Dreamer | Meet Harriet Hastings

Dreamer | Meet Harriet Hastings

By Alice Whiteley

Dreamer | Meet Harriet Hastings

Hello Harriet.  We're delighted to be interviewing you as our chosen Dreamer for this month.  You are an inspiration to business owners – having successfully built your Biscuiteers business since 2007.  You are also MD of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world.   Alongside that, you are bringing up a large family. 

We would love to find out more about what makes you tick – and how you relax with so many demands on your time. So – here goes.


Biscuiteers team at work


Which women most inspire you and why?

I think my mother was probably my greatest inspiration.  She died when I was 16 but, at a time when such things were rare, she was a very successful career woman almost by accident, ending up as chairman of a leading London publisher.  She wore her success lightly and demonstrated on a daily basis how much you can fit into a busy life and still find time for others.

In a world where many women are feeling stretched, do you have any tips for our audience on switching off?

For me, books and reading are usually my escape.  Reading is the best way to ensure I go to sleep with a clear head after a busy day.  I also like to find enough time to be outside, whether biking to work or walking at the weekends.


One of the Biscuiteers stores


What are your new year’s resolutions for 2020?

Relax more, take each day as it comes and focus on what’s important.

When and where are you at your most relaxed and happy?

In our house in North Suffolk. I love it there and it is definitely our family home and the place where we have spent all our holidays and free time while the children were growing up.


Harriet's dog


Quick fire:

  • Top book on your reading list? I am currently reading the Dutch House by Ann Patchett (a brilliant former Women’s Prize winner) and will read my friend Rosamund Lupton’s new novel Three Hours next
  • Favourite song to relax to? That makes me think of the album my daughter Holly downloaded for me ‘Keep Calm and Take it Easy’ -a great collection of some of my favourites
  • Favourite podcast? I love podcasts and listen to them on my bike (with one headphone!). I just discovered ‘Conversations from a long marriage’ which is delightful.
  • Pyjamas or nightshirt? PJs
  • Nightcap or night cream? Neither? Good book.