With the royal wedding only two weeks away, India Hicks recalls how she was a 13-year-old "tomboy" whose main job was to assist with Princess Diana's train at another royal wedding 30 years ago.
But her claim to fame is not only that she was a bridesmaid to the late Lady Diana, goddaughter to Prince Charles and granddaughter of the last viceroy of India (hence her name).
To hear more of India Hicks' memories of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding day in 1981, tune in to the Barbara Walters special, "The Royal Wedding: A Modern Fairy Tale," April 18 at 10 p.m. ET
Hicks is also an author, model, television personality and designer. And in September, when her collection of fine jewelry rolls out nationally, Hicks can add jewelry designer to her list of accomplishments
From Tomboy to Jewelry Designer
Hicks has come a long way from the teenager she was at the 1981 royal wedding. She tells ABC's Barbara Walters in an interview that her first reaction to the bridesmaid invitation was "horror" at having to wear a dress.
But her new jewelry collection, created in partnership with M. Suresh, the fifth-largest De Beers site holder in the world, is anything but "tomboy." Hicks combines various influences in the collection's three lines: Initials, Hicks on Hicks and Island Life.
The "island" theme is a natural for Hicks, who lives with her partner and four children in the Bahamas, where she has a boutique on Harbor Island called the Sugar Mill. It sells housewares, jewelry and clothing for men and women.
Kate Davidson Hudson, accessories editor at Elle magazine, said Hicks' distinct "island" sensibility marries laid-back elegance with a certain timeless polish.
"In her personal life, she is a true embodiment of high style with a laid-back spin, and her newest jewelry endeavor communicates that distinct sensibility with flawless aplomb," Hudson said.
Hudson said Hicks mines inspiration from her surroundings, and that she draws on "highly cultivated" design references, including her late father, the famed British interior designer David Hicks.
"India has established herself as today's contemporary free-spirit without letting go of the austerity and heritage left behind by her father – a graceful hybrid that carries over into the elegant and regal quality of her jewelry," said Filipa Fino, Vogue magazine's accessories editor.
As a young woman Hicks studied photography in Boston and later wrote two books, "Island Life: Inspirational Interiors" and "Island Beauty." The newly minted jewelry designer also co-hosted the second season of "Top Design" on Bravo, following in the steps of designer Todd Oldham.
As part of another endeavor, Hicks is also creative partner and spokeswoman for British home and skincare product maker Crabtree & Evelyn, which launched the India Hicks Island Living and India Hicks Island Night collections with Hicks.
Catie Briscoe, a fellow Brit, has worked with Hicks for the past six years in the Crabtree & Evelyn partnership.
"She is one of the most fun people to work with -- there's never a dull moment," said Briscoe, director of marketing for Crabtree & Evelyn. "She has high, high energy. She's hard to keep up with because she's very focused but very fun. She doesn't make anything too serious."