James Bond has always been my hero. Not a particular movie actor of a particular generation playing James Bond, but the original Ian Flemming character. Like many women, I grew up watching James Bond movies and thinking he was the most charismatic, suave and debonair man I'd ever seen. A man of action and talent. Writer Ayn Rand referred to Flemming's Bond work and other books like them as "bootleg romanticism". Writing of Flemming's type communicated a life-affirming theme of heroism wrapped in personal struggled, simplified in an entertaining way. For a young person, these ideas and the characters that represent them can be very powerful. Take exciting books and make exciting movies out of them and it's not hard to see why the James Bond franchise is the most successful movie franchise in history.
The thing I had to try and remember was that James Bond is just that, a character. Behind the suave debonair image were costume designers, makeup people, writers, a director and a several stuntmen. James actually was the cultivation of several talented and action packed men. As I have gotten older I have realized that my fascination and infatuation with all things James has not faded, but in fact has grown stronger. Not stronger in a way that I'm sitting in front of my TV for the 50th viewing of the "Spy Who Loved Me" but stronger in a way that I am more inspired. I'm inspired in a way that I want to get out there and do things, experience things, grow as a person and develop skills. Starting this business is just one example of that kind of "can do" spirit.
Over the years I, Angelina Hart, have been inspired to learn to fly planes, ride horses, shoot guns, shoot archery, scuba dive, speed around in Ferrari's and ride motorcycles. I have practiced and developed my skill set and have become very accomplished in all my hobbies. I even do precision knife throwing. You can't get much more James Bond than that! I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Bond 24, Spectre, to see what James inspires me to do next. A screen shot from Spectre showing the latest Bond, Daniel Craig driving a one-off Aston Martin designed specifically for the movie can be seen below.
Sad to say my lifestyle is not all set pieces from Bond films. When I'm not out having an action-packed day, I indulge in several other interests. I love cooking and have put together quite a repertoire of recipes. One of my favorite parts of cooking is learning old recipes from family members or older friends. It's exciting to know I am carrying on the tradition of cooking a certain meal a certain way. Sometimes you can just smell the history. I'd like to put out my own cookbook someday.
When establishing the Angelina Hart brand, I wanted to put an emphasis on being a strong, independent woman and supporting other women. It is important to believe in yourself and in your dreams and to maintain the passion and commitment to fulfill them. It can feel intimidating to embark on a new path, to go forward into an unknown future, but it would feel even worse to never have tried and to always wonder what if.
Whether it's travel, developing a new skill or starting a business, I really think that if I can do it, anyone can. It's just making up your mind to do something and following through. I remember the morning I woke up, laying in bed and I thought, I'm going to go learn to ride a motorcycle! And I did. And it came so naturally to me since I was an equestrian. I think having James Bond as a childhood hero contributed to my passion for adventure and independence. Learning all of these different skills at such a young age prepared me for challenges later in life. It taught me to face up to challenges and not be deterred. They say success is determined by how much "grit" you have. Grit is just as much a part of the Angelina Hart story as beauty and glamour. It's just a bit less visible.
I always thought it would be amazing to be a Bond girl, but it's actually more amazing to be just like James Bond!