A former favourite on The Real Housewives of Cheshire, Dawn Ward is the embodiment of a modern-day successful businesswoman. As well as heading up an award-winning interiors company, she runs a leading aesthetic clinic – and has exciting plans for expansion too. Then there’s a big family move overseas to plan. We have no idea how she does it all…
As one half of Cheshire’s ultimate power couple, Dawn Ward is a busy woman right now. She and ex-Premier League footballer husband Ashley, 50, have seen their luxury interiors company Arista go from strength to strength, while Dawn, 48, also runs aesthetic clinic Skulpt at their beautiful Cheshire home. A former favourite on The Real of Cheshire, she also juggles her career with being mum to Aston, 11, Charlie, 13, Darby, 24, and Taylor, 23 – who recently got engaged to Manchester City footballer Riyad Mahrez, Not only that, but Dawn recently became a grandmother for the first time after Darby and her partner, business entrepreneur Michael Jackson, welcomed baby Skye to the world in September. We caught up with Dawn to hear more…
Hi Dawn. You’re in Dubai right now – what’s happening there?
“We’re actually sorting out a new house and schools for our youngest because we’re moving here in January. We’re opening a new office for Arista here, which is really exciting.”
Great news. So why Dubai?
“We came out just before Christmas last year in the gap when travel was allowed – and ended up staying two months! I started meeting clients and we saw what Dubai could offer us as a family and a business. There’s lots of development going on, and it’s really changed over the last 10 years with so many people moving here from overseas. It’s located quite centrally in the world – and only six hours from London, so I’ll be able to pop back regularly.”
It’s a permanent move then?
“Oh yeah, we either do something properly or we don’t do it at all! We’ll be bringing four dogs and two ponies too. I like the fact the weather is great here, and there’s very little crime. It’s a nice place to live, with so many opportunities. I’m looking forward to it.”
‘We’re actually sorting out a new house and schools for our youngest because we’re moving here in January’
Arista did well at the recent International Design and Architecture Awards, didn’t it?
“We did – we won best Residential Interior Design in London and best International Swimming Pool Design, both for Mayfair House. It was a big deal for us, and we’re so grateful to our client, John Caudwell, for giving us the opportunity. We pitched ideas and concepts against some of the biggest companies in the world, so winning hopefully pays him back for believing in us. We worked on the project for five years, and it involved 4,500 drawings, so it was great for our whole team to be recognised.”
Interiors are clearly your biggest passion…
“Yes, I’m probably the worst person you could ever invite to your house! I’ve done this job for over 20 years, but I still love looking at new designs and coming up with ideas. I find myself in hotel lifts looking at every detail. It never stops – Ashley will be trying to order dinner in a restaurant and I’ll be too busy looking at the lighting!”
You’re very hands-on then?
“Totally. Even if I’m the other side of the world, my team send me everything on WhatsApp to sign off. There’s not a single job on our books that I don’t know inside out.”
And how’s your clinic, Skulpt, going?
“Amazingly. Again, a business is all about your team, and we’ve got great physicians, doctors and nurses. As a clinic rather than a beauty salon, it’s all quite medical, and we’re just setting up a well-woman clinic with a brilliant, which will cover all ladies’ needs – from basic smear tests to non-surgical cosmetic procedures. I want it to be a one-stop-shop, where we take care of skin conditions and things like moles that could be dangerous. We’ve also got plans to open other Skulpt clinics in the UK and Dubai.”
‘Again, a business is all about your team, and we’ve got great physicians, doctors and nurses. As a clinic rather than a beauty salon, it’s all quite medical, and we’re just setting up a well-woman clinic with a brilliant, which will cover all ladies’ needs’
Any plans to return to Housewives?
“Never say never, but I don’t think so. I love the show and always will, but I watch as a viewer now. The reason I did it was to give my family a platform, and now I want to concentrate on TV projects with them. You only saw 10% of my life on Housewives because there were seven other women in it, but doing a show with my family will let people see a completely different side to my personality. There’ll be more about that soon, hopefully.”
Family is everything to you, isn’t it?
“Absolutely, 100%. My family comes first in everything I do. Ashley and I just became grandparents to baby Skye too – we’re known as Nanna and Pops. I was at the birth with Darby, which was just the most incredible experience. I don’t know who was more excited about the baby – Darby or me. But Skye is absolutely gorgeous, and Darby is the most amazing mum. A real natural. Taylor has just got engaged too, so we’ve had a great year.”
‘My family comes first in everything I do. Ashley and I just became grandparents to baby Skye too – we’re known as Nanna and Pops’
Any wedding plans you can share yet?
“Not really – we’re still just on cloud nine from the engagement party. I’m sure it’ll be abroad somewhere though.”
Are you hoping Taylor has kids soon too?
“Definitely. I want to get to a point where I can slow down a bit and enjoy quality time with the grandkids in about five years. Ashley will play lots of golf, and I’ll have a houseful of little ones to keep me busy!”
You two recently celebrated your 26th wedding anniversary. What’s your secret?
“We’re business partners, and he’s my best friend. We never go to bed on an argument, we share everything and we’re always honest. We’ve been together for 30 years, and I love him even more now than when we first met.”
Photos | Alamy, Instagram @dawnward4