Pillow Talk at The Hoxton, Shoreditch

The Hoxton, Shoreditch set the stage for East London’s now highly coveted creative class. It was one of the area’s first true design-driven hotels, and gave locals and travelers alike a place where they could come together and explore their interests. Today, it’s a tried-and-true fixture in the Shoreditch scene that continues to provide that perfectly buzzy ambiance. During the daytime, you’ll see city dwellers mingling between meetings on their laptops or over lattes. By night, you’ll find DJs, influencers, industry leaders, boozy groups, one-on-one date nights, and the like at the lobby bar or dining at Hoxton Grill

The Hoxton, Shoreditch photography by Michelle Helena Janssen

Why so much gush about The Hoxton? Well, dear readers, this chic Shoreditch stay recently played host to my latest Pillow Talk adventure. In this series, I get to ask my favorite local idols to join me as I interview them in a hotel bed. And this time, I would be getting into bed with the one and only, miss Jessica Skye.

Skye can frequently be found floating through The Hoxton lobby. Every Sunday morning her company, Fat Buddha Yoga, hosts a detox class in The Hoxton’s apartment. Skye’s class helps yogis rejuvenate, reinvigorate, and even hydrate their livers after a big weekend. Not everyone goes to Skye to reset, she has also garnered a cult following for her iconic playlists. As an in-demand DJ and producer in her own right, Skye has collected fans through her sets from festivals in the hills of Austria to secluded islands in far off lands. 

Between flows and fans, we’re not sure when or how Skye manages to sleep. She’s been able to successfully pursue and weave together two industries, and she’s just getting started. Lucky for me, I snagged a moment of the Londoners time for a Pillow Talk session in one of The Hoxton, Shoreditch’s thoughtfully curated rooms.

Jessica Skye photography by Michelle Helena Janssen

One Night: Your Instagram is a beautiful mix of yoga classes and DJ sets in remote locations. What are some places you’d like to spend more time? 

Skye: I want to spend more time in Berlin. I went in 2011 for a festival called Melt and it changed my life. That was the year I finished university—and it was the freest I’d felt in years. At the time I was into house music and deep house. During that trip I discovered new sounds that opened up my world. I met amazing people. Legitimate friends that I found on the dancefloor. When [these friends] came to visit me later on in London we went out to party and that is the night I actually met my husband. If it weren’t for that night in Berlin, I probably wouldn’t be a DJ now. 

One Night: Did you ever have a ‘traditional’ day job? 

Skye: I did work in ad-ops at an online sports magazine. It was a bit of an ad-hoc role in project management and campaigns. The whole time I was there I was sat looking at pictures of people surfing and snowboarding, hunched up in an office. I thought, ‘This is not the right environment for me.’ 

One Night: How did you turn your passions into a business? 

Skye: In my third year at university I booked a one-way ticket to Bali with two girlfriends. I was in Bali for eight weeks and discovered yoga on a whim. When I graduated, I was practicing yoga at least three times a week. I always knew I wanted to run my own business and yoga had always kept me happy, mind and body, through rough periods. In running a business, there is not a more real or pure commodity to sell than yoga. I will never be creating a false need. I opened a pop-up and made sure it was affordable and not preachy or pretentious. I started DJing around the same time and made really cool mixes to go with my classes.

One Night: What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done? 

Skye: I think going to Bali all those years ago—as well as quitting my stable 9-5 job to do my yoga teacher training. It was tough. I had to move out of my flat when I quit my job to start my training, and then the course got canceled and postponed for six months. I was homeless and unemployed. I took a big leap and landed flat on my face. But it all worked out because that was the period I started to learn how to DJ. My boyfriend was starting to build up his collection of equipment and decks, and I slowly started from there. All of my successes have come from other things messing up. It’s when I had no choice but to focus on the things I wanted to do. I think that is the biggest reason people don’t pursue their dreams. 

Jessica Skye photography by Michelle Helena Janssen

One Night: Did you have a specific aha moment that led you to yoga and DJing? 

Skye: When I was fresh out of university I felt like teaching yoga was my calling. Yoga was always around in my early twenties. Before that, throughout university, I was interning and working as a hostess at a West End nightclub. I think when you’re working in the nightlife scene you become a product of your environment. Yoga helped me through all of that, it kept me focused and I made good money. I went on a holiday and being away from it really helped me realize that I couldn’t go back. That was a life lesson for me—never stay anywhere that makes you feel trapped. I was a bit lost in the fog and did not see a way out. From that moment, I never stuck around anywhere that didn’t really work for me. I learned a lot about what I don’t want. 

One Night: Any exciting trips coming up? 

Skye: I’m headed to a ski/yoga resort in Chamonix, as well as a surf trip in Portugal. Portugal is so special. When I am trying to figure out where to do a retreat, I look for somewhere that hasn’t been too overdone and over-hyped yet. 

One Night: What do you look for when you’re traveling for leisure?

Skye: I’ll seek out the most authentic, local restaurants. I always want to go where the locals go. I love to walk around and be in the midst of a place. The biggest question for me when I’m looking for where to travel is “are there waves?” That dictates where I’ll go next. I love going to Asia and learning more about Buddhism—Sri Lanka was amazing. It is peaceful, pan-spiritual. I think the southeast Asian philosophies have it right in terms of how you treat people. Buddhism’s core principles of non-attachment are simple beliefs to live by. 

One Night: Do you have any advice for anyone looking to turn their passion into a job? 

Skye: If you have the rug pulled out from under your feet, you have to make a judgment call and really ask yourself what it is that you want to pursue. When my yoga training course got canceled right after I quit my day job, I chose to pursue DJing. I knew I wanted to be in the wellness industry. That led to freelancing with other brands, working at a startup, and pursuing my yoga stuff. Without committing 100% of my focus to it, Fat Buddha Yoga would never have crossed the line to become a successful business. If I had been in a cushy job making loads of money, I would never have pursued it. You have to cease those moments when things go wrong. If the path you choose isn’t the path of least resistance, take the hit and make it work. If you want it, you’ll make it work. 

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