographs, too – from my childhood or of my children; they are all over the house.

A book that changed me ... 'Native Tongue' by Carl Hiaasen, 'Love in the Time of Cholera' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 'Spring Torrents' by Turgenev. Books have always been an important part of my life. My son is finally hooked by the reading bug and I am really happy for him.

The last album I bought/downloaded ... Bob Dylan's Christmas album – genius.

Movie heaven ... 'Looking for Eric', directed by Ken Loach ... masses of humour, deeply touching and lots of incredible goals from Eric the King!

My secret crush ... John Cusack. He is a great actor, and funny too.

My greatest regret ... That I didn't see more museums/bands/art/people when I lived in New York.

My real-life villain ... I grew up in Ireland so I do not have a lot of respect for most politicians. Right now I am angry at the English Government and Westminster Council for their lack of help to small independent businesses and English industry. How is it that they have no control over the banks?

The person who really makes me laugh ... My husband.

The last time I cried ... Thinking about a friend with cancer.

My five-year plan ... Design lots more of everything. Most importantly, I want to escape to the country so my kids can have a bit of freedom.

What's the point? Be kind, don't judge and have respect for others. If we can all do this, the world would be a better place. The point is to teach this to the next generation.

My life in six words ... Too much to describe in six...

A life in brief

Jasmine Guinness was born in Dublin in 1976. A member of the Guinness brewing family, she made her name modelling for the likes of Burberry, Paul Smith and Sonia Rykiel. She opened the toy shop Honeyjam on London's Portobello Road with Honey Bowdrey in 2006 and started designing womenswear in 2007. Jasmine lives with her family in London and now works for the online store very.co.uk. Her spring/summer 2010 collection is out now

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